Tuesday, 12 May 2009

Seed Germination Rate Trial Results

I recently had to do a trial for a course I'm doing. I had to:
  • collect seed from five lots of different plants
  • clean it
  • dry it
  • test germination rates
I had to use 2 different seed raising media. I chose a retail mix, I hadn't used before. The other one was my home made mix of coir and sandy loam.

Sowing the seeds

For three of the seed lots there was no difference in the germination rate at all and the other two results won't convince me to pay $5+ for a tiny bag of commercial mix that I have little knowledge of it's contents.
I would need to buy it in bulk for all the seeds I sow anyway. cool

Seedlings during growth

I find it's most important to have fresh seed. For this years onions I've planted some of the red onions that went to seed. I collected the seed from the garden one week and sowed them the next and had at least 100% germination...there are millions of them (well it seems like it wink ). The others I purchased as a fresh packet and have barely had 40% germination with! eek

Another thing is the water you use on them. After reading in the Trees For Life handbook that if your water supply is good enough to grow vegetable seedling successfully then use it for these native seeds otherwise use rainwater.
I have always used rainwater since first reading that about 10 years ago.

I have also found Moon Planting to be an advantage with seed germination. See Cosmic's May Guide here on her blog. She has a link in her side panel for the current guide.

Temperature at time of sowing is important too...however most of the seeds I chose to sow were summer crops and I planted them in Autumn...I still had good rates of germination in my unheated greenhouse (that was featured in this post). confused


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