Daylilies forum: Collecting dl seeds, what is your process?

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Name: Teresa Felty Barrow
South central KY (Zone 6b)
Consider the lilies of the field
Seller of Garden Stuff Irises Hostas Region: Kentucky Lilies Peonies
Region: United States of America Garden Photography Vegetable Grower Hummingbirder Cat Lover Heucheras
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bluegrassmom
Aug 4, 2020 7:04 PM CST
Hi, now that we are in August, I am curious how everyone collects their pods. Do you wait until they begin to crack? Gather them kinda green and let them dry more?

What do you take to the garden to keep them labeled and organized?

What do you store yours in? Lets talk

Bee Kind, make the world a better place.
Name: Larry
Enterprise, Al. 36330 (Zone 8b)
Composter Daylilies Garden Photography Million Pollinator Garden Challenge Garden Ideas: Master Level Plant Identifier
Celebrating Gardening: 2015 Region: Alabama
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Seedfork
Aug 4, 2020 7:23 PM CST
Well, I have spent the past few days planting the seeds I have already collected and it was a good season.
When I go down to the garden to collect my seeds I take an ice cube tray I have taped a clear plastic cover over, like a folding hinge. This serves two purposes, it gives me something to write on and it keeps my little slips of paper I write the pod plant names on from blowing away. I take a pen and a supply of small slips of paper cut to size. It will only hold sixteen pods, so If I have more than that I come back to the shed, empty the pods, slips of paper and gym clips into separate yogurt cups, restock my ice tray with paper slips and head back out.
Name: Teresa Felty Barrow
South central KY (Zone 6b)
Consider the lilies of the field
Seller of Garden Stuff Irises Hostas Region: Kentucky Lilies Peonies
Region: United States of America Garden Photography Vegetable Grower Hummingbirder Cat Lover Heucheras
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bluegrassmom
Aug 4, 2020 7:37 PM CST
Thanks for sharing. I would have never thought to use an ice tray. Makes perfect sense. Do you open your immediately?
Bee Kind, make the world a better place.
Name: Larry
Enterprise, Al. 36330 (Zone 8b)
Composter Daylilies Garden Photography Million Pollinator Garden Challenge Garden Ideas: Master Level Plant Identifier
Celebrating Gardening: 2015 Region: Alabama
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Seedfork
Aug 4, 2020 8:24 PM CST
I wait till I have them in the shed, don't open them in the garden, I did that when first starting and lost quite a few seeds. Once they are in the yogurt cups I open them and let them dry in the open air for one day.
Edited to add:
I normally wait for the pod to at least show some sign of cracking open before harvesting it. If I know I will be busy the next day or so I will sometimes collect pods that look like they will start to crack open the next day.
[Last edited by Seedfork - Aug 4, 2020 8:33 PM (+)]
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Name: Karen
Southeast PA (Zone 6b)
Celebrating Gardening: 2015
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kousa
Aug 4, 2020 9:27 PM CST
admmad said:Apparently, depending on how old/mature the pods are on a scape, the scape can be carefully removed from the fan and its cut end (the scape cut as low as possible so that it is as large as possible) placed in a bucket of water. The seeds will continue to develop and mature. I assume the scape and its pods needs to be in sunlight.

Karol Emmerich wrote,
""From Karol Emmerich just south of Minneapolis zone 4 region 1 - For the past 15 years or so I have collected 90 percent of my seeds on scapes that have been cut previously and put in a bucket with a couple of inches of water in the bottom. I keep them out of the elements and don't add anything to the water. It can get stinky, but no harm comes to the scapes. I have had success with pods the size of a medium sized grape - perhaps 30 days along. You can just drag them in the garage if a freeze is in the forecast and the. Pull them back outside during the day, perhaps under a garage overhang to keep them out of the elements. I know the pollen parent from my paperclip chain attached to the pod. I tie flagging tape around the scape and write the name of the pod parent on it. I used to write the pod parent on the scape and the pods, but the scape dries out much faster than when it is attached to the plant and I often couldn't read it. I do hundreds of scapes this way each year. It saves a lot of time - no need to run all over the garden (or in my case greenhouse) to collect pods."

