Germination of "Difficult" seeds - USDA method



Germination of "Difficult" seeds - USDA method

Mon Mar 01, 2010 11:56 pm

Some seeds can be more difficult to germinate then others, be it an older seeds, limited number of rare seeds or just plain "generally difficult" variety to begin with...

Wanted to share some info that my help some of you who has few of those special seeds that need of a little aid. Posted while back by an avid tomato grower:

http://tgrc.ucdavis.edu/seed_germ.aspx

I planted majority of the seeds on 02/20/2010, while most germinated in the matter of 2-4 days, there were some stragglers. While it is possible some of those seeds may still come up in few days, I seeded another small flat on Feb 27th, and today I see first signs of germination already (those stubborn ones are alive afterall).

I also noted an amazing (to me) transformation: After 30min of soaking in the 1/2 strength bleach solution, and thorough rinsing the seeds - dark "skin" of the seeds becomes completely translucent, revealing what I've never seen in the real life - anatomy of the seed! Curly little babies, and you can tell immediately which seeds are full of dormant life (and most likely to be viable) and which seeds are a waste...


Image


Would I use this method every time - no indeed, but for those "special need" seeds - works, work well!

Hope this article helps!

Regards,
D
User avatar
Duh_Vinci
Greener Thumb
 
Posts: 867
Joined: Apr 12 '09
Location: Virginia

Tue Mar 02, 2010 1:54 am

Beautiful photo!
User avatar
rainbowgardener
Super Green Thumb
 
Posts: 19025
Joined: Feb 15 '09
Location: Ohio, USA zone 6

Tue Mar 02, 2010 5:32 am

Awesome!

Will that only work with tomato seeds?

I sowed some Rubine Brussels Sprouts, and the little guys germinated okay, about 30%, but they are 2007 seeds. I got them about a month ago, so I don't know storage on them

But, they sent up a weak stem, and soon as I took them out of the germination box, fell over dead within a couple hours.
The other kinds of brussels did not do this. But they are fresher seeds.


I am going to plant them again. And leave them longer this time.

But, has anyone had this issue? I noticed in the link they mentioned weak seeds.
Talk to your plants.... If your plants talk to you... Run!
User avatar
Ozark Lady
Greener Thumb
 
Posts: 1861
Joined: Jan 5 '10
Location: NW Arkansas, USA

Tue Mar 02, 2010 9:14 am

Wow, that's an incredible picture!
katylaide
Cool Member
 
Posts: 86
Joined: Jan 4 '10
Location: Adelaide Hills, Australia

Tue Mar 02, 2010 10:44 pm

Aren't those little guys amazing? Like a little babies!

Ozark Lady wrote:...Will that only work with tomato seeds?...

Someone also mentioned that it works on Pepper seeds, but have not heard of anyone using it for anything else, besides, brassicas family seeds are sooooo tiny, it would be rather difficult to rinse them off I think?

Well, the results so far are very pleasing to me, germination in 3 days of the same seeds that have done nothing during routine seeding!

And Gixx - if you reading this - Black From Tula, this time, 4 seeds, 4 germinated, same seed source as the first round, and that makes me happy!

No germination yet on 3 varieties of the same batch, but this evening would be only 3 days from seeding, so I'll try to be patient! Though I must admit, these are among the ones I've been really looking forward to try:

Spudatula (PL version of Black Tula)
Berkley Tie-Dye Heart
Pink Berkley Tie-Dye

So that makes the "patience" somewhat a stretch :roll:

Regards,
D

EDIT - Last year many co-workers asked if I could share some plants of Black Krim and Cherokee Purple, when first, giving me a look "Are those eatable? They look like a bruise!" But after tasting them - story changed...

