Branching Out's Seeds and Sprouts

Branching Out

Deeply Rooted
Joined
Dec 2, 2022
Messages
1,463
Reaction score
4,658
Points
175
Location
Southwestern B.C.
Well, it was a productive morning. I started a new tray of Crawford Estates lettuce, as well as a tray with five different brassicas. There are 10 seeds each of Asian Delight pac choi, Amazing cauliflower, Jade Spring pac choi, Ruby Streaks mustard greens, and Japanese Red mizuna. The red mizuna has awesome reviews, and I am really excited about that one. I was inspired by an article from Jaime at Quail Seeds that landed in my inbox, and figured I could try to sow some short rows of Asian greens in the garden if I could just get them started indoors. The seeds are in 3/4" soil blocks so they will need to move to the garden quickly, but if it gets too cold I think they will bolt. For now I will cross my fingers and hope that the timing works out. https://www.quailseeds.com/how-to/the-plants-of-spring-peas-and-greens

I often refer to another article that Jaime wrote, called 'Plant to Suit the Roots,' in which she refers to these I kinds of greens as 'sprinters'. So if all goes well we will be sprinting towards some nice nutritious greens.

There was also a small tray of Swiss Giant pansies that got moved to what I am calling a 'seedling bin.' It's basically a tub of dirt that has nothing growing in it at the moment, so the pansies can hang out there for a week or two to bulk up. If I were to plant them out now it would be difficult to keep track of them because they are still very small. And funnily enough, when I was cleaning up the garden the other day I found lots of volunteer pansies that are about the same size as these ones. Pansies seem to like germinating in gravel, and my parents' gravel driveway is full of them. That may be how I start my pansies next time, because it looks like I could get similar results with a lot less work. ;)
 

Attachments

  • IMG_20240221_113647959.jpg
    IMG_20240221_113647959.jpg
    114.6 KB · Views: 46
  • IMG_20240221_112545441.jpg
    IMG_20240221_112545441.jpg
    169 KB · Views: 39
  • IMG_20240221_082510917.jpg
    IMG_20240221_082510917.jpg
    179.4 KB · Views: 37
  • IMG_20240221_083317154.jpg
    IMG_20240221_083317154.jpg
    181.2 KB · Views: 39
Last edited:

Branching Out

Deeply Rooted
Joined
Dec 2, 2022
Messages
1,463
Reaction score
4,658
Points
175
Location
Southwestern B.C.
I've had a platter with dried sunflower heads sitting on our coffee table all winter, and today seemed like a good day to clean them up for flower seed. Leather rose gloves helped protect my hands while I broke them apart; after that I was able to sit on the edge of the deck in the sunshine and sift through them to pick out the viable seeds. A couple if the heads yielded only 15-17 seeds, and several of them produced well over a hundred seeds. I think I got carried away with this tactile experience, because before I knew it I had hydrated all of the seed from one of the large heads without counting the seeds first. There must have been more than 150 seeds, which is far more that I have room to start indoors right now. Lol. I popped 50 of them in the fridge, to try and hold them for a couple of weeks. When will I learn to count large seeds before I start them, instead of just grabbing a handful?? I have made this same mistake over and over again with spinach, so you would think that I would learn. :idunno
 

Attachments

  • IMG_20240222_152922866.jpg
    IMG_20240222_152922866.jpg
    260.1 KB · Views: 30
  • IMG_20240222_153221805.jpg
    IMG_20240222_153221805.jpg
    332.8 KB · Views: 39
  • IMG_20240223_041829998.jpg
    IMG_20240223_041829998.jpg
    123.6 KB · Views: 28
  • IMG_20240223_045517091.jpg
    IMG_20240223_045517091.jpg
    135.4 KB · Views: 34

flowerbug

Garden Master
Joined
Oct 15, 2017
Messages
16,092
Reaction score
24,248
Points
417
Location
mid-Michigan, USoA
I've had a platter with dried sunflower heads sitting on our coffee table all winter, and today seemed like a good day to clean them up for flower seed. Leather rose gloves helped protect my hands while I broke them apart; after that I was able to sit on the edge of the deck in the sunshine and sift through them to pick out the viable seeds. A couple if the heads yielded only 15-17 seeds, and several of them produced well over a hundred seeds. I think I got carried away with this tactile experience, because before I knew it I had hydrated all of the seed from one of the large heads without counting the seeds first. There must have been more than 150 seeds, which is far more that I have room to start indoors right now. Lol. I popped 50 of them in the fridge, to try and hold them for a couple of weeks. When will I learn to count large seeds before I start them, instead of just grabbing a handful?? I have made this same mistake over and over again with spinach, so you would think that I would learn. :idunno

as Mom would say, "Your eyeballs are bigger than your stomach!" :)
 