Karol Emmerich also wrote this on Facebook,
" I've been doing this for years. No need to change the water or add fertilizer etc, although it will get stinky:-) They work out great if the size of a grape. Lots of folks now do this in the fall ahead of frost. I do it in late June/early July since I do my hybridizing in the greenhouse in May and pods are at least 30 days old when I cut the scapes."

If your pods are not developed enough I would dig down as deep as necessary to try to get as much of the root ball as possible and of course make the planting hole large enough to take the entire root ball. Some daylily roots store resources that the daylily can use to regrow. So getting as much root as possible is good. I would not transplant during the hottest part of the day. Keep the transplanted daylily well watered and possibly well mulched for at least the first few weeks.


I am planning to harvest my scapes and put them in a bucket of water like described above. This will make collecting seeds a lot easier when the pods mature in the 5-gal bucket which I can bring inside to whereever I need the bucket to be. Instead of going about the garden looking for ripened seed pods, I can follow them better having them all in one place.
Name: Teresa Felty Barrow
South central KY (Zone 6b)
Consider the lilies of the field
Seller of Garden Stuff Irises Hostas Region: Kentucky Lilies Peonies
Region: United States of America Garden Photography Vegetable Grower Hummingbirder Cat Lover Heucheras
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bluegrassmom
Aug 4, 2020 10:16 PM CST
Karen, this is the first time I have seen anything posted on cutting a scape with the pods on it.

Yesterday, I picked a couple pods off BOILING THE FROG. My son's dogs had been racing thru the display garden and broken one. It was hanging down but still intact. I could have put it in water but didn't even think about it.
Bee Kind, make the world a better place.
Name: Tina
Greenup, Ky (Zone 6b)
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beenthere
Aug 6, 2020 6:16 AM CST
Last year I got hit and miss germination from harvesting early. D'Oh! This year minimum six week/42 days. I just crack off the stem the pod is on, tuck tag in bag, and it ends up on my breakfast bar till I get around to opening pods. Then they are opened on paper towels, seeds counted and checked for squishy ones, notes made. Then into the cups with dry vermiculite. Cups labeled bottom and lid, learned this one the hard way when my markings on the cup side started wearing off from repeated handling. Then into the fridge till I get ready to stratify.
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Wildbirds
Aug 6, 2020 8:06 AM CST
Slightly different ..... I take brown paper lunch bags into the garden in an old cat litter pail (Convenient for carrying) ... I pick the mature seed pods (Dry-Cracked-Brown/Green?) & pop them into the bag. I am then able to write whatever I want onto the bag - Lottsa space for notes! ..... I've found over the years that when harvesting pods - besides the obvious cross details of parentage - I have spontaneous assessments/thoughts etc. about the plants involved, the cross made, future ideas & right then I am able to scribble them down for later review - plus to add relevant details into my computer records. (PLANTSCAPE Software).

(I also have a coupe of cardboard dividers in the pail to separate 'bags-with-pods' for quick sorting once out of the garden. Small bonus: The bags are usually good for recycling thru 2-3-4 successive seasons. I simply scribble out the previous year's notes & start over on a different part of the bag.)

I am inconsistent re opening the pods for a variety of reason (Procrastination is a BIG one.) Nevertheless, I have - many (Most?) times -simply leave the pods 'as is' inside the bags & allow everything to air-dry naturally. Later - days, weeks, months? - I shell the pods and process my seeds. Because I ensure those pods-in-the-bags have excellent dry air circulation I have never yet found any mold situations. I have had some germination-in-the-pod situations when some were harvested wet. (Now I pretty well always process damp/wet pods immediately.)

