What I want to understand is whether seeds need to ripen on the plant. Seeds that ripen on the plant eventually spill or shoot out of the seed pod. Until the pod opens by itself, I presume the seeds are not ready. So, will the seeds ripen and the pods open if picked before then?
I just started saving seeds this year. When I was at Gwens
house she had georgette bags tied on some of her plants to collect the seeds. I thought that was a god idea. You can get them at most craft stores.
It will be fun to see if any of my seeds grow.
It is best to let them ripen on the plant. The bagging thing really works if you have seeds that spew out the minute the pod opens. I use old nylons for mine, and secure them on with twist ties.
Thanks for the clarification and suggestions. I have already placed a bag over a carrot going to seed. Interestingly, this is its second year. I have no idea if they will come true from seed cuz I don't know what I planted last year, hybrid or not.
I was surprised to find some dark, dense seeds in some Zinnia blooms that I had cut and put into vases. They only had some weeks (2-3? 4?) on the plant and 1-2 weeks in the vase, then almost a week drying.
The only mature-looking seeds were around the periphery of the bloom. The whole inside of each bloom was silky and white - immature, or maybe not pollinated.
Next week I'll do a germination test to determine whether this Zinnia seed from vases is viable.
The seeds that I most want to be as numerous and viabl;e as possible - some orange and yellow Zinnia hybrids - I am leaving on the plants as long as possible. Just now, a few are starting to turn brown.
However, they are also being rained upon rather often. So far, most of the orange Zinnias are still brightly colored and not yet gray and mushy.
But the rain makes it hard to find open, mature Lavatera pods that aren't drenched squishy.
But I just ordered a bunch of scarlet, orange and yellow Zinnias from Hazzards. Separate colors in each packet! Oklahoma, Benary and "Gem" Zinnias. I'll be glad to share, once they arrive.
Interesting Corey. You seem to have observed that the seeds did ripen after being cut from the plant and placed in a vase.
I wish we could pick them prior to ripening on plants. My plants live on my deck where it's very very windy which means any seeds would just fly away. I was told to use cheese cloth but I couldn't find any that would easily catch my tiny seeded plants so I used a mesh product bag Fred Meyers started selling. I also dry catnip buds and herbs in them because the seeds won't fall out onto the floor :-D
Those bags are nice for produce, but what a great use for them also.
I do think they must have continued to ripen in the vase, since they had so little time on the plant. But I don't truly know for sure. And I need to do a germination test after they've had a few weeks to "age", if that might be a factor.
What I am sure of is that I can cut still-colorfull zinnia blooms, enjoy them for a while in a vase indoors, and STILL find a few seeds per bloom.
Anything to beat the rain!
I ordered some organza bags for catching fine seed, but this year I've only had seeds on plants that hold on to them un til they rot, rather than dry up and blow away. I've put some Anaheim and Thai chili pepers into the big ones to finish drying.
I think this was the link:
Corey, I sometimes get smallish bags like that when I purchase on Etsy. Some ladies there have sent little gifts with purchases. I was thinking of using one of those for some of my poppies but I couldn't find them! Thanks for posting the link :D
Willowwind2 they really are great for Produce too. I bought a few packages of them for both produce and for gardening use. Unfortunately after I covered some plants my son swiped the last few to make a pretend bagpipe with lol.
Would these organza bags or old nylons work for catching oriental poppy seeds? we probably all have nylons and can find those in our hosery/sock drawer..non-matching mates. They would be less visable than the organza bags I would think. Could you tie the nylon on with gardening twine? Rubberband would probably melt in the summer heat. Maybe you'd have to twist two twist'em ties together? Would love to hear about your success and experience with this method of seed gathering. What seeds have you collected this way?
This message was edited May 31, 2011 1:14 PM
I have no experience yet, just intentions. But some poppies have VERY fine seeds!
This fall, I hope to have many varieties of Lobelia go to seed ... assuming they get up offtheir butt and FLOWER! We're having a, long, slow, cold Spring.
