Like Rodney Dangerfield, common milkweed doesn’t get enough respect. STEP 2: Once bag is filled with fluff, roll top to close and shake vigourously. The coins should help separate the seed. Strip seeds, fluff and all into the bag. If you don’t have the time to glean the seed right away milkweed pods should be dried thoroughly for at least an hour in a paper lined flat tray to discourage mold. With proper care, they’ll be ready to sprout again the following spring from an underground network of creeping roots. Keep in mind that seeds have a range of soil temperatures at which they will germinate. The other piece needs to have one edge (perhaps a 2" short edge) clean and straight. If you're thinking about collecting and cleaning the milkweed seeds from your wildflower garden to share or sow, here's a harvesting tip. I would like to guess then cold moist stratification prior to water germination could increase the germination rates of the common milkweed seed. Depending on the species of milkweed being cleaned, the pods swirling in the drum may damage the seed. These seeds are ripe and dispersing. We use a 5.5 hp shop vac but that doesn’t mean it’s the only one that will work. This collection includes 6 of our most popular selling Milkweed plants. The simplest process to cleanly save milkweed seeds. I never thought we would harvest and clean common milkweed seed but there is a need that we can easily fill because it grows happily in our pasture. Common Milkweed grows well in average garden soil. Milkweed seed filaments attached to the vacuum filter and on top of seed in the bottom of the drum. When the caterpillars hatch, they feed on the leaves of milkweed. 4. Think lots of wildlife, clean water, clear air, gorgeous landscapes, and world-class recreation. Just give them a shake. Cut two pieces of the rubbery stuff - one 6" long and 1-2" thin, with one long edge clean and straight. Swamp milkweed seed after vacuuming the pods, these do not damage the seed swirling inside the drum like common milkweed pods can. Step 1: Pop the pod open at the seam Step 2: Pull the pod back exposing the seeds and the white fluff. Stalks can be partially air-dryed or blotted with a clean towel. Then, cut a small hole in a bottom corner of the bag and shake out the seeds. YES! No need to pick seeds from downy kites. You can use the same bag to separate seed as above. Name: Margaret Delta KY I'm A Charley's Girl For Sure. 3. Roll the seeds in a damp paper towel, or place them in moist peat moss, and then put them in a plastic bag. 5. NO! The Monarch butterfly has suffered severely because of this. Indoors, you can mimic this by placing the seeds in the fridge for several weeks before sowing them. The pods once dry can be stored in brown paper grocery bags until cleaning time. These seeds are not ready to harvest. Milkweed plants have become scarce in the United States, as more communities move in on natural habitats. Milkweed also spreads easily from seed. The coins help to separate the seeds. Some of them are quite easy, others require a bit of planning and materials. After stra… It took about two hours to clean 15 gallons of pods from start to finish and we ended up with about a gallon of seed. Seeds forum: Cleaning Showy Milkweed Seeds. In fall, adding a 3- to 4-inch-deep layer of mulch helps insulate the soil. STEP 1: Hold split milkweed pod inside a paper grocery bag. Shake vigorously. Stratification is when a seed is moistened, chilled or frozen and thawed, breaking down germination inhibitors on the seed coat, such as waxes, hormones, oils or heavy coats. A clean seed tray (a baking pan works well too) Seed cells Sterilized seed starting mix Milkweed seeds Water It is best to use a designated seed starting mix because it is lighter and less dense than regular potting soil, which allows the roots to establish more easily. You can learn more about planting milkweed here! Enjoy the videos and music you love, upload original content, and share it all with friends, family, and the world on YouTube. Many of the asters fall into this category. STEP 2: Once bag is filled with fluff, roll top to close and shake vigourously. In spring, pull back the mulch to give space to the new growth. The seed will detach leaving the fluff behind. Mindy03 Aug 29, 2013 4:22 PM CST. If the pod hasn’t opened on its own the seed can easily mold if left in a closed container, even if it’s paper. After clearly labeling the sealed bag as \"milkweed seeds\" and dating it, place it in a refrigerator for 10 to 12 weeks. There are many different methods and variations to get milkweed seeds. You can sow milkweed seeds by scattering them on the soil surface 1/4-1/2 inch