Tag Archives: Sarracenia seeds

Superbowl Superbag Packing Project

Congratulations to the Green Bay Packers for winning  Superbowl 45! Awesome game it was, indeed.  And oh, the commercials — now that was the BEST part! HA! (That Doritos one with dude sucking on the fingertips – genius…)

So, what was I up to Sarracenia wise while watching the big game? I was packing. Seeds. Getting ready for cold damp stratification! YEP!   I finally got around to my big project and truth be told, I am quite behind. See, Sarracenia seeds do need a period of damp and cold in order to break away that waxy surface of their seed shell allowing them to germinate when it’s warm and sunny again.  On a typical year, I’m able to cold stratify and germinate all within the same year, thanks to our freakish mild climate here.  However due to cube farm matters as of late, it was difficult to get to this project in time.

If I had the room, I would be doing all this outdoors in tune with the seasons – stratifying right in the pot and media in the winter so that by the time spring rolls around, they’ll be germinating.  Being that 1.) I don’t have space and 2.) I don’t have the space 3.) I don’t have the space to get all 110+ crosses from last year stratified in that particular manner, I had to somewhat compact it and used those baggies that I mentioned in my other post.

This process can be somewhat labor intensive, but in the end – given my circumstance with space, it’s worth it.

Baggies for Stratifying! Courtesy of my local Beverly’s craft store!

These bags are where the seeds will be in cold damp stratification for the next 4-6 weeks or so.  To keep the Sarracenia seeds viable, I’ve kept them in cold dry storage in the fridge.

This will be my damp stratification media. It’s actually the media I use for planting. I added a little bit of water after this photo to moisten things up a bit. It’s a mix of sand and peat.  I learned from fellow grower, (Hi Mama Lo!) that sand could help scrape that waxy coating of the seeds.

And here  you see one tool that I find quite useful for scooping the media into the bags. I figure a spork would work equally as well.

So I take about half a spoonful of media and get that damp media in there.

Repeat the above for about a hundred times over, and get something that looks like that. Bags are now ready for the seeds!

I pulled the seeds I had in dry cold storage out of the fridge. You know, the ones I referenced to in this post…  that were stored next to the bacon. I’ve gone from the Vans box to the New Balance Box. This is ‘cuz I needed new running shoes and this box was available to hold all the stratification bags. “Strat-bags.” Gawsh, that sounds so nerdy… but heck, it works for me.

The envelopes that contained the seeds are then emptied into the “Strat-Bags”

Here you can see the small Sarracenia seeds (yeah, they’re small…) in the bag with the damp sandy media.

Strat-Bag, packed full of media and seed  is then slid back into the envelope – and remember that the envelope has the cross indicated on it. Helps keep things organized.

And now, here is the completed project. I actually finished up right after the Superbowl.  I covered it with foil, since the lid wouldn’t fit anymore then place the container back into the fridge (next to bacon, of course), and just wait for a few more weeks before I’m able to sow them onto the media. Throughout the course of this cold stratification, I may just take the packets and massage them a bit (if I feel like it) to allow the sand to gently scrape up the seeds a bit.  In the meantime, I’ll clear out another grow area for these bad boys.   Honestly, I think I can fill up a small nursery with all of these seeds in there!  Ah, this Superbowl Superbag Packing Project, good times indeed!   Just next time, I hope it’s the SF 49er’s that I’ll be packing to, hah!


2011: Seeds of Hope

Hope everyone had an awesome New Year! 2011 is now here! YEAH!
2011. Amazing to think  how fast time goes by. Wasn’t it only yesterday that we were worried about that whole Y2K thing?  And, oh yeah! So… uh, where’s my flying DeLorean?

I know it’s been a few days since I’ve posted; already 2011 is shaping up to be chalk full of activities.  The holidays have come and gone. It has been so great to spend time with family and friends (with great food and drink I may add…)  and just time with loved ones makes the season special. It will be back, before you know it.

So what’s in that box that I left back in 2010’s post?

