Low Tech Devices - Oregon State University Extension Service

Low Tech Devices - Oregon State University Extension Service
 46
CUISINART FOR CLEANING ELDERBERRY
(SAMBUCUS SPP. L. [CAPRIFOLIACEAE]) SEEDS
Michelle Truscott |
The common food processor is an effective tool for cleaning
elderberry (Sambucus spp. L. [Caprifoliaceae]) seeds. Seeds
cleaned with this device can be stored in the refrigerator for
years without developing mold.
seed cleaning
USDA NRCS (2002)
=" prefer using a food processor, the kitchen Cuisinart (Model
DFP Deluxe 11), for cleaning seeds of elderberry (Sambucus
Æ. spp. L. [Caprifoliaceae]}. At Cornflower Farms, we collect
Sambucus berries in the wild at site-specific locations through-
out California. Once we get the berries back to the nursery, we
remove them by hand from the stems as the first step in the seed
cleaning process. Then we add the berries to the food processor
(Figure 1). Depending on how juicy the berries are, we may or
may not need to add water. If the berries clump to the sides of
the processor, we add enough water to ensure they swirl.
We run the food processor for about 1 min until we have a
puree of berries. The puree is poured into a clean, empty bucket
and then we slowly add water (Figure 2). Viable seeds sink to the
bottom of the bucket while voided seeds and pulp fioat to the sur-
face. The waste is decanted off the top and we keep repeating the
process until we are left with clean seeds at the bottom of the
bucket. The reason we pulled the berries off the stems is that oth-
erwise the food processor chops the stems into little pieces that
sink to the bottom of the bucket with the clean seeds, Once clean,
we drain off all of the water and place the seeds on newspaper to
surface dry (Figure 3), which may take 1 to 4 d depending on tem-
perature and relative humidity. This process cleans seeds so well
they can be stored in a refrigerator for 6 to 8 y without mold prob-
lems. Also, we found that seeds cleaned with the food processor
are less likely to mold and rot during the 3-mo cold, moist strati-
fication period necessary for germination.
USDA NRCS. 2002. The PLANTS database, version 35. URL
http: //plants.usda.gov {accessed 14 Aug 2003). Baton Rouge (LA): The
National Plant Data Center,
Figure 2. Floating the debris away from clean seeds.
Figure 3. Clean elderberry seeds ready for storage.
Noosnif a|SUDHAL ÁN soyold
NATIVEPLANTS | SPRING 2004
LOW-TECH DEVICES FOR COLLECTING, PROCESSING, AND PLANTING SEEDS
BLENDING DRY SEEDS CLEAN
Joseph D Scianna |
A kitchen blender with a slow-speed pulse button has been
used to clean small volumes of a variety of seeds.
seed cleaning, Asteraceae, Poaceae, Rosaceae,
Ranunculaceae, Onagraceae, Liliaceae
USDA NRCS {2002)
t the Plant Materials Center in Bridger, Montana, we
process and clean more than 300 wildland seed coliec-
tions annually, many consisting of small volumes of
scedheads yielding less than 10 g (0.35 oz) of bulk seeds. If the
seeds contain awns, wings, or other appendages requiring
removal, or if the seeds are held tightly in the seedheads, the
small volume of material cannot be adequately threshed in
our hammermill. Manual processing of small volumes on a
rubbing board is labor intensive and time consuming. To
improve efficiency, we have developed a simple procedure
using a conventional household blender.
Our technique begins with wrapping the impeller blades of
the blender with duct tape to minimize seed damage. We wrap
the blades so that the tape does not unravel or fray during use,
but do not use so much tape that the impellers vibrate during
operation, or bind with seeds and stems during processing. We
recently became aware that coating the impeller blades with
liquid plastic in lieu of duct tape has been used successfully in
similar applications (Thomas 2003). An important feature of
the blender is a low-speed pulse button, or other control that
reduces impeller speed. The standard on:off low-speed setting
on most blenders is too fast for seed processing.
