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Seed Collecting Time of Year

11/01/2019

At Sheffield’s Seed, we are always searching the globe for seed sources.

Plants have incredible adapting mechanisms. They rely on wind, water or animals to distribute their seeds, these dispersal methods proven over time, are successful in reproducing the next generation of the species. 

Many plants produce seed that matures in the fall. Collecting when the seed is ripe and fully developed is important. 

As the flower fades away, the base starts to swell and form a seed chamber.  As the seeds inside mature,  the plant keeps feeding the seed during so ideally they should not be harvested until they are mature and fully developed.

 Seed collecting recommendations:

1. Choose the best quality plant to harvest seed
2. Monitor seed for maturity.
3. Collect over a period of time as not all seeds ripen at the same time
also this increases the chance of seed germination and plant survival 
4. The collection period is highly variable among species, ranging from only a few days to several weeks or longer.
5.  Fruits are often eaten by animals, and birds open seed pods to get at the seed so, do not wait too long or you will miss out.

There are three main types of seed that you are most common: hard capsule, fleshy fruit and achene.  Normally seeds with a dry seed coat, or husk of some kind, turn from green to tan or brown color when mature. When cut in half, the inside of the seed should be firm white or green, in most cases. Seeds contained in a fleshy fruit such as apples and cherries should have soft fruit with seeds containing firm white meat inside.
Storage: 
Some seeds will need to be stored in a refrigerator to match winter conditions. And some will just need to be stored in a dry, cool spot.

Research your species to find out how to store.
My Plant did not Produce Seed. Why?

  1. Immature plants - Will not flower or seed
  2. Unhealthy plants - Even if they flower they may not have the energy to make seed
  3. Sterile Plants - Like seedless watermelon, the genetics prevent seed formation
  4. Lack of Pollinators - Plants need to pollinated to make seed, external pollinators may not be available at the right time and the seed will not form 
  5. Missing Mate - Some plants are male or female, males do not make seed. If female plants have no mate in the area there is no pollination and no seed. 


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