Box. yes. I know it’s a box. Don’t judge a box by the… boxyness. I guess.  What’s on the inside is what counts…

Ohh…the box is now opened and what do we have here?  Envelopes! Not just any envelopes! They be filled with *even MORE* Sarracenia goodness. Filing anyone?  I know I was doing some filing in an earlier post, but here’s even more filing that had to be taken care of after that post. So much fun! I wanted to take you on a Sarracenia seed journey. We’ll be following these babies from envelope packing, germination and… beyond!

Tools I used included things like:

-Paper: It’s whats beneath all that paraphernalia. I’ll be using that paper to catch the seeds that will fall out of the pod.  It’s folded into quarters which will help direct the seeds to wherever they need to go.

Pliers: Great for removing splinters, removing ingrown toenails and other plier-ly things.  Oh, good for opening Sarracenia seed pods when things get too tough to crack.

-Pencil: Organization is key. Use it to label. Ya GOTTA know what you got! Pencils are also are great things to fling into ceilings when one is aggravated.

-Tooth flossy floss thing: gotta keep em pearly whites looking nice. Get that stuff growing in between yo’ teef’.  Great for scraping seeds from the pod too. I got this at some dollar store, but you can find these at random stores here and there.

-Coin Envelopes: For coins.  And seeds.   Both be straight up money, yo. I found these at the Office Depot.

-COFFEE: Very important. I suggest a nice bold French. Why this is important to Sarracenia – who knows. It just helps me focus on the job.

-Bag for waste (pictured below): I used a blue bag cuz it’s the only bag I had. This is for the empty Sarracenia  pod/shells. Keep your work area clean. It’s just nicer that way!

Above is a shot of that Tooth Flossing thing-ma-bobber. As you can see, great for getting the gnarlyness in between your gums. Great for scraping those seeds from the pods too.

So, inside the envelope are the seed pods that I harvested earlier that month. I keep the seeds stored in a cool dry location while still in the pod.  I do label the pod (as you can see) and the envelope as well.  Pictured above is  a nice red tall red moorei that I was crossed with the pollen of S. ‘Adrian Slack’ .

Cracking the pod! Sarracenia seed pods can be tough to open at times. When it’s like this, I take the pliers  and *gently* crack the pod open.

Once open, I can get to the seeds.  Here’s a first glance of the seeds of this cross.   There are MANY seeds in each pod, should the cross take.  Several hundred in there, and each plant contained in each of those seeds can be so different from the next. It’s part of what makes this breeding thing so awesome. Surprises everywhere!!!

Now I use that toothpick/floss/tooth thingmajigbobberish to scrape those seeds out.  There are A LOT of seeds and they can be tucked away in weird crevices. I use the tip to gently scrape the seeds out and onto the paper.

I then fold the paper slightly to get all the seeds together…

… then slide all the seeds into the labeled envelope.

Next, I file the seeds that I collect in a nifty Tupperware thing that I got at the dollar fifty store. (My local Daiso store actually…)

Then after it’s all collected and labeled… I store the seeds in the fridge.  Ok, so this is my secret.  Being that these are CARNIVOROUS plants, I like to get them started in that CARNIVOROUS direction early. I store them in the fridge NEXT TO THE BACON (center cut bacon might I add, but any bacon will do) as BACON is sheer awesomeness embodied in fatness. The seeds get AWESOME through osmosis chillin’ next to the BACON awesomeness.

Actually, not sure if the bacon adds anything to this thang — but it’s still pretty rad.

Since I can’t get the seeds into cold damp stratification  right away, this is where they will remain for now for the next couple weeks. Cold stratification will be another post in the near future that I’m looking forward to writing and photographing.

“Hu, cold damp stratification!?” you might say?  Yep – Sarracenia seeds need a period of cold and dampness before the germinate.  Much like our dreams and hopes at times… it may seem dead, but  it’s necessary to get it growing. (Yeah, awesome life parallel there to start 2011 off!)

I do have some high hopes for some of these seeds; so let us see what 2011 brings forth!

Anyway, I hope you all had an awesome New Year and here’s to a great year coming up!  Looking forward to growth both in life and in garden. Cheers!