Corey, What size organza bags did you order and what color?
One nice thing about organza bags is thqat they have a drawstring, and you can be gentle.
The color was "whatever". I think mostly white.
But for really thin, wide open insect netting, like open nylon mesh, "black" seems to disappear better from a distance. Zen_Guy from the hybridizers forum suggested that, BUT you have to sew.
I got a few "bottle-sized" orgaqnza bags to slip over a whole branch.
But I mostly use them to store and display Anaheim and hot peppers.
It turns out that any fall-maturing seeds where I live have to compete with rain and mold to be saved!
Patti1957 (from another website) pointed out that organza bags are very reasonable from this site, which has order sizes around 30 or 10.
I think I got:
3"x 4" Flat Organza Bags 30 bags / $2.70
4"x 6" Flat Organza Bags 30 bags / $3.90
6-1/2"x 15" Organza Wine Bags 10 bags / $3.90
If you want to protect a whole branch from insect pollinators, consider cheap nylon mesh (1/8th inch?) from a fabric or craft store. But seeds would fall right through it. Or drape spun fabric floating row cover cloth to keep SOME insects out. MAYBE row cover cloth could be draped under the whole row of plants, to collect whatever falls, like seeds.
I was thinking, if I had any seed mature during the dry summer, to lay down newspaper and paper plates, then shake the flowers, and see what falls out. (I haven't tried this yet - it may be totally impractical. Especially for salvia, which they SAY has only 1-2 seeds per floret, and that they really cling.
Hope this helps. I'll need to learn how, if I hope to collect that dust-like seed from Lobelia! So far I've only lost one of them to slugs.
Somebody on the poppy forum suggested Oriental trading and I looked at that website and found those pretty little organza bags, in several colors and sizes but I think you pay like $10 for 50 bags. your place sounds more reasonable and practical. You could use those organza bags for a lot of things..storing jewelry, special coins. Wonder what other flowerseeds one could catch in those organza bags to make them worthwhile buying that many? Maybe some others can think of other uses for them or flowerseeds they've captured in them. What color did you order? I've seen people give a bottle of wine or champayne to a hostess in those organza bags and they look so pretty.
I just went to the craft store and bought some. About 79 cents a bag. They are the small ones that they use at weddings for the gift for the guests or to put rose petals in.
I'll look down at Michael's which is only a mile away. Use my 40% coupon on them. Might come out better than ordering online and don't have to pay shipping cost but those are so light, it should cost hardly much. Shucks, they could fit into a padded envelope or legal size envelope. One of the websites had them in moss green, which would blend in with the foliage of plants better.
I guess it gets down to how many you need. I don't collect many seeds so 5 or 6 was more than needed. I found them in the wedding stuff. Shipping and handling can kill the affects of a good price. Good luck
I'm thinking the same way as you about shipping cost. Michael's is only 1 mile away so I can swing by there sometime and check for them. That one place had them for like 7 cents each but I couldn't figure out what the cost of shipping would be. Maybe I will call their 800# "Curiosity killed the cat!"
I think these guys are "$7.50 S+H per order" which makes a group buy a good deal.
Of course, then the group-buy-people pay ~ $2.15 to ship anything to each other!
>> 3"x 4" Flat Organza Bags 30 bags / $2.70
>> 4"x 6" Flat Organza Bags 30 bags / $3.90
If I'm right that I have a bunch of these stuffed away, I would share them for about 10 cents each plus postage, but a bubble mailer + postage comes to $2.15, and Michaels might beat that price for a small number!
But the few big bottle-sized ones I want to hold on to.
Hmmm. Or I would trade organza bags for a biggish bag of some saved seeds for the "Free Seed for New Bees" thread in the Seed Trading forum! Anything we don't already have, especially shade-tolerant, Zone-6-hardy, or OP vegetables (or commercial vegetables from 2009 or younger).