|Native plant seeds
perform best when planted soon after collecting. Try to plan your
landscape or habitat restoration
projects so you can sow the seed on-site or in beds or trays
shortly after collecting and cleaning it.
If you are not going to use the
seeds immediately, spread them thinly on screens in a warm,
well-ventilated area that is not in the sun. DO NOT dry seeds in
an oven. If you use a food dehydrator, turn off most of the
heating elements, and don't let the temperature exceed 100° F.
Turn the seeds over every other day to avoid damage from insects,
fungi, or moisture. Berry seeds are sufficiently dry if, when you
try to crush them between your fingernails they feel totally hard.
You can separate dried seeds from
chaff or debris by using different-sized screens, but don't spend
too much time trying to obtain pure seeds a little debris is
usually okay. However, be sure to throw out broken, shriveled,
moldy, and bug-eaten seeds.
Place thoroughly dried seeds in a labeled,
airtight container, and store it in the coolest place in the
refrigerator or in a cool, dry place. DON'T expose the seeds
to freezing temperatures (the ideal storage temperature is 34°-38°