New England

August, 2012
Regional Report

Favorite or New Plant

'Magda' Zucchini
This Mideast type zucchini is worth growing just for its beautiful color. It's a gorgeous light green flecked with white that makes a lovely contrast when mixed in with darker green zucchini varieties in a dish. But it also boasts excellent flavor and texture. The blocky fruits are at their best when 4-6 inches long. I got my seeds from Johnny's Selected Seeds (www.johnnyseeds.com).

Clever Gardening Technique

Save Tomato Seeds
If you are growing some open-pollinated tomato varieties that did especially well for you, save some seeds from the healthiest plants for next year. Tomatoes are a good choice for beginning seed savers because they are self-pollinating, which means that plants grown from seed will generally "come true" or produce plants just like the parent plant. Many of the delicious, older "heirloom" tomato varieties are open-pollinated.

Start with a ripe tomato from the variety you want to save. Cut the tomato in half and scoop the seeds and pulp into a bowl filled with a cup or two of water. Let this sit at room temperature for 4 days, each day skimming off the pulp and seeds that float to the top and discarding them, and giving the mixture a stir. The seeds that sink to the bottom are the viable seeds that you'll want to save.

After four days, remove the sunken seeds, rinse well, drain, then spread them out on a sheet of newspaper to dry for a couple of weeks. Once they are well dried, simply roll up the newspaper and seeds together and store in a sealed container, such as a canning jar, in a cool, dry, dark spot over the winter. When it's time to start your seeds again in the spring, just pull off a little section of newspaper with the seed attached and plant it, paper and all.

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