A plant produces seeds in order to reproduce itself. For a plant to create a seed it needs to be pollinated. Some plants are self-pollinating – the male and female parts are contained within a single flower that fertilizes itself. Other plants are open-pollinating –the male and female parts are contained in separate male and female flowers and their pollen has to get from one flower to another flower in order for the flowers to be pollinated. The transfer of pollen is accomplished by wind, insects, birds, mammals or humans.
The ‘Easy’ to save seeds are self-pollinating types of plants such as: tomatoes, peas, beans, lettuce and native plants. If you are new to seed saving, please start with these types of plants.
‘Medium’ and ‘Difficult’ seeds require special planning to preserve the purity of the variety. If you return seeds to the library without taking certain precautions, they will not produce plants true to type. Also, hybrid plants do not produce seeds true to type—do not return seeds of hybrid plants.