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2014 pre-germinating/sprouting experiment Peas, Corn, Curcs

As I mentioned in the other thread, I decided to pre-germinate the corn before planting this spring.

...I don't know why, but I decided since I also wanted to start these squash and melons inside this year, I might as well pre-germinate them as well. I tossed them all in the same sprouter because I can tell the corn apart and I'm not going to worry about the squash and melons -- I can tell the kind of seeds apart, and the same crop are going in the same beds since I'm not concerned about saving seeds or cross pollination with these.

Corn and small squash 04/19/14 Seed sprouter
Corn (Bloody Butcher, Cherokee long ear; Experimental Hybrid Sweet from Early Bird Garden), squash (Japanese Pie mixta, Seminole moschata, and Red Kuri maxima) plus melon (Ananas D'Amerique A Chair Vert), watermelon (Early Moonbeam, Sugar Baby, Charleston Grey)
Corn, squash, and melon mix
Corn, squash, and melon mix
These other group of squash are ones that are susceptible to SVB's and I'm planning to try something to protect them, so they went into a separate sprouter:

Protect from SVB squash 04/19/14 Seed sprouter
Pepo - Kakai, Delicata Cornell's Bush; Maxima - Guatemalan Blue, Red Kuri, Uncle David's
Protect from SVB squash mix
Protect from SVB squash mix
Also, due to the long winter and roller coaster weather, etc. I'm trying to plant some late peas in a hurry so pre-germinating these:

Peas, Tall Telephone 04/19/14 Jar sprouter
Tall Telephone peas
Tall Telephone peas
Peas, Green Beauty snow 04/19/14 Jar sprouter
Green Beauty snow peas
Green Beauty snow peas
Peas, Sugar Snap and Sugar Daddy 04/19/14 Jar sprouter
Sugar Daddy and Sugar Snap peas
Sugar Daddy and Sugar Snap peas
[/b]
The Green Beauty peas look like they might be ready to sow in the morning. 8)
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Re: 2014 pre-germinating/sprouting experiment

I forgot to mention why the peas are in separate jars the way they are :oops:

Tall Telephone is a tall growing pea variety that grows to 5-6 feet and needs net or string trellising, and is a shelling pea harvested after the pods are nearly filled out and peas are touching.

Green Beauty is a tall growing snow pea variety that grows to 6-7 feet and needs net or string trellising, and are harvested when the peas are just starting to make lumps but the pods are flat.

Sugar Snap and Sugar Daddy are tall growing snap pea varieties that grows to 6-7 feet and needs net or string trellising, and are harvested when the peas are starting to fill out and pods are rounded but tender.

-- well they all need similar kind of support, why not mix them up and grow them together? --

...it turns out that the pods are not always easy to tell apart. It can be done, but when those pods are playing hide and seek in the vines and you have to circle them twice to find them all, it can get frustrating to differentiate as you pick. Then if you just harvest them all together, you have to differentiate them at the prep stage from a giant mound.

Ehm. Am I the only one that had to go through all that to learn NOT to plant them together? :oops: :lol:

I don't have any of the short varieties left -- I already sowed them in windowboxes much earlier when the ground was still too frozen/soggy. But short ones shouldn't be planted with tall ones because they only need 2-3 ft support or not at all (they can be grown in wide row and lean against each other for support.)

They will get overwhelmed/shadowed by the taller varieties and they bloom and form pods at less than or around knee height whereas the tall varieties won't start forming pods until they are taller, so your pod search "zone" is different as well.

At this point, I'm feeling a little rushed because these taller varieties need about 65-75 days to maturity which would take us into end of June - Early July and it could be way too hot by then.
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Re: 2014 pre-germinating/sprouting experiment Peas, Corn, Cu

I won't bore you (again) with pictures of all of them, but I was right about the Green Beauties :()
Germinated Green Beauty snow peas ready to sow
Germinated Green Beauty snow peas ready to sow
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Re: 2014 pre-germinating/sprouting experiment Peas, Corn, Cu

OK, so the germinated Green Beauty snow peas are planted outside in the ground (Spiral Garden outer spiral at 1-3:00) There are maybe 2 dozen ungerminated seeds that I'll continue with the rinse/drain regimen and see if they are viable.