By intermittently “pulsing” the low-speed setting, we con-
— trol the duration and intensity of processing. Another impor-
tant factor is the amount of seeds or seedheads initially placed
in the blender. Too little material requires the addition of rice
hulls or other inert material to create adequate abrasion. Too
much material results in excessive maceration near the
impellers, with little or no abrasion toward the top of the
blender. The ideal amount of material to place in a blender
varies with its size, but we find that 25% to 33% of storage
capacity works well. Frequent inspection during processing is
critical to assure that the seeds are not being damaged. Final
ENLENS d ydasof Áq sejouig
Using the blender, the extremely small seeds of fireweed (Chamerion angusti-
fofium (L.) Holub ssp, angustifolium) collected in the field (top) can be
extracted from the hair and other debris (bottom).
47
NATIVEPLANTS | SPRING 2004
48
cleaning is by sieving and winnowing or processing over a
small fanning mill.
We use this technique successfully on many genera of the
Asteraceae including pearly everlasting (Anaphalis spp. DC.),
arnica (Arnica spp. L.}, balsamroot (Balsamorhiza spp. Nutt.),
daisy { Erigeron spp. L.}, blanket flower ( Gaillardia spp. Foug.},
golden aster ( Heterotheca spp. Cass.), goldenrod (Solidago spp.
L.), and aster (Symphyetrichum spp. Nees). We have also used
it with feathery achenes of Geum L. spp. (Rosaceae) and Pui-
satilla P. Mill. spp. (Ranunculaceae), winged seeds of pines
(Pinus spp. L. [Pinaceae]) and Douglas-fir ( Pseudotsuga men-
ziesit (Mirbel) Franco [Pinaceae]), and grass seeds (Poaceae)
such as needlegrass (Achnatherum spp. Beauv.), wheatgrass
(Pseudoroegneria spp. (Nevski} A. Love), and wildrye (Elymus
spp. L.). Tt also works well with dehiscent capsules of wil-
lowherbs (Epilobium spp. L. [Onagraceae]) and glacier lily
(Erythronium spp. L. {Liliaceae]).
Thomas D. 2003. Modifying blender blades for seed cleaning. Native Plants
Journal 4:72—73.
USDA NRCS. 2002. The PLANTS database, version 3.5. URL
http://plants.usda.gov (accessed 20 Jun 2003). Baton Rouge (LA): The
National Plant Data Center. |
COLLECTING SEEDS FROM
SOUTHEASTERN US WOODLAND SPECIES
Barry Glick |
In order to collect seeds from a wide range of southeastern
US woodland species with diverse dispersal strategies, spe-
cially made collection bags are placed over plants, After col-
lection, seeds are separated from debris with a strainer and
further cleaned with a fanning mill. This method can be
used for efficient collection of large numbers of seeds at
ideal ripeness, in a nursery or in the wild.
seed dispersal, Geranium maculatum,
Jeffersonia diphylla, Viola species, Mitella species,
Sanguinaria canadensis, Hepatica americana,
Asarum canadense, Dicentra cucullaria, Dodecatheon
species, Spiranthes cernua, Tipularia discolor
USDA NRCS (2002)
grower cannot be in all places at all times, especially
when producing and collecting seeds from hundreds
“ of species. Ripening seeds are a temperature depend-
ent phenomena, and this is further complicated by each
species having its own prolonged period of fruit maturation
and dispersal strategy. At Sunshine Farms and Gardens, we
collect seeds and grow many of the most desired southeastern
US woodland species. Many of these species can be challeng-
ing to collect seeds from due to unique dispersal mechanisms
of the fruits or dispersal agents or simply due to the small size
of the seeds and fruits. We have come up with an efficient and
effective method to address this challenge.
Southeastern woodland species are as diverse in their dis-
persal strategies and fruits as in their wide range of attractive
flowers and growth forms. Spotted geranium (Geranium mac-
ulatum L. [Geraniaceae]) is a classic example of explosive
dehiscence, where the seeds are spring loaded and catapulted
away from the plant when the fruits mature and split along the
sutures, Twinleaf (Jeffersonia diphylla (L.) Pers [Berberi-
daceae|) produces a unique seed pod that resembles a hooded
pouch with a lid at the top that opens with a hinge-like attach-
ment when mature. Similarly, several violets (Viola spp. L.
