Seed Cleaning Sieves: Good ideas!

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Seed Cleaning Sieves

By RickCorey
November 21, 2012

Seeds can be separated from chaff using kitchen strainers, window screening, hardware cloth (wire mesh) and spice jars.

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Name: Caroline Scott
Calgary (Zone 4a)
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CarolineScott
Nov 21, 2012 5:56 AM CST
Thanks on the instructions for seed screens.
I have been using kitchen strainers.
Name: shirlee
southeast (Zone 6b)
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mistyfog
Nov 21, 2012 10:16 AM CST
Many great ideas. Thanks. I use a tea strainer for tomato seeds.
Name: Lynn
Dallas, OR (Zone 8b)
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valleylynn
Nov 21, 2012 12:03 PM CST
Great tip. Thumbs up
Name: Rick Corey
Everett WA 98204 (Zone 8a)
Sunset Zone 5. Koppen Csb. Eco 2f
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RickCorey
Nov 21, 2012 9:34 PM CST
Thanks very much.

I got the "PVC DWV Sewer & Drain Adapters " idea from someone else:

Those make it super-easy.

http://davesgarden.com/community/blogs/t/Katlian/10997/

Yet another person gave me the idea to use embroidery hoops with window screening. As long as the seeds are bigger than 1/24 th inch, that is great for removing dust and tiny chaff.

And fabric shops have many kinds of cheap mesh "fabric" like 8-per-inch black nylon mesh. That is MUCH cheaper than stainless steel wire cloth!

For me, the frustrating part is when I break up flower-heads TOO MUCH, and get lots of chaff that is the same size as my seeds.

So now I try to shake the seeds out gently at first. If I get "enough seeds" that way, I stop and have very clean seed with little effort. But if I want more seed, I have to break up the flower-heads, and then separate seeds from chaff and dust.
[Last edited by RickCorey - Jul 30, 2013 2:59 PM (+)]
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Name: shirlee
southeast (Zone 6b)
Daylilies Garden Photography Hybridizer Butterflies Clematis Dragonflies
Pollen collector Herbs Seed Starter Vegetable Grower Composter Garden Ideas: Level 1
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mistyfog
Nov 21, 2012 10:33 PM CST
I have some of that fabric. It would work really well now that you have suggested it,
and planted that idea in my brain. Yes, I have had problems with chaff from
flower heads too, especially with the tiny seeds. Thanks!
Name: Rick Corey
Everett WA 98204 (Zone 8a)
Sunset Zone 5. Koppen Csb. Eco 2f
I helped beta test the first seed swap Plant and/or Seed Trader Seed Starter Region: Pacific Northwest Photo Contest Winner: 2014 Vegetable Grower
Avid Green Pages Reviewer Garden Ideas: Master Level Garden Sages I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! I helped plan and beta test the plant database. Charter ATP Member
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RickCorey
Nov 27, 2012 6:40 PM CST
Thanks for the kind words!

My biggest "discovery" was that, if I grow and collect LOTS of seeds, cleaning becomes much easier. I just keep whatever falls easily out of the flowerheads, and throw the rest away. No chaff, no dust.

Thumb of 2012-11-28/RickCorey/9d7f95 Thumb of 2012-11-28/RickCorey/8eaae8 Thumb of 2012-11-28/RickCorey/5598c6

I made some tiny scoops for dust-like seed. Soda straws, slit and wrapped around a chopstick or bamboo skewer or thin wooden dowel, then taped down. If you only tape the plastic to itself, not to the bamboo, you can slide the plastic straw in or out to make the scoop bigger or smaller.

But now I like the stainless steel 1/64th tsp I got from Amazon, instead of soda straws. The only exception would be if I cut the soda straw to a sharp point. That lets me pick up a TINY amount of seed, then tilt the chopstick up so the seeds are held safely in the "scoop" part, instead of falling off the edge or tip.

Thumb of 2012-11-28/RickCorey/aab1ad Thumb of 2012-11-28/RickCorey/bd13b0 Thumb of 2012-11-28/RickCorey/3a4b16
[Last edited by RickCorey - Feb 13, 2014 12:45 PM (+)]
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