I left the corn and squash sprouters on a sunny windowsill this morning, and the red bloody butcher corn have germinated and are ready to sow :D
Germinated bloody butcher corn seeds (red)
Germinated bloody butcher corn seeds (red)
These will be planted 1" apart in 6" deep 1 qt containers. Last year I tried the 2" mini soilblocks as well as the deep containers and they both worked, but I think the shallow root depth in the soilblocks stunted the taproot on some of them. Probably recycle containers out of cut off milk cartons.

Once the seedlings start to grow and the soil in the garden warms up a bit more (I'll probably wait until after last average frost which is a week away) I'll transplant out the most uniform seedlings together in a block.
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Re: 2014 pre-germinating/sprouting experiment Peas, Corn, Cu

Horrors! I didn't take a photo :wink: but Tall Telephone peas were ready to sow by late PM, so I used them to fill in the considerable empty gaps in the double row of Tall Telephone I direct seeded earlier at beginning of April under the Kids' Garden trellis. The ones that did sprout and are growing are about two inches tall ATM. I wonder if these will catch up?
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Re: 2014 pre-germinating/sprouting experiment Peas, Corn, Cu

I just read at the sproutpeople website that pumpkin seeds are what they call "soaks" --
Soaks
A seed that never produces a root (sprout) though it has been Soaked, Rinsed and Drained. Any seed that has soaked up water has broken it's dormancy and begun life and is therefore, one amazingly powerful food, so eat 'em up, sprout or not! Almonds are the best example of a seed which results in a "Soak" instead of a Sprout. Pumpkin, Sunflower and Peanuts are also Soaks. See also; Sprout.
But they feel the pumpkin seeds are awakened from dormancy on soaking, so I think maybe I should sow them in containers of soil. I have an idea about that, so I need to experiment a little first....

...Hmmm... When I pasted the quote of their description here, I noticed they included sunflower seeds. But didn't my sunflower seeds grow a radicle/root last year when I pre-germinated them? I'm going to have to go look..... :?

:arrow: https://www.helpfulgardener.com/forum/vi ... 52#p297352
:idea: Ah hah! :idea:
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Re: 2014 pre-germinating/sprouting experiment Peas, Corn, Cu

...just came in from container sowing all the germinated corn -- Bloody Butcher (24 + 24 + 5), experimental hybrid sweet corn (24 + 7), and Cherokee Long Ear popcorn (only 15 so far)
Germinated corn in water to keep from drying out while sowing... also from tangling roots
Germinated corn in water to keep from drying out while sowing... also from tangling roots
Trouble with this method is that you are at the whim of the germinating seeds. :roll: When they are ready with just the tip of their radicle/root showing, you have to sow them right away. They are merciless. (My back is killing me :| )

The sugar snaps are looking ready, too, but I ran out of daylight and energy, so. I rinse/drained them and put them in the fridge to slow them down until tomorrow. :wink:
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Re: 2014 pre-germinating/sprouting experiment Peas, Corn, Cu

I guess I was being impatient :oops:

One of the (Pepo - Kakai, Delicata Cornell's Bush; Maxima - Guatemalan Blue, Red Kuri, Uncle David's) germinated around lunchtime today:
Germinated seed (largish tan seed at 7 o'clock position)
Germinated seed (largish tan seed at 7 o'clock position)
Not Kakai (green) or Red Kuri (yellow) and thinking back, probably not Bush Delicata (smallest) -- so either Guatemalan Blue or Uncle David's Dessert.
And a Kakai around dinnertime:
Germinated Kakai seed (green seed at 2 o'clock... Maybe another one at 8 o'clock)
Germinated Kakai seed (green seed at 2 o'clock... Maybe another one at 8 o'clock)
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Re: 2014 pre-germinating/sprouting experiment Peas, Corn, Cu

More pictures :()
These are too long but can and were planted very carefully -- I did break a few
These are too long but can and were planted very carefully -- I did break a few
Even the melon seeds germinated in 4 days. Still waiting for watermelons
Green Kakai Hulless seeds and melon seeds (Ananas D'Amerique A Chair Vert)
Green Kakai Hulless seeds and melon seeds (Ananas D'Amerique A Chair Vert)
image.jpg
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Re: 2014 pre-germinating/sprouting experiment Peas, Corn, Cu

:-() 1st corn sprouted!
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Re: 2014 pre-germinating/sprouting experiment Peas, Corn, Cu

Ignored these except to rinse/drain them in the morning and noting they need to be planted.
Look at them now -- this is after the bedtime rinse/drain.