[Violaceae]) have small pods that explode upon maturation.
Alternatively, seeds may be dispersed by an external force
such as raindrops, which disseminate the tiny black seeds of
NATIVEPLANTS | SPRING 2004
LOW-TECH DEVICES FOR COLLECTING, PROCESSING, AND PLANTING SEEDS
miterwort (Mitella spp. L. [Saxifragaceae]) from the opened
saucer-shaped capsules. Ants are also important dispersal
agents in woodlands and rapidly carry away the seeds of
bloodroot (Sanguinaria canadensis L. [Papaveraceae]), Сапа-
dian wild ginger (Asarum canadense L. [Araceae] }, American
hepatica (Hepatica nobilis Schreb. var obtusa (Pursh) Steyer-
mark [Ranunculaceae]) and Dutchman's breeches { Dicentra
cucullaria (L.) Bernh. [Fumariaceae]).
Shooting star (Dodecatheon spp. L. [Primulaceae]) and Vir-
ginia bluebells (Mertensia virginica (L.) Pers. ex Link {Boragi-
naceae|) have capsules that open quickly upon maturation,
while native orchids (Orchidaceae), such as nodding ladies
tresses (Spiranthes cernua (L.) LC, Rich) and cranefly orchid
( Tipularia discolor (Pursh) Nutt.}, have dust-like seeds that are
dispersed immediately. Such small seeds and fruits can also be
difficult or time consuming to collect seeds from.
In order to collect seeds from such a wide range of species,
we have designed specially made collection bags that we place
over our stock plants in the nursery as seeds approach matura-
tion. The bags are made from a mill-spun polyester fiber that
is rot and UV resistant and last for many years. Bags are avail-
ablein1.2x1.8m{4x6ft),1.2x24m{4x8ftyand 1.2x3 m
(4 x 10 ft) sizes from our nursery. We tie the bags over stock
plants as the fruits are maturing and include a couple of mar-
bles to help weigh them down.
After collection, seeds are passed through a metal strainer
to separate seeds from debris. Finally, we run our seedlots
through a fanning mill using various size screens to provide
clean seeds. This year, we will collect around 6.8 million seeds
from hundreds of plants in our nursery, many of them by
using this method. This ensures that we capture seeds when
they are ripe and protects them from loss. Our collection bags
can also be used for wild collections for many other species
that have rapid dispersal or present other problems for the
seed collector.
USDA NRCS. 2002. The PLANTS database, version 3.5. URL:
http://plants.usda.gov (accessed 18 Aug 2003), Baton Rouge (LA); The
National Plant Data Center.
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NATIVEPLANTS | SPRING 2004
50
RACQUETS, HOPPERS, AND FELT BOARDS—
LOW-TECH DEVICES FOR PROCESSING SEEDS
Scott Jensen |
In Utah, racquets and hoppers are used to collect small lots
of long-leaf hawksbeard (Crepis acuminata Nutt, [Aster-
aceae]} and pale mountain dandelion (Agoseris glauca
(Pursh) Raf. [Asteraceae]). These seedlots are often contam-
inated with squirreltail (Elymus elymoides (Raf.) Swezey
[Poaceae]) and cheatgrass (Broumus tectorum L. [Poaceae]).
We toss the mixed seeds at a large piece of plush felt—the
composite seeds fall to a collection container but the
appendages on the grasses stick to the felt.
seed cleaning, Asteraceae, Crepis acuminata, long-leaf
hawksbeard, Agoseris glauca, mountain dandelion,
Poaceae, Elymus elymoides, squirreltail,
Broumus tectorum, cheatgrass
USDA NRCS (2002)
t the USDA Forest Service Shrub Sciences Laboratory,
we collect the small-seeded composites (Asteraceae)
i Jong-leat hawksbeard (Crepis acuminata Nutt.) and
pale mountain dandelion (Agoseris glauca (Pursh) Raf.) by
hand or with racquets and hoppers. Badminton racquets have
a tight weave and are 1deal for coliecting lightweight seeds. Ten-
nis racquets can be used on shrub species, In either case, we
construct a hopper using cordura cloth sown onto a round
frame (Figure 1). The cloth is attached to the frame so that the
center has a drop down and seeds are not blown out of the hop-
per. When target species are in the open and higher in stature
than surrounding vegetation, 1 find the racquet and hopper the
fastest collection method. If the wind is blowing, I'll hand pick
individual plants, immediately placing the seeds from each
head into a bag.
