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Seed collecting & all related information

 
Ionel Catanescu
Posts: 84
Location: Timisoara, Romania, 45N, 21E, Z6-7
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Hi everybody

I have an urge to collect plant seeds for my farm to be, especially since buying all those thousands of species will set me back eons ...
Now, if this has popped up before please direct me there.
In order to collect these seeds i need to know when (not much of a problem) and how.
You might ask "WHAT ?" ...
I mean i can see these pretty wild flowers but where on tarnation are the seeds ?
The flower got pollenized and now i want to see the seeds ... where are they ?
I have searched all of the interwebs for the following information:
- where exactly is the seed and how do you extract it;
- what kind of seed is it (orthodox or recalcitrant) and how best to store it for next season's planting;
- how to germinate it (scarification - cold treatment - light treatment - depth of sowing);

I have put up a database of plants for my zone 6-7 but plenty of stuff is missing from it.
So, if you can direct me to where i can find this info or maybe paste it here it would be peachy.
The info is harder to obtain especially for wild or less cultivated species and particularly for those with minute flowers.
 
Tyler Ludens
pollinator
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Location: Central Texas USA Latitude 30 Zone 8
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Different kinds of plants have seeds in different locations on the plant, so you have to study up a bit about the plants you want to collect in order to know where to find the seeds. Of course the seeds are going to be where the flower was, but that varies as to plant, some will have a showy flower and then a seedpod you can't find easily. Some plants disperse their seeds when ripe so if you miss the magic moment all you'll be doing is collecting empty husks. Best thing is to gather some regional wildflower guide books and study up on the kinds. If the books don't give enough information you can usually find more on the internet if you learn the Latin name from the books.

Here's a guide on how to collect wildflower seeds: http://www.sustland.umn.edu/implement/wildflower.htm

I've been collecting a lot of native seeds lately so this is an interesting thread to me!
 
Jordan Lowery
pollinator
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Location: zone 7
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Like said all plants set seed differently, some similar so that helps.

I find the best way is to watch the earliest flower, watch it get pollinated and then observe observe observe daily. Once you learn each plants secret you will have the skills imbedded in your head in no time.

Also keep in mind some plants are best propagated by means other than seed. So first I would do some research on the different ways of propagation, then learn the plant your dealing with and apply the best method for that specific plant.
 
Ionel Catanescu
Posts: 84
Location: Timisoara, Romania, 45N, 21E, Z6-7
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Thank you for your answers.

I try to learn as fast as i can. My wife understands my "interests" of seeing plant's innards but sometimes she says i have to stop on plants and look up the toddler ...
So i don't lack practice actually. You might make fun of me when i rub plenty of plant parts to see where they stick they're un-bourne young but it gives me ideas.
Even today i came home with 3 boxes filled with "seedheads".

But these things aside, what about the other issues (orthodoxy, light for germination, is cold going to kill the seed, etc) ?
 
Tyler Ludens
pollinator
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Those questions are beyond my technical ability. I store most seeds in the refrigerator....

Some seeds need light to germinate, some need darkness, you'll have to try to find out by studying up on each plant....
 
John Polk
steward
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Location: Currently in Lake Stevens, WA. Home in Spokane
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Bun venit Ionel.

If these are native plants you are thinking about, it should be fairly easy.
Wild flowers generally set/drop seeds at the end of the growing season.
These seeds then overwinter, and germinate in the spring.

So, if you are collecting them, and taking them home to save for next spring, you should try to imitate your local winter.
This usually means putting them in the refrigerator for a few months prior to planting.

As far as planting depth, a good general rule is to plant them 2x - 3x their size...a 10mm seed would be planted 20-30mm deep.

Scarification could be a little trickier, as some seeds do need to be passed through a bird, or other wildlife in order to help break down the hard coating. If in doubt, try soaking them in warm water overnight before planting.

If it is trees/shrubs you are trying to grow, may I suggest this site:
http://www.treeshrubseeds.com/catalog.asp

They have one of the most diverse selections of anybody in the U.S. If you click on any species, a smaller window will open, and it gives good information on whether the seed needs special treatment (scarification or 'cold' treatment. etc.). They also show minimum/maximum hardiness zones that the trees do well in. The site gives good info on thousands of varieties.

Noroc, John



 
John Polk
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Forgot to include this link to a free, downloadable booklet on seed saving:

http://www.seedalliance.org/uploads/publications/Seed_Saving_Guide.pdf

 
Ionel Catanescu
Posts: 84
Location: Timisoara, Romania, 45N, 21E, Z6-7
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Thanks guys

I'm on my way to updating my database.
 
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