Summary from Seed Collection Workshops

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    Ros Bowyer

    Hello again 🙂

    Well we held three workshops on 6/10, 10/10 & 14/10 and loved catching up with many of our participants for the 2018 project as well as some new people. It was so great to share stories, to hear how precious the daisies had become to many of you, to hear how some who hadn’t previously been able to garden with any success had this time grown beautiful strong plants from seed. So satisfying and inspiring to be a part of this community!

    Those who came to the workshops took home a few pots of daisies to be able to practice their newly acquired seed harvesting skills on and to continue working with into 2019.
    Hazel showed us what the daisy head should be looking like as it’s becoming ready to harvest and what the steps are that we need to take over the next couple of weeks.

    In summary:

    1. When the flower head is starting to dry out and the outside petals are opening more, becoming flatter it’s time to harvest.
    * You can feel the outside ‘belly’ of the daisy head feeling firm as the seeds have started to form.
    * Cut the stem leaving a good 15cm of stem attached to the flower – this gives it more ‘juice’ to continue nourishing the seed.
    * You don’t want to wait ’til the petals fold down completely and the inside becomes really fluffy as the seed can just release spontaneously at this point and you will lose much of it.
    * If you want to harvest sooner rather than later, stop watering your daisies, they will dry out and move more quickly towards being ready for this next step.

    2. Collect all your daisy stems carefully in a box. Give it a spray with insect spray (otherwise insects can get in and eat the seed). Put newspaper over the top for an hour or so to ‘fog’ the spray and allow it to settle in, then remove the paper.

    3. ‘Fluff’ your stems every couple of days to aerate – this stops them going mouldy.

    4. Repeat the spray 2 – 3 times between now and February when we will meet together again to go through the seed extrication & cleaning process.

    5. You can keep 5 flower heads for yourself and your garden – each head will produce enough seed for a whole pot of daisies! We request the remainder of the seed back, as we discussed with you at the beginning of the project so we can keep building the seed bank.

    6. When we have processed all the seed from all the varieties we will give you seed so you will also have some of the less common varieties to start building your own garden up with.

    As a final note, please post any questions onto this Forum rather than asking us in individual emails as we’re wanting to share information more broadly with the community now so we all learn and grow together!

    🙂 Ros

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