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Thread: Sending CP seed to others

  1. #1
    Not Growing Up! GrowinOld's Avatar
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    Sending CP seed to others

    BE WARNED!

    I just recently had a few different sources send me some various types of CP seed (ie. VFT, Sarrs & Neps) and in each case lost all the seed (or very nearly all at best) to the Postal Machine's "Crushing Jaws of Death"!

    This hasn't happened in quite a while to me, but recently between ordering seed, SASE's and graciously donated/contributed seed, I have had more seed destroyed than ever before!
    The packaging done on these varied also, so I cannot blame the methods all that much. From normal paper wrapped (multi sheet and paper packaged) ...to packed and wrapped with a piece of bubble wrap inside, ALL methods succumbed to the Postal Machines of Death!

    I thought we had improved our methods and found our way thru this situation already, however it seems it is still a problem that needs addressing.
    Again, I do not blame the people who have sent me the seed, but I am saddened by the loss of viable CP plant material that could have led to the next Giant VFT or Flamboyantly colorful Sarr.

    So if you are reading this, please use it to your advantage and don't wait until this happens to you or the people you are sending seed to.
    Keep in mind that it IS worthwhile to put in some extra padding, use a more expensive padded envelope, some EXTRA bubble-wrap PLUS, Corrugated Cardboard or a bullet proof box! (even if it costs a few cents more...have them weigh it!). It IS worth it and it could be the difference between life and death for the seed you send.

    I used to think the methods we use were enough and that for the most part we solved this problem. In view of all the crushed seed I have received this past month or so, I now realize we have not. Indeed it is worth the extra time and expense, for why send it out at all unless you can ensure it arrives at its destination safely.
    I myself will try in the future, to not only pack the seed I send out more securely, but will also try to supply people I am sending a SASE to, more supplies in my envelope to protect the seed they send back to me!

    Good luck all!
    Paul
    Experience is the best teacher. At least it used to be.
    But then, common sense isn't so common anymore, is it.


    http://www.terraforums.com/forums/sh...d.php?t=113866

  2. #2
    Illinois droseraguy's Avatar
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    Ditto !
    I would like to suggest another method I have used in the past allegedly successfully. Cut a piece of cardboard box the size of the letter so it fits inside nicely. In the middle of the cardboard peice, cut out a square hole the size of your seed packet. I then taped the seed packet in the middle of the hole essentially taking the place of what was removed. Now you have a seed packet surrounded by cardboard that fits in a letter. Hope this was clear enough for you guys. If anyone has received a letter like this let us know how it went please !
    Only two defining forces have ever offered to die for you, Jesus Christ and The American G. I. One died for your soul, the other for your freedom.
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  3. #3
    Hello, I must be going... Not a Number's Avatar
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    If you stiffen the letter with cardboard there is an additional non-machinable surcharge of $0.20.

    http://www.usps.com/prices/USPS_prices_nm_pop.html
    Grand Hotel... always the same. People come, people go. Nothing ever happens.

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    Double ditto! Paper towel seem to do well also in absorbing the shock from the USPS machines. Much safer bet to pay any and all surchages for a padded envelope than it is to receive dust, in which case your entire postage will be wasted.

    Thanks for the tip Chris, I like that idea, you can also try hand writing "please hand sort" but it's a hit and miss... On the other hand I've never received any complaints from using bubble envelopes.

  5. #5
    Not Growing Up! GrowinOld's Avatar
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    I didn't realize this was still a problem as it hasn't happened to me in quite some time!
    But I had 5 packs of seed destroyed in little over a month, and that is a bit much!

    And I agree that paying an extra 20 cents is nothing compared to getting dust in the mail! (Thanks for looking that up NaN, as people might have just thrown on another stamp!)
    I haven't had much problems as far as the Dew seed are concerned. (Hard to tell with dew seed, as they are so small! BUT I did hear people having problems with crushed Nep seed, which are tiny/flat also!)

    The ones I saw obvious pulverizing on, were mainly on VFT seed, and some Sarrs. I have sent and received a fair amount of seed over the years (CP and non-CP) and rarely ever have a problem, IF people wrap the seed well. (Usually happens with larger seed, non-CP varieties that crush easily and aren't protectively wrapped.)
    But to have this happen was a wake-up call for me. It was a surprise however to have 5 batches of see that were sent to me at different times, and all wrapped differently, smashed to "smithereens"!
    The wrappings varied from a couple sheets of paper, to paper (or plastic) wrap with a piece of bubble wrap taped to one or both sides. Normally this is enough, but this time the seed was again crushed, as well as the little bubble wrap balloons.
    I used to think the bubble wrap was sufficient as I never had a problem with that method either, but seeing it crushed more than once was a red flag that this wasn't working either. Time to re-think the way we do things I guess.

    And indeed, Paper towel seems to work well on smaller seed, or if wrapped real well. I have received that way without a problem....so far! And indeed, the idea of cutting a "square hole" the size of the seed packet has worked out real well for me, both sending and receiving, I have had no problems either. (I don't know if it was you Chris, that sent me seed this way, but a couple people have and I have done it that way ever since, when sending anything larger and fragile, as it has worked real well). [Knock on wood!]