Three other points:
(1) If I break off a 'Not-Ready-Yet' pod accidentally (Clumsy!) I pop it into a bag & ensure I mark it for immediate opening in the house to place it on a bright sunny window to mature. Sometimes it is only days, sometimes a week or so, before the pod naturally cracks open. .... MOST times those seeds have been OK for me for germination.
(2) As expressed here by others & elsewhere, I also have successfully matured pods on scapes placed in water whenever the entire scape has broken of.
(3) Far from being 'The Perfect Gardener' I have found (2-3X) seed pods still on the scape from the previous season, when doing spring preps .... (Sloppy!) And then taken those seeds & successfully germinated them. They've been outside all autumn + winter + spring ..... Dry & wet & frozen & abused .... Still able to germinate .... (Who hasn't had a rogue seedling sprout in the garden from a spilled overripe pod, or sloppy handling, where that seed has naturally experienced ALL the 3x seasonal elements laying on that garden soil before germinating ....)

Simplistically, I work with the understanding that these plants WANT those seeds to be capable of germination. The plants have evolved to be able to cope with some complications such as broken scapes, snapped-off-pods, etc. Thus they will & do do whatever to get those seeds to maturity. The walls of those pods are still full of moisture + nutrients + hormones/enzymes etc. to keep the seeds inside developing, maturing.

Over the years I've tried to minimize the tediousness of all aspects of seeds harvesting & processing to suit my own needs, circumstances. ( I don't sell seeds) There ARE many variations of harvesting & processing to consider. Very much a personal & practical choice determines what you get involved with. Some like to - want to - 'baby' each pod, each seed ..... Others, like myself assume the pod parent is going to do what is necessary to get that seed ready for you to germinate successfully ... My thinking anyway.
Name: Teresa Felty Barrow
South central KY (Zone 6b)
Consider the lilies of the field
Seller of Garden Stuff Irises Hostas Region: Kentucky Lilies Peonies
Region: United States of America Garden Photography Vegetable Grower Hummingbirder Cat Lover Heucheras
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bluegrassmom
Aug 7, 2020 7:16 PM CST
I like the idea of brown lunch bags. I have some on hands because I use them to write the names of dwarf iris and other plants that are small.

I have had problems with the plastic bags from Hobby Lobby. I didn't have the paper towel in the bottom and I think that would have helped with the moisture.
Bee Kind, make the world a better place.
Name: Kenny Shively
Rineyville, KY. region 10. (Zone 6b)
Daylilies Hybridizer Region: Kentucky
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kennysh
Aug 8, 2020 7:06 PM CST
Here is my process, Harvest seed pods when it starts to crack open, or at the slightest squeeze. Bring to work bench,open pod , count the number of good solid seeds, wipe dry with dry towel, place seeds, metal hybridizing tag, and damp paper towel in small ziplock bag, and in the fridge they go for a minimum of 4 wks . Cross number,date harvested,number of seeds, pod and pollen parents are recorded in spiral note book. Usually don't start the 4 wks count until I have some where around 100 seeds that are in the fridge. Once removed from fridge they are planted in my cold frame in a green house potting mix, and kept moist. Most of my seeds get planted by late Sept.or early Oct. Most of the time I just carry the pods in my hands, or have used an egg carton to take to work bench.
I do not dry the seeds and and then rehydrate, this has worked fairly well for a couple of yrs now. Could have a better germination rate, but still learning to keep quality seeds Shrug!
Usually have between 250/ 450 seeds.
THANKS to all for all the ways to learn Hurray! I tip my hat to you.
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Name: Teresa Felty Barrow
South central KY (Zone 6b)
Consider the lilies of the field
Seller of Garden Stuff Irises Hostas Region: Kentucky Lilies Peonies
Region: United States of America Garden Photography Vegetable Grower Hummingbirder Cat Lover Heucheras
Image
bluegrassmom
Aug 9, 2020 8:45 PM CST
Kenny, I am bad about putting seeds in my pocket. I need a better plan. lol What do you gather them in? I took out a cupcake tin with notes last. Do you use the little baggies to cover with?
I ordered some. It is to late to use many this year because I am done bringing them inside.
Bee Kind, make the world a better place.
Name: Valerie
Ontario, Canada (Zone 4a)
Daylilies Irises Roses Peonies Butterflies Birds
Bee Lover Region: Canadian Ponds Garden Art Dog Lover Enjoys or suffers cold winters
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touchofsky
Aug 10, 2020 6:46 AM CST
Teresa,
I have used the little organza bags with drawstrings to cover some pods, but lately I have been using squares of organza put over the pod and fastened with a twist tie. They look like little ghosts in the garden. Hilarious! I buy a roll of organza from a craft store. It is the type of thing used for decorating at weddings.
When I collect the pod, I can just break or cut it off the scape, and leave it in its organza covering and bring it in the house.
The other thing about covering the pods is that the deer don't seem to recognize them as food when they are covered.
Touch_of_sky on the LA
Name: Teresa Felty Barrow
South central KY (Zone 6b)
Consider the lilies of the field
Seller of Garden Stuff Irises Hostas Region: Kentucky Lilies Peonies
Region: United States of America Garden Photography Vegetable Grower Hummingbirder Cat Lover Heucheras
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bluegrassmom
Aug 10, 2020 9:27 AM CST
Thank You!
Bee Kind, make the world a better place.
McLean, VA (Zone 6b)
daylilly99
Aug 10, 2020 12:03 PM CST
I do my hybridizing in a big area of raised beds (and it's also my vegetable garden). I usually carry down a great big flat colander (you can buy these from the Korean and Chinese groceries and maybe elsewhere). This is multi-purpose as I carry down what I want for the day (gloves, notebook), carry the veggies back up at night and carry it around with me holding a pen, garden shears and 2"x1" ziplock bags with a white area where you can write.