Of course, some disparity in ripening time occurs among
plants in a population. Because you may not be able to return
to the site repeatedly to maximize a collection, we have experi-
mented with collecting heads prior to full ripening. On the
same day at the same site, long-leaf hawksbeard collected early
(seed heads not open) had 40% viability while those collected
with open heads yielded 61% viability. The effect of storage on
viability of these 2 lots is unknown, but it is apparent that
Figure 1. Collecting Asteraceae seeds with badminton racquet and a hopper
made from cordura cloth sown onto a round frame.
Figure 2. When tossed at a piece of felt, desired Asteraceae seeds fall into a
collection pan but unwanted grass seeds, with their prickly appendages, are
caught on the felt.
NATIVEPLANTS | SPRING 2004
LOW-TECH DEVICES FOR COLLECTING, PROCESSING, AND PLANTING SEEDS
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closed head collections may yield some viable seeds. If the site
is particularly windy a larger proportion of seeds may be har-
vested by early collection.
For small lot applications we have not found it necessary to
remove the pappus from the achene, so cleaning is simply a
matter of separating the chaff. Larger material can be picked
out by hand or separated by a screen. Two grasses (Poaceae),
squirreltail (Elymus elymoides (Raf.) Swezey) and cheatgrass
(Broumus tectorum L.), are the most common seeds that con-
taminate our lots. We remove these species on our specially
designed felt board. We simply drape a yard of plush felt mate-
rial over a similarly sized plywood board, incline the board to a
steep angle, and toss handfuls of seeds at the board. Most of the
composite seeds rebound off the board and fall to the collection
pan beneath. Shaking and tapping the board helps free any
remaining composite seeds. Appendages on the grass seeds are
caught on the loose weave of the felt (Figure 2). Different
weaves may be best suited for different problems posed by var-
lous seed types. We now use the plush felt material whenever
prickly seeded material needs to be separated from a seed lot.
USDA NRCS. 2002. The PLANTS database, version 3,5, URL;
http: //plants.usda.gov (accessed 20 Jun 2003). Baton Rouge (LA): The
National Plant Data Center.
CLEANING GRASS SEEDS
Colleen Archibald and Craig Dremann |
Wooden frames with hardware cloth provide an easy way to
effectively pre-clean small lots of grass seeds in the field. We
describe frames with 2 sizes of cloth used for western
grass species.
Poaceae, Elymus, Bromus, Festuca,
Koeleria, Deschampsia, wildrye, brome,
fescue, prairie junegrass, hairgrass
USDA NRCS (2002)
n the field, seed heads of small lots of grass (Poaceae) can
be harvested with scissors or small scythes and placed into
“. paper bags, making sure to make a donut hole in the cen-
ter гой filled bags. This allows air to penetrate down to the bot-
tom of the bag and prevents seeds from overheating in the
field (Figure 1). Rather than bringing all of the high moisture
content plant material back to the nursery for processing, dry-
ing, and cleaning, we find it useful to coarse screen the mate-
rial in the field. For this screening, we constructed simple
frames with hardware cloth, scrap lumber, and woodscrews.