    I have done a variety of methods, depending on what I am sending and what mood I am in. (I guess it is time to not vary it based on my mood however!) I have usually written "Hand Stamp" on the envelope, but with today's automation, I have doubts that it means anything anymore!

    Well, no matter what, it is good to see that some people are concerned. Like I said earlier, I thought things were okay and that we had solved this problem with the Post Office. I hate to see more people wait to improve their methods (out of laziness or being cheap ), and for more seed to be lost.
    As I mentioned before, it could be the next one of a kind, rare and unique hybrid that is lost in process. Who among us wouldn't pay an extra $0.20 or bother cutting out a paper towel or piece of cardboard, in order to get a VFT with 3" traps, a Sarr. with all the colors of the rainbow in it, or a Nep with colorful peristome teeth on it big enough to bite your arm off!

    We owe it to the hobby and the plants themselves, to do everything we can to protect their young, for that is what the next generation will be based on! To most people it is just some seed and easily replaced. But you never know what for sure what genetic rarity the seed possesses. Unlike clones, seed can be unique.

    Good luck all! (And thanks to those for sharing more ideas on how to send safely and properly.) It is something that affects us all at some point.
    Paul

    I guess we don't know if something is working, until it doesn't!
    Last edited by GrowinOld; 09-20-2010 at 11:55 AM.
    Experience is the best teacher. At least it used to be.
    But then, common sense isn't so common anymore, is it.


    http://www.terraforums.com/forums/sh...d.php?t=113866

  6. #6
    Tropical Fish Enthusiast jimscott's Avatar
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    I think a few layers of paper towel provides enough cushioning and give for Drosera, VFT, & Sarracenia seeds

  7. #7
    Not Growing Up! GrowinOld's Avatar
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    Interesting solutions/opinions!

    I don't have to think...
    I have experience with it, (that conflicts with my previous experiences of the seed arriving safely...) and so I will not be taking chances with the seed I send to others in the future!

    I thought expressing what happened recently might be of interest to others here, but in view of things, I will go the extra step to offer pictures, in case anyone needs proof!

    I would agree so far with not having problems with most Dew seed, using some paper towels or other media to cushion the extremely tiny seed does still seem to work out fine in my experience. However as I already mentioned and now show in these photos of the VFT seed I have recently received, the methods most people are using is NOT working.
    These VFT seed were sent in a paper wrapper and a bubble-wrap backing (I also experienced same thing with bubble wrap taped on both sides of the paper wrapper [little folded-paper "envelope"] and also with paper towel folded a few times around the paper wrapper.)
    In all these cases, the VFT seed (and once with the Sarr. seed) was crushed. I experienced the same with Sarr seed, but to lesser extent. (I didn't bother to take photos of the Sarr seed, as it was the first I received and just blew it off as bad luck.)
    None of the Dew seed I received lately appeared crushed, and are likely so small that the paper towel does indeed cushion it enough. That or it did get crushed, and I can't see it!



    As can be seen in the pictures above, (1) Bubble wrap had most of the "bubbles" "popped" with 7 bubbles un-popped! (2) Line of crushed seed seen at tape seam of paper "envelope", (along with popped "bubble" and can be seen better (3 & 4).
    (5) Shows how even VFT seed that seems to be whole has had their seed coating broken and you can see lighter inner seed parts showing in places (see arrows), and (6) shows what the vast majority of the contents looks like.

    As I mentioned originally, from my recent experiences I concluded that a few layers of paper towel (or/and bubble pack) may still provide protection for an amount of Dew seed, however does not provide enough cushioning and "give", for VFT, & Sarracenia seeds. But hey, that's just my opinion! Iit is up to you all to decide for yourself what is best to do. Perhaps it never will happen to anyone else! Besides, it could be that it is only our local post office causing this problem!

    These seed came from members here on TF, but I certainly don't blame the people who sent the seed. However I did feel it was my responsibility to share my experience and what I found happening, and to let others know that there may be a problem with the "accepted" way we pack up seed for shipping.

    As for me, I care about the progeny of these plants and the people I send seed to. Prior to this I only had occasional problems, usually with other larger, garden type seed and only rarely with CP seed. This recent experience however, was enough of a wake-up call for me and I intend to improve my methods as a result.

    If anyone still thinks that what they are doing is good enough, who am I to say it is not.
    One solution that was offered was to send me more seed (a larger quantity) which indeed did result in my getting a decent portion of un-crushed seed! It did however also result in my getting 2/3+ of crushed seed in the process, as the seed was packed the exact same way! So I guess there is more than one way to solve this problem!


    Good luck all!
    Indeed it is hard to fill a cup that is already full.

    Live and learn... or live and don't learn.
    Experience is the best teacher. At least it used to be.
    But then, common sense isn't so common anymore, is it.


    http://www.terraforums.com/forums/sh...d.php?t=113866

  8. #8
    Tropical Fish Enthusiast jimscott's Avatar
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    The bubble mailers for seeds larger than sundew seeds work well. I would think that a layer of thin bubble wrap on both sides of a packet is sufficient.

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