I walk around all the beds carrying those things and also a small garden tub/trug looking for ripe pods. If they look ripe but are not cracking, I squeeze gently to see if they will crack. If they are already cracked open, it's obvious I need to get them immediately.

Since I don't waste time writing the pod parent on the hybridizing tag, I harvest right at the plant and write both the pod and pollen parent on the ziplock baggie. I then open the baggie and crack the pod open holding it over the colander because sometimes they don't all go into my palm. The plastic tags go into the colander too to be scrubbed clean (write in pencil and scrub with Comet) and reused for as long as they last.

At the same time, I'm cutting down any finished scapes and spent foliage and stuffing those into my tub/trug. I think I'm rather ADD so it's much easier for me to think when things are neat and organized.

When I bring the baggies in I've found it helps a lot to place the contents of each into a small bowl (custard cup or smaller) weighing down the baggie with the same bowl as the seeds went into. Even when I used coin envelopes I would get moldy seeds over winter in the fridge until I started doing the drying (for a day or two). I still check them from time to time during the winter but mostly they are okay.

Name: Kenny Shively
Rineyville, KY. region 10. (Zone 6b)
Daylilies Hybridizer Region: Kentucky
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kennysh
Aug 10, 2020 6:38 PM CST
Teresa, I carry the seed pods and little metal hybridizing tag in my hands to the house (garage work bench), usually no more than 2 or 4 pods at a time.making sure to keep tag with correct pod. I would think a cupcake tin would work fine, or an egg carton,if the wind isn't blowing.
The little baggies are to put the seeds in with the damp paper towel, making ready for stratification in the fridge. Smiling
Name: Larry
Enterprise, Al. 36330 (Zone 8b)
Composter Daylilies Garden Photography Million Pollinator Garden Challenge Garden Ideas: Master Level Plant Identifier
Celebrating Gardening: 2015 Region: Alabama
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Seedfork
Aug 10, 2020 7:36 PM CST
I see how people handle collecting the ripe pods depends largely on how many pods they collect each time. What people do who collect a few pods per time compared to those who collect more seems to be different in how they collect and handle their pod collections and handling.
I often collect 5 or 6 pods, but more often I collect 16-25 pods at a time. I just recently bought some little beads from Hobby Lobby with the single letters of the alphabet written on them. I plan to use these next year and see how I like them compared to the beads I am using now, I may use both types as my pollen parent identifiers. So I needed something to store and separate the letters. I found some plastic boxes at hobby lobby but they did not have enough dividers for all the letters so I had to buy two. I wish I had bought a third box because I now realize what a nice thing it would have been to collect my pods in . The boxes were only $2.99 each.
Name: Teresa Felty Barrow
South central KY (Zone 6b)
Consider the lilies of the field
Seller of Garden Stuff Irises Hostas Region: Kentucky Lilies Peonies
Region: United States of America Garden Photography Vegetable Grower Hummingbirder Cat Lover Heucheras
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bluegrassmom
Aug 10, 2020 8:19 PM CST
Larry, can you post a couple pictures of the boxes and bags you are using. Thanks