apart, and then cover them with about 1/4 inch of additional soil. There are species that have adapted to grow in almost all climates. Milkweed seeds require stratification to germinate. This cleaned seed will be stored and germinated at a later date. This is how we do it: Common milkweed seed drying on a tarp in the far back corner. Step 2- Removing the Seeds from the Husk. 1-2 months after your seedlings have sprouted next spring, pinch off extra plants (or consider transplanting) to achieve ideal spacing for your specific milkweed. Milkweed plants survive the winter in cold regions by going dormant. Water the area frequently after planting until plants become established. After the milkweed has dried a week or so depending on your humidity, it should be ready to vacuum. The length of the seeds roots increased but the ungerminated seeds did not germinate. The tackiness of the mat should help to grip the seeds. Be sure to clean seeds outdoors if at all possible because the pappi blow everywhere. Customer Resources   |   Services   |   About Us   |   Contact Us   |   Individual Species Seeds   |   Seed Mixes   |   Seed Packets   |   Cover Crops and Seed Carriers   |   Prairie Companions   |   Privacy Policy, All Rights Reserved 2021, OPN Seed (Ohio Prairie Nursery) - Admin Login   |   Website Developed by Alt Media Studios, Slope Stabilization / Erosion Control Mixes, Receive special offers, promotions and latest news directly to your inbox ». Harvest pods: I don’t even look at a milkweed plant until I see one of the pods fluffing out or opening. Page 2 of 3 • 1 2 3. If the pod hasn’t opened on its own the seed can easily mold if left in a closed container, even if it’s paper. Then I screen the seed to remove fluff and broken seed. STEP 1: Hold split milkweed pod inside a paper grocery bag. It’s ok if a few pods fly up the hose but I don’t vacuum pods off the tarp. Before planting the seeds, soak them in warm water for 24 hours to ensure that moisture breaks through their hard shells and reaches their tiny embryos. Fine to harvest but easier if still contained in the pod for the method described here. Don't discard the fluff! Using a combination of large and small vacuums, they separated the milkweed floss from the seeds. After vacuuming all the loose seed, I hold the pods of common milkweed and suck the seed out. The long, oblong leaves are light green and grow to about 8 inches long. Cleaning milkweed seed from the pod can be a time consuming and messy business if left for too long. Light: Young Milkweed plants need plenty of diffuse light as they grow.Plant in full sun locations. The gallery of pictures show the method for cleaning milkweed. Plants in this genus flower during the summer, set seed in the fall, and die back in winter. It is not a task to be undertaken inside the home as the chaff tends to fly about with a mind of its own. Our friends at Painted Lady Vineyard and The Xerces Society have provided these detailed instructions to cold soak and stratify your milkweed seeds to get better and faster germination! The seed fluff will adhere to the filter and the seed will be in the bottom of the drum. Use the 6" piece to hold down some seeds with fluff sticking out past the 6" edge of the rubbery mat. In most areas, when you plant seeds outside in fall, seeds can go through the cold stratification process naturally.If you are planting seed outside, we suggest seeding in late fall so that Milkweed seeds can lay on the ground through winter. screening seed after vacuuming: pods scalped off by coarse screen, broken bits fall through a fine screen, Species Inventories – Hay Meadow, Pasture. Simply empty seeds and fluff into a paper bag with a few coins and shake. A few months ago, I mentioned a technique that we use to clean milkweed seeds after harvest. YES! This may not be the best way to clean small lots of seed where you don’t want to damage any seed at all. Common milkweed plants grow to about 2 to 4 feet in height, with a thin, vertical growth habit. Milkweed seeds can mold easily so I like to use a breathable paper bag or cardboard box when I'm out collecting. 11. Depending on the vacuum’s capacity, it will need to be cleaned out when you hear the motor straining. Views: 4581, Replies: 56 » Jump to the end. Milkweed seed planted in fall is naturally stratified. Works, but grocery size bag is preferred.) For this reason, I prefer to cut milkweed back in spring. Before all that fluff tickles your nose, invades your hair or gets stuck on your sweater, grab a paper grocery bag. Works, but grocery size bag is preferred.). Plant Milkweed The good news is that planting milkweed is one of the easiest ways that each of us can make a difference for monarchs. Most of them will result in some milkweed floss/feathers getting in the way of a clean harvest. The stems and leav… We have an old fashioned whisk broom to clean our vacuum filters but there may be better tools. Milkweed fed to captive monarchs can be bleached by soaking 15-20 min in ~5% chlorox solution (regular strength chlorox in tap water), followed by a thorough tap water rinse. 