We attached large diameter hardware cloth (6.35 mm [0.25
nj holes) to frames made from scrap wood {66 x 71 cm [26 x
28 in] long). Small wooden flaps can be secured to the sides of
the frames to give the frames some height. The hardware cloth
is secured between wood frames with woodscrews. Once con-
structed, we used the frames (Figure 2) for cleaning directly
after harvest in the field. It is essential to take a drop cloth and
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Figure 1. A donut hole in the collection bag allows air circulation and prevents
seeds from overheating in the field. 51
NATIVEPLANTS | SPRING 2004
52
Photo by David B Davis
Figure 2. A wooden frame covered with hardware cloth makes an effective
grass seed cleaning device.
paper bags, too. After collecting seed heads, we sit on the
ground with the screen and rub the plant material vigorously a
few times to dislodge the seeds from the inflorescences, which
tall onto the drop cloth. We pour seeds into paper bags for
transport back to the nursery.
Wildrye (Elymus spp. L.) and bromes (Bromus spp. L.) are
species we commonly and easily pre-clean in the field with our
screens. For smaller-seeded grass species, such as prairie junegrass
(Koeleria macrantha (Ledeb.) J.A. Schultes), hairgrass ( Deschamp-
sia spp. Beauv.), and fescues { Festuca spp. L.), we use frames with
smaller diameter hardware cloth (3.1 mm [0.125 in] holes).
We think you will be surprised how easily small lots of
many species can be cleaned with this method, and how mini-
mal the amount of chaff in the seed lot will be.
USDA NRCS. 2002. The PLANTS database, version 3.5. URL:
htto://plants.usda.goy (accessed 20 Apr 2003). Baton Rouge (LA): The
National Plant Data Center.
TUMBLING FOR SEED CLEANING
AND CONDITIONING
David Dreesen |
Small rock tumblers can be used to clean and condition
seeds both in an aqueous and a dry mode. During the
process, grit and gravel remove fruit pulp and abrade seed
coats. Wet tumbling of seed aids imbibition, leaches water-
soluble germination inhibitors, and may partially substitute
for cold stratification for some shrub seed lots.
Oleaceae, Forestiera pubescens var. pubescens,
New Mexico olive, Platanaceae,
Platanus wrightii, Arizona sycamore, Grossulariaceae,
Ribes aureum, Ribes cereum, Solanaceae,
Lycium torreyii, wolfberry, Cornaceae,
Cornus sericea ssp. sericea, redosier dogwood
USDA NRCS (2002)
t the Los Lunas Plant Materials Center in New Mexico,
we use small hobby-size rock tumblers to accomplish a
“number of seed cleaning and seed conditioning treat-
ments. The principal application of the tumbler has been the
maceration of dried or hydrated fruit pulp. We commonly use
It to remove pulp from dried New Mexico olive (Forestiera
pubescens Nutt, var. pubescens [Oleaceae]) fruits. The fruits are
collected in late summer or fall after the pulp has dehydrated
and adheres tenaciously to seeds. A wet tumbling procedure
employing pea gravel/crushed stone and water in a rubber-
lined tumbler vessel allows the rehydration of the pulp and the
slow abrasion of pulp from seeds. The amount of water is min-
imized so that the gravel and fruit makes a slurry. This method
is not quick, but the tumbler can be run overnight and checked
the following day. After a course of tumbling, the contents are
dumped into a sieve and the pulp is washed off, leaving clean
seeds. The tumbling process is repeated until clean seeds are
achieved (Figure 1).
Another cleaning application involves removal of fine hairs
attached to achenes of Arizona sycamore (Platanus wrightii S.
Wats. [Platanaceae}). The dry fruiting heads are crushed under
water to partially liberate the achenes while preventing dust
and fine hairs from becoming airborne (Figure 2). A slurry of
achenes with pea gravel is tumbled and the hairs detach over
NATIVEPLANTS | SPRING 2004
LOW-TECH DEVICES FOR COLLECTING, PROCESSING, AND PLANTING SEEDS
time and can be separated using sieves and strong sprays of
water, In addition, the wet tumbling thoroughly imbibes seeds
and may leach out water soluble germination inhibitors. After
cleaning and imbibition, seeds are typically cold stratified.