These squash seeds are ready to shed the seed hulls
Overgrown germinated squash seeds
Overgrown germinated squash seeds
and the watermelons are starting to germinate in other sprouter :shock:
Germinated watermelon seed at 8 o'clock
Germinated watermelon seed at 8 o'clock
...I have ZERO energy at this point, so they will just have to wait until tomorrow morning. :roll:
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Re: 2014 pre-germinating/sprouting experiment Peas, Corn, Cu

LOL This is why you don't want to create threads with duplicate or overlapping topic
I posted this in another thread and got confused when I didn't see the photos in this thread :roll:
Subject: Pre-germinating/pre-sprouting pumpkins and squash -- anyone?
applestar wrote::D it'll be an interesting experiment to see what happens 8)

Those seeds looked like this in the morning. You can clearly see the squash roots starting to differentiate and the root hairs in the other one (can't tell if that's a Cherokee Long Ear popcorn I missed or a watermelon)
Way overgrown squash seeds
Way overgrown squash seeds
image.jpg
It seems like most of the later germinating seeds were maxima and mixta/angeosperma varieties... Or at least I sowed a bunch of them today. Also a few watermelon seeds. A couple of the squashes have sprouted, forcing me to scramble for warm spots under good lights.

Corn are sprouting....
Sprouting corn
Sprouting corn
...and speaking of pre-sprouting, I found these in the pantry today :roll:
Sprouting potatoes, cut up and drying
Sprouting potatoes, cut up and drying
Nope not seed potatoes, just regular eating organic russet potatoes, but they looked clean of any obvious, visible problems... So I'm planting them! :>
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Re: 2014 pre-germinating/sprouting experiment Peas, Corn, Cu

Corn seedlings are rapidly growing:
image.jpg
It's supposed to rain for several days starting Monday (tomorrow) night, so I'm thinking of planting these tomorrow... But the soil temp is only 50°F.

Some of the first pre-germinated squash seeds to sprout:
image.jpg
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Re: 2014 pre-germinating/sprouting experiment Peas, Corn, Cu

Subject: 2014 - this year's Spiral Garden Project
applestar wrote:Since we are expecting three days of deluge starting tonight, I went ahead and planted the corn seedlings from the pre-germinated corn experiment. Most of them were 2-3" tall and unfurling the first leaf, though there were some seeds that had only just started growing the leaf shoot. Longest roots were about 5 inches but most were about 3 inches long.
Entire Spiral Garden
Entire Spiral Garden
Inner Spiral after planting corn seedlings
Inner Spiral after planting corn seedlings
Those extra pre-germinated corn that were sown in the outer spiral have not sprouted yet.

Today was the last average frost. As I understand it, cold tolerant varieties of corn that is typically pretreated with fungicide to prevent rotting can be sown as early as one week before to the day of last average frost. Otherwise, I believe it's better to wait until a week after.


Oh! I also planted the Cherokee Long Ear popcorn seedlings in one of the green square pots. This bed is on the SW side of the house (vs. NE side that the Spiral Garden is located) and typically warms up faster. The pre-germinated corn I sowed directly in the ground had just started to poke up the first seedleaf tubes. I don't know if the pre-germinated and grown in the house seedlings will experience and transplant shock setback, but about 1/3 of them were at about the same stage as the emerging outside seedlings. So either way, they will hopefully have equivalent maturity plants to exchange pollen with.

This is a tiny bed only 4 feet wide. I will definitely be hand pollinating these. But these are short plants and should be easy to manage.
Cherokee Long Ear popcorn
Cherokee Long Ear popcorn
I also sowed two pre-germinated winter squash seeds under the cut off milk jug. I honestly was too tired to figure out which variety they were but they were white/grey narrow seeds so not Kakai, Red Kuri or Guatemalan Blue.
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Re: 2014 pre-germinating/sprouting experiment Peas, Corn, Cu

Squash seeds are being entirely too enthusiastic. I'm going to end up with too-early harvest if this keeps up :D. These are only some of the earlist sprouters....
image.jpg
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Re: 2014 pre-germinating/sprouting experiment Peas, Corn, Cu

Subject: Pre-germinating/pre-sprouting pumpkins and squash -- anyone?
applestar wrote:I soaked for a couple of hours then drained and nicked with nail clippers a bunch of watermelon and melon seeds to put in the sprouter last night. I decided watermelon seeds may not have good viability so dumped the few that were left in the old packets together. If any of them germinate, it will be bonus. :D

BTW two of the previous batch of pre-germinated watermelons have sprouted in the pint size containers of potting mix. Two more are still sleeping.