Bee Kind, make the world a better place.
Name: Larry
Enterprise, Al. 36330 (Zone 8b)
Composter Daylilies Garden Photography Million Pollinator Garden Challenge Garden Ideas: Master Level Plant Identifier
Celebrating Gardening: 2015 Region: Alabama
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Seedfork
Aug 11, 2020 8:46 AM CST
@bluegrassmom
I decided to go a little further than just showing the bags and boxes, may be more info that you wanted but I think some might find it useful.
Here is the plastic ice cube tray I used the past three years while collecting pods. You can see the plastic ruler I have taped to the tray. It allows me to flip it up to put the pods and beads and paper in the container, then flips down to give me a writing service to write the pod parent names on.
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Here is a sample of the little slips of paper I keep in the tray to write the pod names on.
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Here is a sample of the gym clips and beads I used this year to show the ID of the plant the pollen is from.
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Here is how it looks once the paper, the clip and bead and the pod is put in the ice tray. I like to fill out the slip of paper first and force it down in the little compartments then put the bead and pod on top, it helps keep the slip from blowing out on windy days.
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I take the tray up to the shed, then shell the pod and put the slip of paper the clip and bead and the seeds in a container to dry for a day.
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Then after the seeds dry I put them in one of the little baggies, (l like these better than the ones with the special white area to write on ) I use a marker and can use the entire baggie area to write on. That is pretty necessary being the baggies I use are so small. Then I squirt just a spritz of water into the baggie. I used to include a the little slip of paper, but finally after reducing the size of the paper I deleted it completely. So this year it was just water no paper and I had really almost no mold and very few mushy seed, almost none. Not sure the mushy seeds were from the paper, but the mold was and I think that help to create some of the mushy seeds. I think that mainly just comes form immature seeds.
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This is the box I bought at Hobby Lobby to store the new "Alphabet beads I bought" and I think I will use one of them next year to collect pods with. During the early part of the season and late in the season the small ice cube tray is great, but during peak pod collecting time I have to stop back by the shed and empty the tray and pick up new paper slips because I have way more pods that will fit in the tray.
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I also use the same ice cube tray for pollinating. I put the pollen in the tray and the clips and beds for that plant. I usually keep my tweezers in the tray when pollinating. Just set this up as an example, I can usually fit four different types of pollen at a time with beads.
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Here is how I store my little seed packets in the fridge, I will end up with several of these trays stored in the fridge. They are stored by date, and after four weeks they are set aside in the fridge and I start to plant them.
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I plant my seeds in cups, I do twelve cups at a time because that is how many my tray holds and it is a good weight to carry to the seed cup beds.
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Here they are planted in the little seed cup beds, you can see I already have some sprouting in this bed. These seeds were planted back on the second and third of August.
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Here is a full view of one of the seed cup beds.
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[Last edited by Seedfork - Aug 12, 2020 10:24 AM (+)]
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Name: Daniel Erdy
Catawba SC (Zone 7b)
Pollen collector Fruit Growers Permaculture Hybridizer Plant and/or Seed Trader Organic Gardener
Daylilies Region: South Carolina Garden Ideas: Level 2 Garden Photography Herbs Region: United States of America
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ediblelandscapingsc
Aug 11, 2020 1:30 PM CST
Great looking setup Larry Thumbs up
­čî┐A weed is a plant whose virtues have not yet been discovered­čî┐
Name: Kenny Shively
Rineyville, KY. region 10. (Zone 6b)
Daylilies Hybridizer Region: Kentucky
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kennysh
Aug 11, 2020 3:22 PM CST
I agree nice setup Larry. How many pods/seeds do you harvest on average per yr. How long do you dry your seeds? Do they go in the fridge right after you put them in the baggies and spray with water. Like your cold frame too. What is your avg. Cold winter temperature. Thank You! Smiling

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