Germination instructions:23 Apr, 2020
Refrigeration-Many types of woodland and wetland seeds are hydrophilic and cannot be fully dried down, as doing so would make them very difficult to germinate. These species are dried down as much as possible, and then stored under refrigeration. Some seed packets must be refrigerated until you plant them.
Moist Cold Stratification-Some wildflower seeds have a natural enzyme in them that inhibits germination. This keeps the seeds from sprouting in the fall, only to be killed by harsh winter weather. These types of seeds need to be exposed to cold, wet, winter condition for a month or two, in order to neutralize the effect of this enzyme. You can simulate “winter” by mixing the seeds into a damp (but not sopping), sterile medium like sand or peat, and putting git into a plastic bag in the refrigerator for a month or two. If you would rather let nature do this, you can simply plant the seeds in the fall.
Sowing seeds on soil surface-some seeds need light to germinate well, so if surface sowing is indicated, then they need to be in the light to sprout.
Scarification & Hot Water- some seeds have a hard, impervious seed coat that needs to be penetrated by water to begin the germination process. This can be done by scratching the seed coat with sandpaper, or (sometimes) pouring hot water on the seeds to soften them.
Temperatures-The temps given for germination are ideals for greenhouse propagation, but when you are planting the seeds outside, you cannot control the weather. Do the best you can at the time.
Complex Germination- There are a few species that exhibit double dormancy traits, or require alternating warm and cold periods to germinate. The easiest thing to do is to copy nature. Plant them out during the same season of the year when they naturally would have fallen from the parent plant. These can be difficult to germinate, but do not give up, they sometimes show up much later than expected.
Soil- Soil should be kept consistently warm at 70-85F. Cool soils, below 60-65F, even at night, will significantly delay or inhibit germination. Overly warm soils, well about 90Fs for seed rot. Over watering can cause fungal growth which leads to seed rot. Excess water can also bury seeds deep in the soil where they will not be able to break the surface. Water when the soil surface just begins to dry. Keep the container covered with a plastic bag on the top of the fridge where the room temperature is higher, therefore the soil temperature Is perfect for germination. Once the seedlings are about one inch tall, you can remove the cover for 2-3 hours so they adapt to the sung light, temperature and air humidity level. Keep them covered at night until they get stronger.