- Apr 18, 2014
- Reaction score
- Lower Hudson Valley, New York
It doesn't HAVE TO be able to survive winters. Like most grasses, Job's tears are an ANNUAL (at least here), you plant it, grow it, collect the seeds, and re-plant it again in the spring.I didn't know that Job's Tears would be able to survive your winters? Well, that comes as a surprise! That plant seems to be such a finicky germinator and not east to get all the way to fully mature seed. So it's understandable you want to hang on to any viable seed, no matter where it is!
The germination issue is due to a combination of two factors. One, like pretty much all grasses, Job's tears is pollinated by the wind. Two the "shells" form whether the seed is fertilized or not (it's basically the glumes of the seed, so it's all maternal tissue.) So, unless you crack it open (hard to do with anything but the eating kind) you have no idea if there IS a kernel in there. As with most other grasses, to get good pollination, you have to plant a LOT of it, in a block that encourages pollen from one plant to land on another one. Since Job's tears tend to produce quite a decent number of "beads" per plant, most people aren't going to do that, they'll only plant a few. So little pollen hits other plants, and little actual seed is produced. I suppose one could up the odds with hand pollinating, like one can do for corn, but that would be a lot of work.
The breaks are WAY too deep to cover (about the top four inches of the pot are in fragments. Plus, the cracks and broken off chunks keep getting deeper; the plastic of the pot itself is now too brittle to be saved. Every year I hold off increases the likelihood of the breaks getting down to below soil level and the contents starting to wash out in each rainstorm.Instead of throwing out your pot and possibly risking viable seeds in the process, why not let it go for one more year to see if you get more sprouts and hide the broken top (the top edges I'm guessing?) with some floofy, edging plant that hangs like Creeping Jenny or some of the lobelias? The shovel idea though also seems very workable too, if your seeds aren't buried any deeper than 2 or 3 inches.
And I don't have to just worry about next year, but about ALL years coming. seeds can stay dormant in the ground for a long time (I still get the odd senna and rice bean plant popping up in the lawn and garden, and I haven't thrown seed for either to the birds there in about five or six years [the rice beans I plant on purpose I soak first, specifically to make sure I only have to concern myself with them for the present year.) They'll be potential sprouts coming up out of that soil for the foreseeable future. I actually DID get a few flower sprouts last year, it's just that each pot developed something (the surprise tomatoes in one, some senna in the other) that so outgrew everything else it quickly put it in permanent shade. With those not there (well, with the tomatoes not there, there is some senna in the other one, but I think it was non-viable.) maybe the others will have a chance.