Purple prairie coneflower, harvesting seeds

rollie(4a)August 30, 2006

What stage should I cut the head if i want to harvest/dry the seeds?

They are just losing their color now, and starting to drop thier petals..

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ladyslppr(z6 PA)

Wait until the tops are thoroughly dry and brown. At that point the seeds will be ripe and ready to fall out of the nooks they are in. I generally put the cut heads into a bucket and let them dry further in the garage. After a month or two I can then shake the heads and get most of the seeds out. After shaking I will break up a few to convince myself that shaking is getting most of the seeds out.

Almost all seeds are most easily collected after they have completely dried on the plant. The few exceptions are seeds that disperse soon after ripening, such as dandelions, which would be easier to collect a day or two before they were ready to fly. Most flowers or seed pods turn a dry brown or straw color when the seeds are ripe, and the seed are generally black, brown, or straw colored and their coats harden. Some seeds become quite hard while others, such as grass seeds, are not especially hard, but in almost every case the ripe seed is a lot harder than the soft immature seed.

    Bookmark   August 31, 2006 at 8:23AM
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rollie(4a)

Thank you, thats what I thought, but just wanted to confirm.

Here is a link that might be useful: Flower pics.

    Bookmark   August 31, 2006 at 10:29AM
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huzzah

i have had the best luck cutting the heads off as soon as the petals fade and the heads start to lose color.
if i wait , the finches will eat all the seeds out of he head.

    Bookmark   September 2, 2006 at 5:38PM
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rollie(4a)

Ok, Thanks for the information so far.

Now that I have them collected, and separated, what should I do with them? I have them wrapped in a cloth towel, hanging in the potting shed from the rafters. Should I leave them out for the winter or bring them inside.

And what about getting them started next spring.

What should I do and when.

Thanks for the information.

What should I fertilize the existing bed with next spring?

This is a new property for me, and I dont know whats been done in the past.

    Bookmark   October 24, 2006 at 4:31PM
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bubbleoffplumb(z6 NY)

rollie
another option to get those seeds out is to soak the seed heads for a few hours - not overnight!
softens things up a bit and the seeds come out very easily.
this method may be better earlier in the season.
about a month or so ago, they pulled right off the plant for me - no problem.
below is a great site for seed information -identifying, harvesting, sowing etc, etc...

I really enjoyed looking at your photos - NICE place!

Here is a link that might be useful: Seed Site

    Bookmark   October 24, 2006 at 6:04PM
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