How do I know when to bag my plants?
In general, plants can be bagged two weeks after flowering. Since flowering is not always easy to see in Setaria viridis, look for a few dark seeds to appear on your main (tallest) panicle. When you see these seeds, it is time to bag your plants.
- Hold a bread bag up to one of your plants. Take note of how long your bag will need to be to fit the plant inside. Leave enough room for the plant to grow about 3-4 more inches and cut the excess bag material from the open end.
- Invert the bag over the plant, so that the closed end is on top. Each plant will be bagged separately. There will be extra space at the top of the bag so the plant has room to grow. Put the individual tags with family number and plant number into the bag with the plant so they do not get lost.
- Use a twist tie to secure the bag around the plant near the soil line.
- Sometimes the bags cause the plants to fall over. This can make watering difficult. To fix this problem you can use a piece of string to wrap around a family of individually bagged plants. The string will hold all of the plants upright, and allow watering.
- When your plants have matured and begin to undergo senescence (when they age to the point where their oldest leaves (the flag leaf) begin to yellow or brown), you should stop watering and let your plants dry down. When they are dry (about one week after you stop watering), you are ready to collect seeds.