Seed catchers – would this work?

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  • #14550


    Up until a week ago I had dozens of A. curassavica (tropical milkweed – both colours) with beautiful flowers and lush foliage on them, and the Monarchs had ignored them. Suddenly they decided they were too good for me, and most of them had eggs on them. The caterpillars then decided they’d like to eat the flowers! Not very helpful when I want to save the seed for the MBNZT.

    So I was wondering about taking some squares of netting about 30 cm x 15 cm, and sewing a 15cm length of Velcro? to each of the short edges, the hooks on one end and the loops on the other, then folding the piece in half so that the Velcro? ‘sealed’ and sewing the 30 cm (now 15cm folded) together so it made a pocket closed by the Velcro?. Then I could put the flowers in that, once I was pretty sure they’d been pollinated.

    Would that work? Is there anything like that on the market, or has anyone adapted anything like that to work?

    I know that the caterpillars will also eat the seed pods of A. curassavica, often favouring them and the flowers to the leaves!

    Ideas welcome.

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  • #26233


    Hi All,

    For this job I use ‘Knee highs’. I don’t wear them, but my mother does and is under instructions to save them ALL.

    I have used them for my bunches of grapes for years – keeps the wasps off while the fruit sweeten up, and really good for seedheads too. Just slide them on and tie them around the top. Sometimes if rushing I just lop the top off the ‘knee high’ and tie them on with that. The grapes or seedheads still get some sun to ripen and reasonable air-flow.

    It’s a good plant breeders technique used after hand pollination to ensure a particular cross.



    Anna, snap!!!
    I bought some of these little organza bags in a Spotlight sale a couple of years ago (80 cents, I think) and they work a treat.
    They have many sizes, but I bought small ones for this task.



    You can also buy litle mesh bags very cheaply from shops like Spotlight with a drawstring that may work. I think they have them for jewellery.



    A follow up about my planned seed bags – well dear Margaret Topzand made me some, and they’re working well. Effortless capture of seeds!

    Take a remnant of curtain netting – one that will let the light and warmth and air through, but not let your seeds escape. Buy a measure of Velcro? the same length as the length of your remnant fabric.

    Cut a strip of fabric down the length, about 20-25cm from the edge. Sew the hook side of Velcro? to one edge, and the loops side to the other, so when it’s attached you’ve made a sausage skin.

    Now stitch up the two ends of the sausage skin, and zig-zag a row across the tube about 10cm from the end, and another zigzag row across the strip just far enough away so that you can cut (separate) the pocket. Continue down the strip, making separate bags or envelopes.

    I put the whole seedhead in the bag, and Velcro? it shut. Give it a good shake after I can see the seed has left the pod, turn it upside down so the seed falls to the bottom of the bag, and then remove the whole bag on a sunny day when all is nice and dry.




    Yes that ought to work Jacqui.I have a bin full of net sleeves of various sizes.With those you can isolate most parts of the plant.You can also just leave them on to collect the seed when it ripens.

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