So I planted the seeds for giveaway plants on Sun evening after bleaching them - just opened a small germination box (Wawa Hot Dog plastic box that is, great for small batches of seeds)! Less than 48 hours = germination!
User avatar
Duh_Vinci
Greener Thumb
 
Posts: 867
Joined: Apr 12 '09
Location: Virginia

Wed Mar 03, 2010 12:14 am

Windows to the life within -- amazing! Thanks for posting DV. :D

Just sowed the main tomato seed starts yesterday. Luckily, late last fall, I had stashed a couple of 3 gal pots of finished compost in the covered plastic composter. The my main compost pile is way too cold and SOGGY from the 24" snowmelt to shift out anything usable right now.
User avatar
applestar
Mod
 
Posts: 16600
Joined: May 1 '08
Location: Zone 6, NJ (3/M)4/E ~ 10/M

Wed Mar 03, 2010 12:57 am

That's pretty neat. =) I may try this with my next set of seeds.
User avatar
tn_veggie_gardner
Senior Member
 
Posts: 178
Joined: Feb 17 '10
Location: Hermitage, TN.

Wed Mar 03, 2010 2:08 am

That is AMAZING! I will definitely have to try that.

What all do you do to your tomato and pepper seedlings before you plant them? Do you soak them, use a heat mat, or a heat light to encourage the fast sprouting? Do you have them in window light or artificial light when they sprout....wait a second, I remember you said you keep them away from light when sprouting.

Sorry if I'm taking this a bit off-topic :oops:, but you have some fast germination rates 8).
There's something new growing in the Helpful Gardener Forum! Become a part of it here!
garden5
Super Green Thumb
 
Posts: 3070
Joined: Aug 7 '09
Location: ohio

Wed Mar 03, 2010 10:26 pm

applestar wrote:Windows to the life within...

Nicely said, spot on, Apple!

G5 - to be honest with you, for the most part, nothing special.

Soil-less Seed Starting Mix - Espoma (3 parts) with added worm castings (1 part)
Germination in the dark, heat mat, 1020 trays, dome lid on
Temperature inside the dome 82-83F
Seedlings go under the grow light as soon as they are germinated (no heat mat)
Transplanting into small containers when fist true leafs are established
Transplant them again into a larger containers about 4 weeks before planting into the garden.

That's about all. Before this Bleaching method, known difficult to germinate seeds I soaked in the black tea overnight, seems to help also, but this USDA method mentioned above - I think I will use for those "special" seeds from now on.

Regards,
D
User avatar
Duh_Vinci
Greener Thumb
 
Posts: 867
Joined: Apr 12 '09
Location: Virginia

Wed Mar 03, 2010 11:25 pm

I have an excess of seeds that I saved last year, and since, I thought they were, defunct, because I didn't ferment them. I didn't keep the names... grrr. Mystery tomatoes... but they were o.p. I know that, cause I don't knowingly grow hybrids. Oh well, I got 100% germination. So, I really have an excess.

I have just got to try this bleach thing... I wanna see it.
Hey, did you magnify them alot? How did you get such a beautiful view?
I can see that they are larger than life. But, can you see them, before you take the photo and enlarge it?
Talk to your plants.... If your plants talk to you... Run!
User avatar
Ozark Lady
Greener Thumb
 
Posts: 1861
Joined: Jan 5 '10
Location: NW Arkansas, USA

Wed Mar 03, 2010 11:39 pm

You can definitely see them with the naked eye, but not in such detail. Picture is taken with 100mm 1:1 macro lens and 75mm extension tube, so you are right, definitely larger than the actual seeds...

Regards,
D
User avatar
Duh_Vinci
Greener Thumb
 
Posts: 867
Joined: Apr 12 '09
Location: Virginia

Fri Mar 05, 2010 4:18 am

That is awesome D_V. I actually heard about this on another site the day after this was posted, ironic.

Congrats on the BFT's The one's I replanted (seed) came up rather quickly this time for me (no bleach though).

As usual most awesome pic bro.
Maya we miss you more than words can describe. We love you so much and always will. Good bye baby girl.

Feed the Earth and it will feed you!
User avatar
gixxerific
Mod - Tomato Forum
 
Posts: 5912
Joined: Jun 26 '09
Location: Wentzville, MO (Just West oF St. Louis) Zone 5B




    

  •   Similar Topics
    Replies
    Views
    Last post


Return to TOMATO FORUM - How to Grow Tomatoes