Dry tumbling to scarify legume seeds has been investigated
(Bonner and others 1974; Dreesen and Harrington 1997). The
rationale for dry tumbling is to avoid seed destruction that can
readily occur with sulfuric acid, boiling water, and high energy
impact mechanical scarification treatments. Dry tumbling is a
slow process taking several days to a week, but we often use it
when we have small seed lots we do not want to risk with other
scarification treatments. The procedure uses carborundum
grit (sold by rock tumbler dealers), pea gravel, and seeds. After
tumbling, scarified seeds are separated from the grit and gravel
with sieves. The grit can also be reused by washing the seed
coat debris through a fine sieve or by floating off the debris and
then drying the grit. Different size grits are available and we
typically use fairly coarse material. Coarse grit size 1s still much
smaller than most legume seeds, allowing the easy sieve sepa-
ration of grit, seeds, and gravel.
Wet tumbling can be used for scarification if an abrasive
(typically pea gravel) is incorporated in the seed and water
slurry (Dreesen and others 2002). The force imparted to the
grit by the tumbling gravel facilitates abrasion. Although this
treatment method may result in some seed coat degradation,
other effects may be more important, such as assuring com-
plete imbibition in well-aerated water and the leaching of
water soluble germination inhibitors in the seed coat. A typical
treatment would involve wet tumbling for several days to a
week with daily changes of water.
For a few species, wet tumbling may partially substitute for a
cold stratification requirement. Two currant species (Ribes
aureum Pursh and R. cereum Dougl. [Grossulariaceae]) and wolf-
berry (Lycitum torreyii Gray [Solanaceae] ) generally require 2 to 3
m of cold stratification to achieve acceptable germination. Wet
tumbling followed by 1 to 2 wk of storage in a warm moist envi-
ronment has resulted in germination without cold stratification.
The dry seeds of another important riparian species, redosier
dogwood (Cornus sericea L. ssp. sericea [Cornaceae}), generally
require 1 h scarification in concentrated sulfuric acid and then 2
to 3 mo of cold stratification for acceptable germination. Using
fresh fruit with hydrated pulp, rapid germination has been
achieved by wet tumbling the fruit with 1 to 2 cm (0.5 to 0.75 in)
gravel. Most of the pulp is removed in the first day of tumbling
and separated by screening and float/sink manipulations in water.
After pulp removal, seeds are wet tumbled for several more days
with daily water changes. The imbibed seed is then stored in a
warm moist environment; germination starts in about 7 to 10 d
and continues for several weeks. Although a limited number of
species have been tested with wet tumbling for seed conditioning,
additional species may benefit from this treatment.
Figure 1. The pulp of naturally dehydrated fruits {top) of New Mexico olive can
be removed using a rock tumbler, leaving extremely clean seeds (bottom),
BUNT ele Aq so30Ld
Figure 2. At Los Lunas Plant Materials Center, dry fruiting heads of Arizona
sycamore, seen lower left, are crushed under water in a large pan, The hairs
agglomerate into balls {gray sieve in foreground). A slurry of achenes and pea
gravel are tumbled in the rock tumber to dislodge the hairs. Finally, the ach-
enes, hairs, and pea gravel are separated with soil sieves with the cleaned
achenes visible in the brass sieve {background}.
53
NATIVEPLANTS | SPRING 2004
54
Bonner FT, McLemore BF, Barnett }P. 1974. Presowing treatment of seed to
speed germination, In: Schopmeyer CS, technical coordinator. Seeds of
woody plants in the United States. Washington (DC): USDA Forest Ser-
vice. Agriculture Handbook No. 450, p 126-135.
Dreesen DR, Harrington |T. 1997. Propagation of native plants for restora-
tion projects in the Southwestern U.S—preliminary investigations. In:
Landis TD; Thompson JR, technical coordinators. National proceed-
ings, forest and conservation nursery associations. Portland (OR):
USDA Forest Service, Pacific Northwest Research Station. General Tech-
nical Report PNW-GTR-419, p 77-82.
Dreesen DR, Harrington |, Subirge T, Stewart P, Fenchel G. 2002. Riparian
restoration in the southwest: species selection, propagation, planting
methods, and case studies. In: Dumroese RK; Riley LE; Landis TD, techni-
cal coordinators. National proceedings: forest and conservation nursery
associations—1999, 2000, and 2001. Ogden (UT): USDA Forest Service
Rocky Mountain Research Station. Proceedings RMRS-P-24. p 253-272.
