Handling Castor Bean Seeds

lookingglassgarden(6/7Va)September 9, 2005

I want to trade my Castor Bean Seeds now that the pods are starting to dry up and they are looking about ready. Do I need to wear gloves to handle the seeds?

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Hey, don't take any of the following for advice. It is intended ONLY for reference. Results may vary depending upon one's habits regarding fiddling about the face with one's fingers. AND WASH YOUR HANDS AFTER HANDLING POISONOUS SEEDS.

Okay, I grow Castor Beans for ornamentals. I grow them from saved seeds every year. I shuck the seeds out of the dried pods all at one time ... say about 45 - 48 or so seeds should be enough for me and anyone who cares for a few. Each pod has three seeds.

I don't wear gloves while shucking the seeds, but I am careful not to fiddle about my eyes, nose, mouth, or tender parts with my fingers until I thoroughly wash my hands after shucking the seeds.

I have always had about 100% germination because I closely examine each seed to ensure that it has dark mottling on a semi-gloss pinkish grey background. The seed should also "not feel light" since that indicates hollowness. The dull looking flat grey seeds with dull dark mottling are junk.

I also recommend MARKING the container "POISONOUS SEEDS" and even putting a skull and crossed bones on the lable. I use a paper sack and store the seeds out in my garage to prevent mold. Keep the daggone things well out of the reach of kids and pets, and don't trade or give them to persons who might let kids or pets come in contact with them.

I start them in containers to keep them up out of the reach of kids in the spring until I plant the starts in the ground. I've grown them in 5-gallon containers with good results, too.

Make sure and throw old seed away because you will not have crop failure, and the old seed just increases the likelihood of you forgetting where you put it and some kid getting ahold of it. I know it's tempting to save the seed forever since it cost 1.59 for 3 dang seeds in the store, but don't do it.

Be careful. Bill

    Bookmark   September 9, 2005 at 2:22PM
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Why not just trade the pods? Let the traders clean the few seeds they are receiving instead of you cleaning a bunch of them.

    Bookmark   September 25, 2005 at 7:15AM
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