Also soaked and drained a bunch of cucumber seeds.ALL OF THESE ARE SEEDS I NORMALLY SOW DRY SEEDS DIRECTLY IN THE GROUND but in the name of experimentation, I'll see what happens if they are pre-germinated first. :wink:
...since I posted this morning, another watermelons started to sprout

It's been bothering me that the loosely filled potting mix in the squash seed containers have been settling down to only 1/2 full, so as the seed leaves completely stretched out,
I have been carefully upending them in my hand, cradling the seedling between my fingers and adding more potting mix under them.

...and I noticed something I didn't know before...
When they first sprout and while the seed leaves are folded together and held upwards, the roots are few and not holding the soil together very well -- I can't upend them without the mass falling apart. But by the time the seed leaves are fully stretched out and the first true leaf is showing as a little bud in between, the roots have spread out and are actually starting to hold a rootball of soil.
Note the soil level raised in the orange pot and most of the others compared to earlier photo. Watermelon seedlings are in the three cut off soda bottle containers in the back
Note the soil level raised in the orange pot and most of the others compared to earlier photo. Watermelon seedlings are in the three cut off soda bottle containers in the back
Some more squash seedlings. Square berry container on the left is zinnias seedlings.
Some more squash seedlings. Square berry container on the left is zinnias seedlings.
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Re: 2014 pre-germinating/sprouting experiment Peas, Corn, Cu

Cucumbers germinated all at once yesterday, but I didn't get the chance to sow them and here they are, getting too long.... :o
image.jpg
I have a bed almost ready for them, but I'm already exhausted ...partly from watching some acrobatic birds :lol: -- but mostly I was trying to work out a way to trellis the cucumbers.... After lunch, I think.
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Re: 2014 pre-germinating/sprouting experiment Peas, Corn, Cu

So, to re-cap...

Pre-germinated Green Beauty Snow peas sown outside 4/21. Almost all sprouted 5/1
Pre-germinated Tall Telephone shell peas sown outside 4/21. Most are sprouting 5/1
Pre-germinated Sugar Snap and Sugar Daddy snap peas sown outside 4/23. Just starting to sprout 5/1.

I know if I sowed peas in mid-March to late-March -- a month before last average frost -- it takes 2-3 weeks before they sprout. Is one week to sprouting normal when sown a week before average frost? Or did I successfully save time/shave off a week by pre-germinating?
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Re: 2014 pre-germinating/sprouting experiment Peas, Corn, Cu

Directly sown pre-germinated Cherokee Long Ear popcorn have all sprouted:
Cherokee Long Ear Popcorn
Cherokee Long Ear Popcorn
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Re: 2014 pre-germinating/sprouting experiment Peas, Corn, Cu

Trying to help warm the soil where the pre-germinated cucumber seeds are planted. -- I bought these tempered glass replacement shelving on clearance sale a while back thinking about doing something like this. I wonder if these will help?
Half of the area covered by the glass A-frame
Half of the area covered by the glass A-frame
Ugh! WHY is the preview upside down!? O_o
Ugh! WHY is the preview upside down!? O_o
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Re: 2014 pre-germinating/sprouting experiment Peas, Corn, Cu

Still sowing germinated watermelon and melon seeds. 3 more today, but really the remaining seeds may be duds. I need to inventory what I have sown and what have sprouted and are growing, and maybe decide I have enough.

I wasn't in a statistical frame of mind so I didn't count how many seeds I started out with, and I can't remember if I haven't already thrown out some, so I guess I won't bother to figure out the germination rate. But I used up out all of the remaining leftover watermelon and melon seeds for this experiment (except for Charleston Grey which I received last year), and I'm happy to have any that germinated. Some winter squash seeds that were new last year are not doing so well, too. I think I have more of some and not so many of the other.

I must say some of the new last year melon seeds are not performing so well either, though I haven't been storing my seeds very carefully and last year no even in a tightly fitting large tin like in previous years so maybe that explains it.