USDA NRCS. 2002. The PLANTS database, version 3.5. URL:
http://plants.usda.gov (accessed 10 Jun 2003), Baton Rouge (LA): The
National Plant Data Center.
LOW COST TOOLS FOR
SEED COLLECTION AND SEED SOWING
Dawn Thomas |
A modified 35-mm film canister is a useful tool for con-
trolled sowing of small-seeded native species, and a simple,
metal, custom-made harvester makes for efficient collection
of late-season fleshy fruits.
Salicaceae, Populus, Salix, Philadelphus fewisii, Hydrangeaceae,
Carex, Schoenoplectus, Cyperaceae, Juncus, Juncaceae, Rosa
woodsii, Rosaceae, Symphoricarpos albus, Caprifoliaceae
USDA NRCS (20072)
7 n my nursery program, I find that simple, inexpensive
+ tools often work well. Two tools that I use regularly are a
+. 35-mm film canister with a hole punched in the lid, and a
custom-made, “fingered,” tin fruit harvester.
I use a film canister to accurately sow small seeds. First, I
measure the size of seeds of the species I intend to sow to get
an idea of how large or small to make the hole in the film can-
ister lid. Next, I heat the tip of a piece of wire and melt a hole in
the center of the lid from the bottom side out. I found that if T
melt the hole from the top inward, seeds will hang up on the
plastic edges around the hole and will not shake through easily.
[ test the shaker to see how many seeds come through the lid by
simply turning it over with 1 or 2 shakes. IT modify the size of
the opening on a new film canister lid based on the results.
For willows (Salix L.), quaking aspen (Populus tremuloides
Michx.), and black cottonwood (Populus balsamifera ssp. tri-
chocarpa (Torr. & Gray ex Hook.) Brayshaw [Salicaceae]) seeds, 1
try for a hole of sufficient size to allow 2 seeds to easily fall
through the opening per shake so that nursery workers do not
have to vigorously shake the containers. By taxing time to make
the hole size accurate, I reduce the amount of seeds sown per con-
tainer, the time it takes to sow the crop, and eliminate hours of
thinning multiple germinants per container (Figure 1).
This method works well for other small-seeded species,
such as Lewis’ mockorange (Philadelphus lewisti Pursh
NATIVEPLANTS | SPRING 2004
LOW-TECH DEVICES FOR COLLECTING, PROCESSING, AND PLANTING SEEDS
SELIOL | UME] AG 501904
Figure 1. Melting a hole in film canister lid converts it into an inexpensive but Figure 2. A custom-made metal harvester for collecting fruits.
effective device for sowing small seeds.
{Hydrangeaceae])} and for many wetland species, such as
sedges (Carex L.), bulrushes { Schoenoplectus (Reichenb.) Paila
[Cyperaceae]), and rushes (Juricus L. [Juncaceae]). USDA NRCS. 2002. The PLANTS database, version 3.5. URL: http://plants. usda.
gov (accessed 3 Dec 2003). Baton Rouge (LA): The National Plant Data Center.
I designed a metal fruit harvester out of tin so that we could effi-
ciently harvest large quantities of late-season fleshy fruits, such as
woods rose (Rosa weodsii Lindl. {Rosaceae]) and snowberry
(Symphoricarpos albus (L.) Blake [Caprifoliaceac]). The end of the
scoop has several metal fingers that are spaced so that when the
fruit-bearing stems are combed through the fingers, the fruits are
pulled off but the stems pass through the fingers undamaged. This
creates an easy and debris-free harvest of fruits when used after
leaf fall in late autumn. The tin fruit harvester can be made
il KL
cheaply by any local sheet metal shop and customized for late sea- Sonar 193 Need
son fruits in your area (Figure 2).
Perculesmanne
me Baller Bruch
милая Зайка
Ната Сян а боя:
Wathen Secels
Ulpkand Seeds
Tuel Grass
1676-0191
55
NATIVEPLANTS | SPRING 2004
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