The Monarch butterfly has suffered severely because of this. For this reason, I prefer to cut milkweed back in spring. Depending on the vacuum’s capacity, it will need to be cleaned out when you hear the motor straining. You can use the same bag to separate seed as above. 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. These seeds are ready to harvest. If so we pick it and let it dry in the open, on a tarp or in a shallow container. 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. After the milkweed has dried a week or so depending on your humidity, it should be ready to vacuum. The other piece needs to have one edge (perhaps a 2" short edge) clean and straight. It's quick, easy, and fun. Shake vigorously. Milkweed seeds can mold easily so I like to use a breathable paper bag or cardboard box when I'm out collecting. These seeds are not ready to harvest. You can learn more about planting milkweed here! Be sure to submerge stalks completely and gently agitate under water. The simplest process to cleanly save milkweed seeds. There are many different methods and variations to get milkweed seeds. (The bag shown here is a large lunch bag. We have an old fashioned whisk broom to clean our vacuum filters but there may be better tools. Slow soaking and rinsing milkweed seeds removes a naturally occurring chemical from the seed surface to enable quick germination. Release for use by critters as a winter home lining or nests in the spring. Indoors, you can mimic this by placing the seeds in the fridge for several weeks before sowing them. Milkweed plants have become scarce in the United States, as more communities move in on natural habitats. Use the 6" piece to hold down some seeds with fluff sticking out past the 6" edge of the rubbery mat. Without prolonged exposure to cold temperatures, your milkweed seed is unlikely to sprout. Some of them are quite easy, others require a bit of planning and materials. In fall, adding a 3- to 4-inch-deep layer of mulch helps insulate the soil. Strip seeds, fluff and all into the bag. 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. It is not a task to be undertaken inside the home as the chaff tends to fly about with a mind of its own. Wearing rubber gloves is Then I screen the seed to remove fluff and broken seed. screening seed after vacuuming: pods scalped off by coarse screen, broken bits fall through a fine screen, Species Inventories – Hay Meadow, Pasture. It’s ok if a few pods fly up the hose but I don’t vacuum pods off the tarp. Cut two pieces of the rubbery stuff - one 6" long and 1-2" thin, with one long edge clean and straight. STEP 2: Once bag is filled with fluff, roll top to close and shake vigourously. We gently pry the pod open a bit to see if the seed is brown. Roll the seeds in a damp paper towel, or place them in moist peat moss, and then put them in a plastic bag. This is a fun and relaxing activity. Harvest pods: I don’t even look at a milkweed plant until I see one of the pods fluffing out or opening. We spread the fluffy seeds out on a concrete floor and light the thin pile on fire, burning the fluff off the seeds. Think lots of wildlife, clean water, clear air, gorgeous landscapes, and world-class recreation. Common Milkweed – Asclepias syriaca. Strip seeds, fluff and all into the bag. Tear off a bottom corner of the bag and pour out your clean seed. My assumption is that some seed is immature and disintegrates in the shop vac. Simply cut last year’s stems back to the ground with clean, sharp pruners. Just give them a shake. The tackiness of the mat should help to grip the seeds. Plants in this genus flower during the summer, set seed in the fall, and die back in winter. 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. Milkweed seeds need to be stratified to help them germinate. Step 2- Removing the Seeds from the Husk. 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. Many of the asters fall into this category. Milkweed seeds require stratification to germinate. If so we pick it and let it dry in the open, on a tarp or in a shallow container. 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. After stra… Step 1: Pop the pod open at the seam Step 2: Pull the pod back exposing the seeds and the white fluff. 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. This cleaned seed will be stored and germinated at a later date. 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. This collection includes 6 of our most popular selling Milkweed plants. Before all that fluff tickles your nose, invades your hair or gets stuck on your sweater, grab a paper grocery bag. This is how we do it: Common milkweed seed drying on a tarp in the far back corner. It also varies with the number of pods sucked into the drum. Swamp milkweed seed after vacuuming the pods, these do not damage the seed swirling inside the drum like common milkweed pods can. Common milkweed seed drying on a … All milkweed seeds need vernalization, which is a chilling period prior to germination. Works, but grocery size bag is preferred.). The Ascelpias viridis (spider milkweed) plants will be spaced 1.5 to 2 feet apart. A few months ago, I mentioned a technique that we use to clean milkweed seeds after harvest. Then, cut a small hole in a bottom corner of the bag and shake out the seeds. This happens naturally outdoors in a cold climate: the plant drops its seeds in fall and they sprout in spring. The 6 '' edge of the rubbery mat seeds to grow in almost climates. When emptying the drum may damage the seed is brown have a of. Fluff will adhere to the seed will be in the way of clean... 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