I should have sown the cucumber seeds that germinated today, but I didn't get the chance. I'm planning to sow these in 2" mini soilblocks. Hoping the ones I sowed outside will make it even though the forecasted lows are going down from 45°f to 43°F (likely about 42°F to as low as 40°F in reality).

Those of you who live in really cool summer areas -- do winter squash, watermelon and melon survive after sprouting and growing true leaves even if the night time temp get down in low 40's and daytime temp on cloudy days doesn't get higher than mid 60's? In my experience, peppers and eggplants sometimes will get stunted and not recover if exposed to low temps like that for several days/nights in a row.

I've been bringing the eggplant and pepper seedlings and the melons and watermelons inside, but have left the winter squash seedlings with true leaves outside along with most of the tomato seedlings to harden them off.

(PS: just occurred to me that I forgot to start Kikuza and Sweetmeat winter squash :roll: )
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Re: 2014 pre-germinating/sprouting experiment Peas, Corn, Cu

These winter squash seedlings have been hardening off outside. True test, of course, would be when I go to transplant them. We have a dip down to low 40's tonight and tomorrow night, then looking at a heat blast up to mid 80's on Friday. Looks like I should be able to plant them after the cold snap.
image.jpg
image.jpg (70.61 KiB) Viewed 3578 times
These have been kept inside and are not yet hardened. They were just seed leaves when the others with true leaves were sent out. Now cozy without the cold (40's-50's) nights, they have caught up.
image.jpg


This is one of the maxima varieties. It's seed leaves are HUGE!
image.jpg
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Re: 2014 pre-germinating/sprouting experiment Peas, Corn, Cu

Did I mention I'm trying sunflowers and beets now? Started soaking them two nights ago and after full day of rinse and drain, the sunflower seeds have already started to germinate:
Pre-germinated sunflowers
Pre-germinated sunflowers
I already knew it works for sunflowers after last year's experiment, but I had a couple of sunflower seed heads hanging upside down on the end of a curtain rod all this time (completely forgot about them) and I had no idea if they were still viable after being near the window and all.

Still waiting on the beets. Started nasturtiums and cleome. :()
image.jpg
Green Beauty snow peas
Green Beauty snow peas
Looking at the nice unbroken rows of sprouted peas and corn already growing in the garden, I'm really liking how the pre-germinated seeds hardly ever fail to grow where you sowed them. :D I'm going to try growing a fence row of sunflowers (along a difference fence than the last time where they were all facing the neighbor's house when they bloomed :roll:). I'm planting them along the fence with the neighbor who is using a lawn service. Hopefully, the sunflowers will help to provide a screen barrier against wind drift, soak up any unwanted chemicals, and also act as warning by indicating any sign of broadleaf herbicide.
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Re: 2014 pre-germinating/sprouting experiment Peas, Corn, Cu

Didn't take pictures but most of those sunflower seeds germinated. More than enough for double staggered row along 24 ft span of fence as planned -- especially if they all sprout -- and along part of the SW facing garage wall to hopefully shade it from the hot sun in the summer. :cool:

Last time I tried sowing sunflower seeds along the garage wall, chipmunk dug them up and ate them all. :roll: We'll see if the pre-germinated seeds have better luck. :bouncey:
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Re: 2014 pre-germinating/sprouting experiment Peas, Corn, Cu

I was going to be done with sunflowers and took the seeds out to toss in the compost pile, but saw that four more had germinated overnight :lol: This is how they look.
Sunflowers
Sunflowers
I sowed them in an empty part of the lemon balm patch which adjoins the 24 foot span.

Beets started to germinate yesterday and I sowed a bunch in wide gaps between onions in the Spiral Garden. More beets germinated today and were sown in the rest of the outer onion spiral. (And a few in the SF&H)
Beets
Beets
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Re: 2014 pre-germinating/sprouting experiment Peas, Corn, Cu

