Sunday, October 23, 2011

Planting seedlings

I found a large paper packet of seeds from 2010 BIS distribution. A complete mixture of things  but all looking dark and fine. Having had instruction on speeding up seedling growth a couple of weeks ago, I though I'd give it a go.
soaking seeds

Plastic bags purchased from IKEA - they're pretty red stripey bags, perlite from Homebase - not so pretty and jolly expensive, and a tray loaded with soaking seeds - 48 hours in the end.

teeny seeds 'relaxing' in the perlite
The idea is to soak the outer coat before easing it off - NOT as easy as it sounds, then pop the de-coated pale seeds into moist, not wet, perlite in a plastic bag, seal the bag and put that in the fridge for 6 weeks. Of course labelling is vital but as you can see mine smudged all over so fingers x'd it will be readable in 6 weeks.

hydrator bound bags of seeds
Follow that by planting them in compost and leaving on a warm windowsill from xmas to actual spring when they are ready to go outside and into the ground - in theory.

Basically it fools the seed into thinking it's had winter (vernalisation in the fridge time!) and that spring is  nice and warm/wet. Then there is a really LOOOOOONG summer (from planting to the end of real summer). Plants can apparently flower in 15-18 months with this method, which is great considering normal process is 2-3 years to flowering!

My hydrator is full of red stripey plastic bags full of vermiculite and tiny pale seeds.

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