Seeds forum: Don't forget seed photos

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Name: Karen
Cincinnati, Oh (Zone 6a)
Forum moderator I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Cut Flowers Winter Sowing Charter ATP Member Seed Starter
Echinacea Plant and/or Seed Trader Region: Ohio Region: United States of America Butterflies Hummingbirder
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kqcrna
Aug 13, 2013 5:21 AM CST

Moderator

At this time of year, many plants are setting seeds. Don't forget to get some photos for the database.

Karen
Name: Caroline Scott
Calgary (Zone 4a)
Charter ATP Member Region: Canadian Bulbs Winter Sowing Enjoys or suffers cold winters Lilies
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CarolineScott
Aug 14, 2013 5:50 AM CST
Yes, photos of seeds are an important part of any plant data base.
A good over the winter project as we order seeds,
and also a fall project as we collect seeds from our gardens.

Add a coin beside the seed so we can get an idea of the size of the seed.
[Last edited by CarolineScott - Aug 19, 2013 10:58 PM (+)]
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Name: Greene
Savannah, GA (Sunset 28) (Zone 8b)
Rabbit Keeper Critters Allowed Celebrating Gardening: 2015 Plant Identifier Garden Ideas: Master Level Garden Sages
Herbs Region: Georgia Region: United States of America Native Plants and Wildflowers Dog Lover Composter
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greene
Aug 26, 2013 10:09 PM CST
@kqcrna, Thanks for the reminder; I harvested and uploaded some seed and pod photos yesterday.

@CarolineScott, sorry I forgot to add the coin. Next time I'll remember.
Sunset Zone 28, AHS Heat Zone 9, USDA zone 8b~~"Leaf of Faith"
Name: Karen
Cincinnati, Oh (Zone 6a)
Forum moderator I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Cut Flowers Winter Sowing Charter ATP Member Seed Starter
Echinacea Plant and/or Seed Trader Region: Ohio Region: United States of America Butterflies Hummingbirder
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kqcrna
Aug 27, 2013 6:19 AM CST

Moderator

Probably not necessary for most seeds, but sometimes it helps new seed savers to know what they should be looking for.

Karen
Name: Jonna
Belgium, Europe (Zone 6a)
Sedums Winter Sowing Organic Gardener Native Plants and Wildflowers Region: Belgium Region: Europe
I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Seed Starter Plant and/or Seed Trader Salvias Herbs Cut Flowers
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JonnaSudenius
Aug 27, 2013 1:46 PM CST
I already planned it to do it during the long winter we have. Hope my camara is good enough to take pictures of the sometimes very tiny seeds.
Only have to find out which European coin has the same size as the coins that are used in the USA. Any suggestions of people who were in Europe and have 'Euro's' left are welcome. Or tell me, which coin is used. I will have some trades with people from the USA the next few weeks, so maybe I can ask them to send me a coin too (if it's not too expensive).
Name: Greene
Savannah, GA (Sunset 28) (Zone 8b)
Rabbit Keeper Critters Allowed Celebrating Gardening: 2015 Plant Identifier Garden Ideas: Master Level Garden Sages
Herbs Region: Georgia Region: United States of America Native Plants and Wildflowers Dog Lover Composter
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greene
Aug 27, 2013 2:07 PM CST
You could also use a pencil, Biro/pen or scale/ruler in the photo for comparison.
Sunset Zone 28, AHS Heat Zone 9, USDA zone 8b~~"Leaf of Faith"
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
Aug 27, 2013 5:07 PM CST
I like a skinny ruler with both mm and 1/16th inches.

Thumb of 2013-08-27/RickCorey/3b21db

Is there some very widely known, uniform size seeds like petunia, broccoli and radish? Then we could say "a little bigger than petunia" or "almost as big as broccoli".

We could glue 10 seeds of each "standard variety" onto white index cards and share them around, like the National Bureau of Standards.

Or, here's another idea that is technically accurate, but useless to 99.9% of gardeners. I mean, who has 5-10 grades of wire cloth handy?

If you have a collection of hardware cloth in mesh sizes like 60, 30, 26, 22, 18, 16, 12 and 10, you can make a stack, drop the seeds in the top, and just shake. Then look to see which screes they passed through, and which screens are holding most of the seeds.

Then the size could be reported as "mostly passes through 22 mesh", or
"stops at 26 and 30 mesh".
(22 or 30 wires per inch, square openings around 0.045" or 0.033")

- Most window screening is 24 mesh (I think) I found some at 18x14 threads per inch
- Kitchen strainers are mostly either around 18 mesh or 30 mesh.
- Fabric stores have cheap "mesh" fabric at 8 threads per inch, and maybe some other sizes. - You can make a nice strainer with windows screening or fabric plus an embroidery hoop.

