Creating your own wellness Part 3 : Seed Stratification Continued
For those of us who live in the Midwest waking up in March with snow on the ground is common, when only a week ago it was 70 degrees. Temperature variations are so very important for the healthy growth of existing plants , as well as fragile transplants and seedlings. The importance of paying attention to the needs (temperature, type of soil, water conditions, etc.) of each plant is one of the first steps into a successful growth cycle.
In this next excerpt, I will continue on a few more different seed stratification processes. As always, I enjoy sharing and hope all enjoy the information, happy growing!!! Lets continue with Legume inoculation and a few more stratification processes.
LEGUME INOCULATION :
Legumes or plants from the bean family, will benefit from Rhizobium bacterium inoculation prior to planting. The bacterium causes the plant to form nodules on the roots , making it capable of taking nitrogen from the atmosphere and incorporating it into the plant . It is a very simple process , purchase the bacterium ( any local garden nursery ) , place a good amount of the bacterium in the hole with the seed , cover with soil and that's it.
Seeds that go through a 'double dormant' period (such as peony or trillium ) must spend two consecutive winters in the ground which then allows the seed to break dormancy. The best time to plant these kinds of seeds are in the fall, although they typically will germinate two years after being seeded during spring. (Always hard to wait , but gardening is an exercise in patience and perseverance).
Scarification is the process of scratching the seed coat to allow moisture to enter the seed. If your seed needs scarification, gently scratch the seed with sandpaper, ( I typically use an emery board) prior to planting outdoors or in conjunction with moist stratification. I personally use scarification with all my variations of nasturtium seeds.
Hot water is used for seed species that require heat to stimulate germination . Scarifying the seed , placing it in a container , and pouring boiling water over it mimics the effects of a prairie fire. Let the water cool , when cool, drain collecting the seed. Then you can Moist Stratify for 30 days ( see the directions for Moist Stratifying in the previous blog post).
I have also just soaked seeds in warm water for 24 hours then planted in the prepared ground usually after the threat of frost is gone in late spring. Sweet Peas, Morning Glories always with great success
Again, when the seeds have gone through the stratification process you can sew into pots, flats or if past the freeze in your area , direct seed into prepared soil( more to come on this step).
Prepping the seeds, starting that first step of gardening for the new season is so rewarding and always an exciting time of planning for new life, new herbal and medicinal stock replenishing yet to come.
Coming in the next blog , more in depth on grow cycle, transplanting and general grow tips.
Enjoy the empowering process of growing and creating your own wellness that is kind to you and our environment! Relax, Release, & Recoup!
* This blog is based off my personal growing experiences and in no way speculates this is the only way of growing plants , herbs ,flowers etc... Always do your own research and in growing everything is trial and error. I have had many an error and have learned along the way , it is part of the beauty of gardening and plant propagation. Enjoy, Relax, Release and Recoup!