6. ; Swamp Milkweed, as its name implies, will do best in a moist environment, making it great for wet meadows or rain gardens. I learned of the technique from a … The pod has split and the seeds are dark brown. Soil: There is a Milkweed variety for every landscape. Always sweep or pull the filaments off the vacuum filter when emptying the drum. But you can help the Monarchs by sowing milkweed seeds to grow an array of different Asclepias plants. It's quick, easy, and fun. All milkweed seeds need vernalization, which is a chilling period prior to germination. These seeds are ready to harvest. Tear off a bottom corner of the bag and pour out your clean seed. To separate seeds from milkweed silk – the white fluff inside a milkweed pod to which seeds attach – place a few coins in a clean, empty plastic container. We have seed dedicated shop vacuums at the farm and at home because we have found they are very useful when cleaning seed attached to a pappus. It is the primary host plant of the Monarch butterfly larvae and the leaves and foliage provide food for many other insects. Be sure to submerge stalks completely and gently agitate under water. This happens naturally outdoors in a cold climate: the plant drops its seeds in fall and they sprout in spring. The pod is still tightly closed so seeds are not ripe. Milkweed Cold Stratification. The … Milkweed plants in winter are valued by birds and small animals who use their natural fibers and seed fluff in their nests. Release for use by critters as a winter home lining or nests in the spring. Strip seeds, fluff and all into the bag. (The bag shown here is a large lunch bag. Without prolonged exposure to cold temperatures, your milkweed seed is unlikely to sprout. Simply cut last year’s stems back to the ground with clean, sharp pruners. When & Where To Plant Milkweed. (The bag shown here is a large lunch bag. Milkweed seed can be planted directly in soil, or started indoors. The method is effective in germinating common milkweed seeds. If so we pick it and let it dry in the open, on a tarp or in a shallow container. Common Milkweed – Asclepias syriaca. There are a variety of ways to separate the seed from the chaff, or fluff. This is a fun and relaxing activity. Milkweed seeds can be sown outdoors after the danger of frost has passed. I’ve already collected my light green seed pods that have row after row of beautiful tightly packed seeds. Refer to the seed packets for special instructions on sowing the seeds. The Ascelpias viridis (spider milkweed) plants will be spaced 1.5 to 2 feet apart. While not required, this helps keep the ground from freezing and thawing and disrupting the roots. Milkweed seeds need to be stratified to help them germinate. Cleaning. There are several dozen species of this wildflower native to North America, so no matter where you live, there is at least one milkweed species naturally found in your area. Common milkweed (Asclepias syriaca) is a native herbaceous perennial whose main virtue is its appeal to butterfliesespecially the monarch, which deposits its eggs on the milkweed. screen and the cleaned seeds will fall through. Winter is a great time to get milkweed seeds in the ground! If so we pick it and let it dry in the open, on a tarp or in a shallow container. In addition to many commercial approaches for cleaning milkweed seed, here are a couple of home-spun options for separating seed: Shake it off: Fill a paper bag with your collected seed and floss and toss in a few coins. It also varies with the number of pods sucked into the drum. We spread the fluffy seeds out on a concrete floor and light the thin pile on fire, burning the fluff off the seeds. Common Milkweed pods lying out to dry before cleaning. We gently pry the pod open a bit to see if the seed is brown. 2. We gently pry the pod open a bit to see if the seed is brown. As concern for monarch populations grows, so does the need for milkweed seed. My assumption is that some seed is immature and disintegrates in the shop vac. Back in the classroom, groups of students scraped the seeds and floss from locally grown butterfly milkweed out of the seed pods and into large tubs. Only some of the viable seeds seem ready to grow. 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