Maybe, for medium-small seeds, we could photograph them with a "standard window screen" of 24 mesh. Then for small seeds, you could see how many fit loosely into a .042" square (1.06 mm square). For larger seeds, you could compare them to what is almost a 1 mm grid.


Thumb of 2013-08-27/RickCorey/15d07b Thumb of 2013-08-27/RickCorey/262327 Thumb of 2013-08-27/RickCorey/2e0894


Thumb of 2013-08-27/RickCorey/039001 Thumb of 2013-08-27/RickCorey/de0c65

Name: Karen
Cincinnati, Oh (Zone 6a)
Forum moderator I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Cut Flowers Winter Sowing Charter ATP Member Seed Starter
Echinacea Plant and/or Seed Trader Region: Ohio Region: United States of America Butterflies Hummingbirder
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kqcrna
Aug 27, 2013 5:34 PM CST

Moderator

Umm... yeah.... I think most folks are unfamiliar with sizes of different screen material. And new gardeners are likely to be unfamiliar with even easy seeds like petunia. It's possible some people have only grown pelleted petunia, or maybe none at all.

Veteran seed savers can generally identify seeds after a few years of collecting them. It's the beginners who might find pictures helpful. I know they helped me a lot as a newbie. Something of well-known size like a coin might be of added value, but really, a simple photo of most seeds is pretty adequate without any size comparison I think.

In some cases including chaff in the same photo, labeled as such, might be helpful. e.g.sometimes beginners can't differentiate between chaff and seeds in echinacea cones. Displaying both, labeled, in a photo makes the difference obvious.

Karen
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
Aug 27, 2013 6:01 PM CST
>> Displaying both, labeled, in a photo makes the difference obvious.

I agree! I wasn't sure what was what in alyssum seeds until after I tried germinating some "chaff" on a coffee filter. It seemed to have around 500% germination, so lots of things were seeds that I didn't THINK were seeds.

By the way, the PVC shells for my seed sieves are PVC DWV Sewer & Drain Adapters ("DWV" is the key word).

I got the idea from Katlien over in DG years ago:
http://davesgarden.com/community/blogs/t/Katlian/10997/

I wrote a rather poor "Idea" about using hardware cloth to sieve seeds. I wish I could edit that and add photos!
http://garden.org/ideas/view/RickCorey/648/Seed-Cleaning-Sie...


Name: Arlene
Grantville, GA (Zone 8a)
Greenhouse Region: Georgia Garden Sages Organic Gardener Beekeeper Vegetable Grower
Seed Starter Cut Flowers Composter Keeper of Poultry Keeps Goats Avid Green Pages Reviewer
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abhege
Aug 27, 2013 6:14 PM CST
Of course you are in the .01 percentile. Rolling on the floor laughing Rolling on the floor laughing Rolling on the floor laughing Rolling on the floor laughing
Name: Greene
Savannah, GA (Sunset 28) (Zone 8b)
Rabbit Keeper Critters Allowed Celebrating Gardening: 2015 Plant Identifier Garden Ideas: Master Level Garden Sages
Herbs Region: Georgia Region: United States of America Native Plants and Wildflowers Dog Lover Composter
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greene
Aug 27, 2013 6:56 PM CST
It seems to me that a lot of what we add is for the benefit of the people new to gardening, new to seed saving. Many times we get to be 'know-it-alls' and we forget that we were once begging for information to help us have better gardens. We don't need to talk down to the new people, but we should remember to always include them.
(And when I refer to 'new people' I also mean 'me' because there is so much more I can learn each and every day.)
Sunset Zone 28, AHS Heat Zone 9, USDA zone 8b~~"Leaf of Faith"
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
Aug 27, 2013 7:03 PM CST
I agree with all of that:

- we should remember to stay helpful to beginners
- I often forget
- I'm a perennial beginner
Name: Arlene
Grantville, GA (Zone 8a)
Greenhouse Region: Georgia Garden Sages Organic Gardener Beekeeper Vegetable Grower
Seed Starter Cut Flowers Composter Keeper of Poultry Keeps Goats Avid Green Pages Reviewer
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abhege
Aug 27, 2013 7:14 PM CST
Some times I venture over to other forums and get really intimidated because I have no idea what they are talking about. *Blush*
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
Aug 27, 2013 7:30 PM CST
I don't see how anyone can become an expert in every aspect of gardening unless they live to be 399 years old. And by then, most of what they know will have been out-of-date by 200 years!

Maybe four or five years ago, when talking about gardening, I thought that "flowers, or vegetables?" was a detailed question.

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