These are winter squash under cut off gallon jug hot caps. One was a couple of pre-germinated seeds, and they have just sprouted.
Pre-G squash seeds sown under a hot cap
Pre-G squash seeds sown under a hot cap
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The other one had lost it's taproot in the sprouter, but went on to shed it's seed shell and opened seed leaves PLUS GREW a 1" radius branched roots -- all while still in the sprouter. You gotta reward that kind of enthusiasm so I planted it under a vinegar jug hot cap... And it has grown the first true leaf.
Originally transplanted at seedleaf stage under a hot cap
Originally transplanted at seedleaf stage under a hot cap
The other pre-germinated seeds were sown in pint size containers and allowed to sprout on the heatmat, upstairs, or taken outside in the hot sun during the day. They were grown inside, then taken outside during the day and brought inside for the night. This group were left out 24/7 since last week and were covered at night when temps dropped to mud or lower 40's
Pre-G seeds sown in containers
Pre-G seeds sown in containers
They will be planted in the garden tomorrow or Monday.
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Re: 2014 pre-germinating/sprouting experiment Peas, Corn, Cu

Started these nasturtiums in the sprouter on 5/8. I think I see some starting to germinate :D
image.jpg
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Re: 2014 pre-germinating/sprouting experiment Peas, Corn, Cu

Cucumbers are all sprouted -- I don't think the glass A-frame is making any difference, do you?
Cucumbers have sprouted in the New Kitchen Garden
Cucumbers have sprouted in the New Kitchen Garden
I don't know if you can really see them, but the sunflowers along the fence are starting to sprout:
Sunflowers are starting to sprout along the fence
Sunflowers are starting to sprout along the fence
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Re: 2014 pre-germinating/sprouting experiment Peas, Corn, Cu

You can see the sunflowers sprouts better today. EVERY ONE OF THEM ARE UP exactly where I sowed. Granted there may be future mishaps -- notably slugs, but I gotta say that's a satisfying sight. :D
Can you see the offset double row (zigzag pattern)?
Can you see the offset double row (zigzag pattern)?
Further sunflower progress will be documented in the Tomato Gardens thread.
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Re: 2014 pre-germinating/sprouting experiment Peas, Corn, Cu

Planted the winter squash seedlings today.
image.jpg
image.jpg
Oldest watermelon and melon seedlings:
image.jpg
Oh! But the cool looking two white-veined seedlings are Thai Kang Kob that were planted.
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Re: 2014 pre-germinating/sprouting experiment Peas, Corn, Cu

Here are the two vinegar jug squashes that were sown as pre-germinated seeds:
image.jpg
image.jpg
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Re: 2014 pre-germinating/sprouting experiment Peas, Corn, Cu

I love all the photos in this thread. Great work, Applestar!

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Re: 2014 pre-germinating/sprouting experiment Peas, Corn, Cu

Thanks, Cola. :D It's a lot of fun and easy to do with the larger seeds.
I soaked beans overnight 5/17-18 and rinse/drained them yesterday. Today, the first group germinated and I sowed them. I have to admit I forgot to take pictures of the germinated beans before sowing them. So only took pics of mostly not yet germinated beans left in the sprouters:
image.jpg
image.jpg
I use salsa jars laid on their side as extra sprouters:
image.jpg
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Re: 2014 pre-germinating/sprouting experiment Peas, Corn, Cu

Here are the pre-germinated pole beans I sowed today:
Christmas Lima, Good Mother Stallard, one Tiger Eye
Christmas Lima, Good Mother Stallard, one Tiger Eye
Scarlet Runner, Sunset a Runner, Kentucky Wonder, Purple Podded Pole Bean
Scarlet Runner, Sunset a Runner, Kentucky Wonder, Purple Podded Pole Bean
It's interesting to note that Good Mother Stallard was late to germinate but the one that germinated first, when left in the sprouter for and extra day for the others to catch up, immediately started to spoil -- Note the somewhat browned radicle. I think it was still OK and will sprout, but this temperamental behavior might explain the difficulty in growing evenly spaced row of Old Mother Stallards last time I tried to grow this variety.
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Re: 2014 pre-germinating/sprouting experiment Peas, Corn, Cu

Some of the protected C. pepo and C. maxima squash progress:
image.jpg
image.jpg
I think the tunnel does raise the temperature somewhat higher during the day and keep it from dropping at night. These look further along than the ones out in the open at the base of the Spiral Garden central compost pile.
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Re: 2014 pre-germinating/sprouting experiment Peas, Corn, Cu

OK, gotta ask, apple. Now, I haven't read through every word, don't mean snark in any way, but Why?! What is the mission statement?! Is this to get some things going a few days ahead of normal planting? Is this better than just starting in cups etc inside? In glancing looks like alot of time, rather lots of short bits on a regular basis.

