Collecting native seed requires a considerable investment of time, patience, and diligence. If the seed is to be stored for any length of time, the next step is to properly care for the harvest! Drying, cleaning, and storage requirements for prairie seed after collecting will depend on how and which species are collected, the length of time stored, and the intended seeding method. If seed is collected in bulk and immediately spread on a restoration site, little processing is necessary. Also, seed quality varies greatly from each year and from one site to another, so extensive cleaning may be fruitless if seed quality is poor. Provisions should be made to begin drying any material stored more than a day.
Consider keeping seed collections separate for individual species to facilitate thorough cleaning, and assessment of seed quality. This is especially important if seed is collected for long-term storage, seedling propagation, seed testing, or for special restoration efforts.
Tallgrass Prairie Center
Original Publication Date
UNI ScholarWorks, Rod Library, University of Northern Iowa
©2018 Greg Houseal
Houseal, Greg, "Prairie Restoration Series: Drying, Cleaning and Storing Prairie Seed" (2018). Tallgrass Prairie Publications and Reports. 35.