Seed selection

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tommy the cat

Bushcrafter (boy, I've got a lot to say!)
Feb 6, 2007
Just a quickie.... im looking at seeds in the D.T Brown catalogue and was unclear about F1.
Now I presume that F1 means you can't seed save from that plant??
I was kindly given benchmaster runner beans this season which have been great but was wondering if I can keep the seed for next year?
I know he got the seed form D.T.Brown but it doesn't say F1 in the catalogue...
Or am I getting myself all mixed up??!!
Before anyone says just keep some seed and try them next year, I know this is an option but im looking at other varieties of french bean and want to seed save so want to buy varieties viable for this..
Also should I be buying organic seed??
I grow only organically no pesticides or chemicals so should my seed come from organically grown plants??
P's I'd like to thank Hugh in advance because I know he will reply ;)

British Red

M.A.B (Mad About Bushcraft)
Dec 30, 2005
F1 is a first generation hybrid. You can save seed but they are unlikely to breed true. They may be better, or worse, or just different. People who know nothing about plants state withe assurance that F1s are sterile. They aren't. Unless you are selling don't get caught in the organic hype, very unlikely that much material will be transferred from seed to produce.

Robson Valley

Full Member
Nov 24, 2014
McBride, BC
F1 is the "first filial generation" in genetics-speak. As the hybrid offspring of two parents, the members usually display what's called "hybrid vigour." Healthier and grow better = keystone to performance in race horses, yes?
However, mated among themselves is like shuffling and dealing the cards one more time = every hand is different.

F1 sterility: this is what keeps each species seperate and distinct from all others. The two parental types (P1) are so dramatically different that their F1 _may_ survive. But, the F1 genetics are so scrambled that the results of F1 matings are failures. The popular media make such a big deal of such interspecies hybrids on a slow news day.

British Red

M.A.B (Mad About Bushcraft)
Dec 30, 2005
By viable do you mean true breeding? If so, then no, not that simple for some seeds. Beets for example. They will interbreed. A beetroot will cross with a sugar beet half a mile away.