Marking Seed Pods

alameda/zone 8July 20, 2014

I went to a lot of trouble marking my seed crosses with hang tags bought from an office supply store - they are paper tags with strings attached. By the time the seeds ripened, many of the tags had gotten wet and fallen off the string - now I have only the pod parent name. There has to be a better way to mark these seed crosses. Any suggestions?

Also would like suggestions on marking the individual small containers that I will plant the young seedlings in. If I cover then in saran wrap before germination, there is no way to mark them. Would like suggestions on this also.

Thanks for any help!

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I use telephone cable wire to identify the pollen parent. The wires inside the telephone cable are a mass of different colored wires. The wires are cut to 3.5" in length. Each pollen parent is assigned it's own unique color, and then put on a master list. When I gather the ripe pods, I find the wire color on my master list and know exactly what pollen parent was used.

I use 18 oz. plastic cups (poke holes in the bottom for drainage. I fill the cups with moist potting soil, and place the germinated seeds in tiny holes (made with pencil point) rootlet end down. I can still see about half of the black seed above soil level. I will plant 5-7 seeds in the cup, I mark the cross on the cup using an identi pen. I then will water sparingly, and place a plastic sandwich bag over the cup, and use a rubber band to secure. I allow the bag excess to stay above the rim of the cup.....lift the rubber band away from the edge of the cup and blow a little air into the bag. The top of the bag inflates....the rubber band traps the air in.....and you have mini greenhouse for your seedlings. I remove the bag when the seedling are 2-3" tall. Hope this was helpful.


    Bookmark   July 20, 2014 at 2:49PM
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shive(6b TN)

Since my supplier of plastic bread tags went out of business, I have been using colored paper clips to keep tract of pollen parents. But I don't have too many crosses this season because I was out of town for a couple of weeks, then it was too hot or too rainy for crosses to take. It looks like I'll finally get some of the seeds stored in my vegetable crisper planted next year.

I plant my seeds in plastic cups with plastic bags the same way Linda does. I write the name of the cross on the cup with a permanent paint marker.


    Bookmark   July 20, 2014 at 2:55PM
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You can use colored wire or even paper tags if you use the coated type. Maybe putting a piece of clear tape over your cross would make them last long enough to harvest. I eventually went to plastic tags, like from Kwik Lok or others. Use a soft lead pencil, #1 or #2 to write your cross on the tag. I have an artist's pencil with extra big lead. Makes writing easier. You can reuse the plastic tags, cleaning them with a Magic Eraser.
I plant my seeds using a preformed flat that holds 20, 3 1/2" square pots, 4" high. I plant the seeds, 5 maximum to a pot. I use Sta Green potting mix with moisture control. I use chop sticks to make a hole and then push a seed down into the hole at least 1/2 inch deep. I mark the crosses with vinyl mini blinds about 7" long with the same pencil. Mark front to back, and left to right. You must be consistent. Keep the flat moist and in the shade. When temps get into the 70 - 80 degree range, the seeds wills start to germinate after about 7-14 days.
If you suspect you might suffer storm or other damage, then label the flat and make a map of the crosses.
Good luck, Ed

    Bookmark   July 21, 2014 at 11:42AM
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