Author Topic: Storing seed once collected  (Read 1539 times)

poppy girl

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Storing seed once collected
« on: December 13, 2016, 10:08:01 AM »
What advice from experienced growers would they give on best way to store seed once collected?

At the moment I collect  the seed capsules and store them in a paper bag on the window ledge for a few days.  I feel I need to give it those  few days to ensure it is dry enough before harvesting the seed. I then store the collected, cleaned seed in a paper bag in a plastic lidded container in the fridge. I used to put everything directly in to the fridge but found sometimes I had some mould on the seeds once the bag was opened again.

ALSO,  sometimes there can be tiny insects in the seed capsules and you don't want them to get in to your fridge! so leaving the bag open on the window ledge allows them to get out.

I mark the plastic container with a bright red marker with all sorts of warnings, keep out! do not throw away! and most importantly, do not open seeds inside! as you just never know what other family members may open the box and spill everything or worse still throw the box out thinking its old food that has been in there for months.

AliceB

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Re: Storing seed once collected
« Reply #1 on: December 13, 2016, 12:15:45 PM »
At the risk of getting excommunicated I never use paper bags as they can attract damp, even on the windowsill if there is condensation in the kitchen. I collect in a wide open plastic container and leave open topped somewhere dry. Once I am happy with the seed it goes in to glassine envelopes with name date etc then in to a glass jar in the frig.

Meconopsis_Matt

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Re: Storing seed once collected
« Reply #2 on: December 13, 2016, 05:30:29 PM »
Just to put my limited knowledge to the topic. I learned from some long time collectors and they put the harvested seed/pods or whatever onto little plates and place them on a bright window sill for a few days so they can dry out then they are packaged and put in the fridge... MH
Matt Heasman

AliceB

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Re: Storing seed once collected
« Reply #3 on: December 13, 2016, 06:23:14 PM »
Sounds the same idea - dry fresh air to complete the process.

Blue Stu

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Re: Storing seed once collected
« Reply #4 on: December 13, 2016, 09:37:42 PM »
I agree with leaving the seed to mature in a dry cool place before packing it up & putting it into the fridge. i've read that wild collected seed hasn't the germination rate that own collected seed has, we have the advantage of having more time & better conditions.

Allan Jamieson

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Re: Storing seed once collected
« Reply #5 on: January 06, 2017, 11:53:03 AM »
I dry the seed capsules out for a few weeks in bowls and then carefully demolish the capsules and hopefully squeeze all of the seeds out before putting them into small home made paper envelopes. I just take a little white square bit of paper from a desk notepad fold it roughly in half with an overlapping edge and then fold the two sides together, tape them down, put a caption on it and then seal the flap down. Costs virtually nothing and I just put them inside a kitchen drawer, never bothered with the fridge or jars and to be honest have never had any issues with seed germination whatsoever but just do whatever works for you. I will need to get these seeds planted within the next few weeks though, I'm looking forward to seeing what arises from last years hybridising attempts, only time will tell on that one!

Peter Kohn

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Re: Storing seed once collected
« Reply #6 on: January 06, 2017, 02:13:29 PM »
Obviously what I do is wrong, but it seems to work. I wait until seed is really ripe and catch it just before it would naturally sow itself. Collection is into brown paper envelopes with the corners taped down. Seeds will often, but not always, sit on the table or windowsill or in my seed collection 'bumbag' in case more seed is available. Eventually, or if I have collected everything for that species, immediately seed goes into the fridge in a sealed plastic box with several sachets of silica gel.  This gives me very high viability for Lingholm and baileyi and seems to work well enough for most other species. I agree that it is essential not to let the seeds get too damp and brown paper envelopes do breathe well,

Allan Jamieson

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Re: Storing seed once collected
« Reply #7 on: January 06, 2017, 10:24:08 PM »
I'd say the one key thing is getting the seeds dry enough before you store them, I even used to store some in the now long gone 35mm plastic film containers and that seemed to work fairly well. Think one time I left some seeds for over a year in the greenhouse exposed to all kinds of extreme temperatures and they still germinated fairly well!

Back in 2001 Evelyn Stevens asked me to try to grow various Meconopsis seeds, mainly Lingholm types plus various commercial seeds from companies like Thompson & Morgan, without exception the commercial seeds all nicely packaged were a waste of time and often completely wrongly named, germination was barely 10% with many of these packets whilst my home saved seeds and other seeds supplied to me by Evelyn had virtually 100% germination and even after germination the seedlings ex commercial seeds didn't really grow all that well either.