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how to collect grass seed?

Posted by KristenC WA (My Page) on
Mon, Sep 12, 05 at 21:17

After searching forums and nurseries for a good ornamental grass to use in my floral bouquets, I was hit with one of life's little ironies. Underneath the bird feeder grew some wonderful grass with gorgeous seed heads and a great upright habit! (We also often get sunflowers in the same spot!) My partner wants to pull it out as soon as the flower season is over because he is afraid it will be invasive. So, I was wondering, what is the best way to gather the seeds? Do I wait until the grass gets dry, or can I bring in some seed heads now and dry them inside? If I can save some seeds then I can plant them in a large pot next year and we will both be happy!

Of course, I could just throw a handful of the bird seed into a pot but one is apt to get all sorts of things growing that way! thanks for your help...

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RE: how to collect grass seed?

  • Posted by Donn_ Z7, GSB, LI, NY (My Page) on
    Tue, Sep 13, 05 at 5:57

Kristen - you need to let the seeds ripen on the stalk. They're ready to harvest when they just fall off in your hand, and a good way to collect them is with a large paper bag. Bend the flower stalk down so the seed head is in the bag, and gently shake it back and forth, catching the seeds. Then dry them on a paper plate indoors for a couple of weeks, before storing them in a cool dry location.

Your partner may be right about invasiveness. There are a few annual millets used in birdseed, that can be very invasive. I grew some this year that I got in a trade. It's called Giant Foxtail, and is a lovely upright plant with beautiful foxtail seed heads. I cut it down a few weeks ago, so the seeds wouldn't ripen, and it's already sent up new foliage and seed heads.

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