Last year, we all came together to gather 200 pounds of milkweed pods! That’s over 19 million seeds! With this huge success, we’re ready to do it again!
With the decline in monarchs, many people are wondering what can they do to help save this beautiful species. One answer is to plant milkweed, but perhaps you don’t have an ideal location to spread the seeds. Well, there is another solution! The Ohio Pollinator Habitat Initiative (OPHI) is once again preparing for their Annual Milkweed Pod Collection from September 1st through October 30th. The seeds collected will be used to establish new habitat for the monarch butterfly. With your help, we can stop the rapid decrease in the monarch population!
When collecting seed pods, follow these simple guidelines:
- Pick the seed pods when they are dry. They should be gray or brown in color. If the center seam pops with gentle pressure, they are ready to be picked.
- When collecting pods, store them in brown paper bags. Plastic bags will create moisture causing the pods to mold.
- On the bag, mark the county from where the milkweed came from and the date it was collected. Usually the milkweed you will see is common milkweed (Asclepias syriaca) but if you are not sure of the type click here.
- Store the seeds in a cool, dry area until dropped off at the closest pod collection area.
- Harvesting the pods does NOT cause harm to the established milkweed. The milkweed plant will continue to come up in the following years. However, do not harvest all the pods from a particular area.
- When collecting pods be sure to wear appropriate clothing for the outdoors. Disposable gloves are recommended when picking or handling milkweed pods. Milkweed sap is an eye irritant.
“Common and swamp milkweed are essential to the survival of monarch butterflies in Ohio,” states U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service biologist Marci Lininger. “Ohio is a priority area for monarchs. This generation of monarchs is also responsible for starting the life cycle all over again in the spring and laying the following year’s first generation of monarchs in late summer.”
Milkweed pods can be dropped off at our office, 3140 South State Route 100, Tiffin. For more information contact one of the following individuals:
- Collin Warrick- Seneca Conservation District
- (419) 447-7073
- Marci Lininger- OPHI
- Lori Stevenson- OPHI
If Seneca Conservation District is not your local SWCD office, click here to get contact information for your local district. If you would like more information about harvesting milkweed seeds, watch this video! Get out and do your part to help save the monarchs!!
Want more information about monarchs? Check out the links below!
- Livestock Mortality Composting Certification Class - February 15, 2018
- Wildlife Diversity Conference - February 1, 2018
- EQIP Deadline is March 16th! - February 1, 2018
- 2018 Annual Tree Sale - January 25, 2018
- Why Plant a Pine Tree? - January 25, 2018
- Attention Students: SCD Scholarships are Now Open! - January 19, 2018
- 2018 Seneca Conservation Challenge - January 18, 2018
- Board Reorganizes & Sets Meeting Schedule for 2018 - January 17, 2018
- Guest Blog: Thank You! - January 17, 2018
- Remember Ohio Laws When Spreading Manure This Winter - December 28, 2017