It is interesting, thanks for sharing. Just missed the objective and mission statement in this project. Now science fair project for the kids, that's different and I hope never to see that again! Well, the 5 yr old g-son may take an interest in yarn dyeing or plants, please help him, and ask me for direction...but I digress...
Have fun!
Susan

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Re: 2014 pre-germinating/sprouting experiment Peas, Corn, Cu

:lol: Susan you made me chuckle. Here is someone asking ME -- moi -- for why I did something. An objective "Mission statement" even.... Well the short answer is "It seemed like a good idea." -- and I'm not being snarky either. So let me think back and see if I had a darned good reason or two... Or three.... :wink:

I did begin last year. I think it all started with the corn. I had saved some interesting corn by growing to maturity, drying and saving, but it had been a few years, so I wanted to know if they were viable. Corn being what it is, you need them to fill the rows, and in my limited space, I've had gappy rows of corn even when sowing freshly bought packaged for that year seeds.

So the question was would floating corn seeds indicate lack of viability. Then, I had all this soaked corn, I only wanted to sow viable seeds that would grow... and germination was really the only sure indicator/answer. Combined with hand pollinating, last year's corn experiment was a great success, letting me plant uniformly mature seedlings exactly in three variety blocks in an 8x12 garden bed with practically no empty spots.

I also tried with sunflowers, and although sunflowers ran into issues after sprouting, I had a handle on what to do to *not* repeat those mistakes.

Fast forward to this year, and I decided to pre-germinate peas because I was late with sowing them due to long winter! and I needed them to hurry up and get growing before our typical winter-skip spring - summer weather ruined the pea harvest. I'm pretty sure I was able to shave at least a week off the usual timeline.

I then repeated/reviewed the corn and sunflower experience, and expanded to cucurbits. Namely, I was always recommending that squash, melons, cucumbers, etc. should be directly sown and no transplanting. I tend to say to myself -- wait is that really true? So I wanted to see if I could quickly develop a workable method. Interesting thing about stuff like this is that most of these are things I've tried in the past -- tried and failed at some level or other that, looking back, was mostly due to inexperience.

Funny thing of it all is that I am positive I said sometime ago that I don't like the damp paper towel in a Baggie on the refrigerator method because then you are slave to the whims of the germinating seeds. :roll: So far this spring, I tried the damp paper towel twice or so and I'm by far in favor of using the seed sprouter and pre-germinating LARGE seeds. ...So then I might as well go ahead and include edamame and beans :-()

Small and tiny seeds will have to be another year's project, if ever. :>

...anyway, there might be more to it all (maybe my pre-planned planting maps have something to so with it, too -- it's so annoying when things don't grow where -in the map block- I wanted/intended it to....) but that is the long-winded gist of it. :mrgreen:
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Re: 2014 pre-germinating/sprouting experiment Peas, Corn, Cu

By the way, beans -like peas and sunflowers- are direct seeded when they have germinated -- ideally when the radicle root is no longer than 1/2 inch.

So far, my experience is that some peas and beans "crack" or fall apart when they are first soaked for the 4-6 hours. The ones that fall apart are the non-viable beans. So in fact, by soaking, you can eliminate the duds and near-duds. Remember, the "bean" is the two halves of the seed leaves.

Sometimes, they crack through the germ, and other times, the broken beans won't green up to become seed leaves and spoil easily. Some peas and beans take a while to germinate, and if you are patient, they WILL. But chances of spoilage increases, so it seems that there' same point when you should give up on the remaining ungerminated seeds because the maintenance required to keep them from spoiling becomes requires more work. Peas and beans should be drained completely after each rinsing. Excess moisture increases chance of spoilage, but this means you need to rinse/rewet them frequently, before any germinated radicle root dries out.
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Re: 2014 pre-germinating/sprouting experiment Peas, Corn, Cu

OK, so if y'all have been reading all my posts, here's a pop quiz: Bullet list the reasons applestar is pre-germinating these seeds.... (Help me out here -- I can't seem to make a summarized list. :roll: ). I'll use it to ref/link to when anyone asks in the future, instead of my long drawn out explanation. :wink:
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Re: 2014 pre-germinating/sprouting experiment Peas, Corn, Cu

Here are a few photos of edamame/soybean seedlings that have sprouted

Image

Image

Here's an example of one that lost a seedleaf/half of the bean when it cracked during soaking, but the germ was unharmed and it is growing. Image
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