Friday, January 18, 2013

Stratify and Scarify seeds

 So this is the first "harvest"!! lol I ended up thinning some lettuce that was growing outside in the beds. I tried to weigh it but it wasn't even a .00 oz I put it in an egg salad sandwich.

So I started some English lavender and Echinacea by stratifying them and placing them in the frig.

What is Stratification?

Stratification is the process of pretreating seeds to simulate natural winter conditions that a seed must endure before germination. Many seed species undergo an embryonic dormancy phase, and generally will not sprout until this dormancy is broken. The time taken to stratify seeds depends on species and conditions; though in many cases two months is sufficient.

 The Lavender was placed in moist vermiculite and the Echinacea was placed in moist seed starting mix. 

 Use a nail file to lightly scrap one side of the seed, called Scarification. To do this either rub the seed in your fingers to loosen the top layer of the seed or lightly scrap with a file until you see the under layer of the seed. Soak the seed after you've done this or place it in moist soil.

Seed that are larger usually need to be scarred to allow them to soak up water/moisture. Perennial seeds usually need to be stratified. Wrinkly seeds and seeds you have scarified need to be soaked in water. Once you place your seeds in moist seed starting mix or vermiculite then place them in the frig for the amount of time stated on the packet, you may also place them in the freezer but keep in mind it's not only about the cold to germinate but it's the time as well. So when a seed packet stats placing it for 4-6 weeks don't think placing it in the freezer for 2 weeks will work, it might not.

What seeds are you planting that might need to be stratified or scarified?

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