Prickly Seed Pods?: Love this tip!

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Prickly Seed Pods?

By greene
December 17, 2013

Last year I removed seeds from some dry, prickly Leonotis seed pods - with my bare hands. Ouch! Having learned from my mistakes, when I was fortunate enough to gather more pods this year, I tried to remove the seeds while wearing gloves. Alas, I was not destined to be a brain surgeon and was all thumbs. I needed a better idea...

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Name: Lin
Florida (Zone 9b)
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plantladylin
Dec 16, 2013 6:04 PM CST
Where there's a will there's a way ... love it!
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Name: Ann ~Heat zn 9, Sunset
North Fl. (Zone 8b)
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flaflwrgrl
Dec 16, 2013 6:29 PM CST
Me too! Thumbs up
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Name: Rick Corey
Everett WA 98204 (Zone 8a)
Sunset Zone 5. Koppen Csb. Eco 2f
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RickCorey
Dec 16, 2013 7:20 PM CST
I agree with your method! Just be sure the jar is plastic, not glass!

Start shaking fairly gently, and as soon as you have 2/3rds or 3/4 as many seeds as you want, pour those out into a separate bowl or cup before you continue shaking. They are probably clean enough "as is".

Continued and harder shaking will make lots more small chaff as it releases a few more seeds, so spare yourself any cleaning of the first 2/3 or 3/4 of the seed.

I trade the cleanest seeds and plant the seeds-with-chaff. That's like mixing fine seeds with white sand: it lets you see where you have or have not sowed thickly enough.

Name: Janice Hurd
Thompsonville Village, Ct. (Zone 6a)
"Where flowers bloom so does hope"
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phoebesviolets
Dec 16, 2013 9:18 PM CST
Delt with pricklies this fall. Love this tip, and love the presentation! Very entertaining! My fingertips Thumbs up thank you!
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Name: Debra
Garland, TX (NE Dallas suburb) (Zone 8a)
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lovemyhouse
Dec 16, 2013 9:42 PM CST
Welcome, Janice! Welcome!

Great idea, starred it. Smiling I tip my hat to you.
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Name: Deb
Pacific Northwest (Zone 8b)
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Bonehead
Dec 16, 2013 10:09 PM CST
Excellent presentation. @Rickcorey, why not glass?
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Name: Jay
Nederland, Texas (Zone 9a)
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Horntoad
Dec 16, 2013 11:42 PM CST
I definitely love this tip? I will be using this next year.
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Name: Michele Roth
N.E. Indiana - Zone 5b
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chelle
Dec 17, 2013 8:40 AM CST
Great tip, Greene! Thumbs up

I still have a bag full of tithonia seed heads to clean, so I'll be trying it very soon. The reason they aren't done yet is because my fingers flat-out refused to touch them again after doing the first batch! Hilarious!
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Name: Debra
Garland, TX (NE Dallas suburb) (Zone 8a)
Service dogs: Angels with paws.
Dragonflies Dog Lover I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Garden Photography Bee Lover Plays in the sandbox
Butterflies Region: Texas I sent a postcard to Randy! Charter ATP Member Annuals Garden Sages
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lovemyhouse
Dec 17, 2013 9:25 AM CST
Deb, if you use metal cylinders like those in the demonstration, the glass jar might break when you shake it up?
If you don't ask, the answer is always 'no.'
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
Dec 17, 2013 2:40 PM CST
Yup, vigorous shaking may break glass even if the heavy objects are not very heavy. That's the only reason I suggested glass and not plastic.

The idea of shaking with heavy objects is a great idea for any really tough seedhead or pod - not just prickly ones.

If you have fall rains like I do, you can't just leave them on the plant until they're ready to fall apart.
Name: Greene
Savannah, GA (Sunset 28) (Zone 8b)
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greene
Dec 17, 2013 9:32 PM CST
Instead of plastic (and or course NOT glass, duh!) I suppose you could use an old cocktail shaker. That would make a very musical sound.

Originally I had intended to use some large fender washers as the weights, but 'someone' was using those as fabric/pattern weights; needing to improvise the first things that came to hand were the sockets and some quarters.

After shaking, I dump the whole mess into a colander and then into a strainer to remove most of the 'junk'. Repeat the process about 3 times until no more seeds appear. Later, I dump the contents of the colander in an unused part of the yard to allow any stray seeds a chance to grow.
Sunset Zone 28, AHS Heat Zone 9, USDA zone 8b~~"Leaf of Faith"
Name: Horseshoe Griffin
Efland, NC (Zone 7a)
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Horseshoe
Dec 18, 2013 10:58 AM CST
Very good tututorial... and quite original step by step. I'm glad your camera has an anti-shake mode, too! Who'd a'thunk it!?

Shoe

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