Bega Liz
Posts: 62
Joined: 15 Nov 2021, 06:21
Location: Bega Valley, NSW
Contact: Website

Controlling pests in seeds

Hi all,
Just a query about what you are doing to control pests in your seeds so that you aren't disappointed the following year by finding you have a jar/envelope full of eaten out seeds and insect frass?
Our group has been putting jars of seed in the freezer for a few days. But another seed saver has just shared with me their technique of solarising the seed after winnowing to kill insects (or at least make them uncomfortable so they move on promptly?).
seed being solarised.jpg
seed being solarised.jpg (179.06 KiB) Viewed 136 times
It seems there is an art to the solarising to make sure the seed aren't cooked. In the middle of summer it might mean putting the seeds in the sun for just a short period (a few minutes) and in mid-winter it might be a few hours. Does anyone else use this technique?
Given I've always worked under the impression that seed could be damaged with too much heat and have worked to keep the seeds cool this technique made me blink and wonder whether this is something to incorporate into our toolbox or whether we should avoid it as too risky. While the timing of how long to leave it out might require some skill it avoids the challenge of knowing whether your seed is dry enough to go into the freezer (because freezing seed with any moisture in them is also risking damaging the seed as the moisture expands as it freezes).
Bega Liz
Posts: 62
Joined: 15 Nov 2021, 06:21
Location: Bega Valley, NSW
Contact: Website

Re: Controlling pests in seeds

Jon Kingston has just shared with me the following references for using solarisation for insect control in seeds.

https://storedproductinsects.com/biolog ... festation/

https://academic.oup.com/ae/article/37/4/228/2474348

It obviously works for a wide range of seeds. Does anyone know of seeds it wouldn't work for?

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