Branching Out

Deeply Rooted
Joined
Dec 2, 2022
Messages
1,463
Reaction score
4,658
Points
175
Location
Southwestern B.C.
Yesterday we were basking in warm sunshine, and admiring the simple beauty of spring crocuses.☀️
 

Attachments

  • IMG_20240305_142443694.jpg
    IMG_20240305_142443694.jpg
    259.2 KB · Views: 39
  • IMG_20240305_142255577.jpg
    IMG_20240305_142255577.jpg
    245.1 KB · Views: 34
  • IMG_20240305_142502395.jpg
    IMG_20240305_142502395.jpg
    214.4 KB · Views: 45

Branching Out

Deeply Rooted
Joined
Dec 2, 2022
Messages
1,463
Reaction score
4,658
Points
175
Location
Southwestern B.C.
I've been playing around with pre-germinating seeds for a few days under damp paper towel, and then moving them to vermiculite that is saturated with water to sprout. Given that the seeds are more or less drenched in moisture you would think that they would rot, but that does not appear to be the case-- and so far it's working shockingly well. The first one I tried was some old Hot Cherry Pepper seed that I stumbled across, and they sprouted nicely under lights in just vermiculite and water. Then a couple of weeks ago I had extra lettuce seed and decided to give that a try too. I was impressed to see bright green sprouts after just a couple of weeks-- and the little seedlings were a breeze to prick out and transplant because there was no soil clinging to their roots. There were 48 of them in a tiny take out cup that is just 2" across, and some of their roots were 2"long! Clearly this method has its merits. I will have to try a side by side trial soon, so I can really compare the results. In the mean time I have many Alpine Poblano seeds on the verge of sprouting in a small styrofoam cup of vermiculite, and some sweet peas and sunflowers (poked in with the pointy end facing down) in the works too.
 

Attachments

  • IMG_20240303_133424811.jpg
    IMG_20240303_133424811.jpg
    136.5 KB · Views: 37
  • IMG_20240303_143304335.jpg
    IMG_20240303_143304335.jpg
    146 KB · Views: 42
  • IMG_20240303_143254477.jpg
    IMG_20240303_143254477.jpg
    285.9 KB · Views: 35
  • IMG_20240302_092810057.jpg
    IMG_20240302_092810057.jpg
    254.8 KB · Views: 38
  • IMG_20240308_143417956.jpg
    IMG_20240308_143417956.jpg
    198.7 KB · Views: 36
  • IMG_20240302_102127357.jpg
    IMG_20240302_102127357.jpg
    224.3 KB · Views: 36
  • IMG_20240302_102103677.jpg
    IMG_20240302_102103677.jpg
    205.3 KB · Views: 36
  • IMG_20240223_094918814.jpg
    IMG_20240223_094918814.jpg
    147.4 KB · Views: 36
Last edited:

digitS'

Garden Master
Joined
Dec 13, 2007
Messages
25,926
Reaction score
29,434
Points
457
Location
border, ID/WA(!)
You have a dexterous touch and digits.

Me, I had to look up the spelling of that adjective. I can be attentive to the task at hand but it would be challenging to remove 48 lettuce seedlings from the vermiculite held in a Styrofoam cup.

Transplanting does hold important advantages, especially as they relate to space. A protected start is a benefit. Care and Attention

digitS' de foliate
 

heirloomgal

Garden Addicted
Joined
Jan 17, 2021
Messages
3,680
Reaction score
11,838
Points
235
Location
Northern Ontario, Canada
I've been playing around with pre-germinating seeds for a few days under damp paper towel, and then moving them to vermiculite that is saturated with water to sprout. Given that the seeds are more or less drenched in moisture you would think that they would rot, but that does not appear to be the case-- and so far it's working shockingly well. The first one I tried was some old Hot Cherry Pepper seed that I stumbled across, and they sprouted nicely under lights in just vermiculite and water. Then a couple of weeks ago I had extra lettuce seed and decided to give that a try too. I was impressed to see bright green sprouts after just a couple of weeks-- and the little seedlings were a breeze to prick out and transplant because there was no soil clinging to their roots. There were 48 of them in a tiny take out cup that is just 2" across, and some of their roots were 2"long! Clearly this method has its merits. I will have to try a side by side trial soon, so I can really compare the results. In the mean time I have many Alpine Poblano seeds on the verge of sprouting in a small styrofoam cup of vermiculite, and some sweet peas and sunflowers (poked in with the pointy end facing down) in the works too.
Sort of fascinating @Branching Out , I didn't even know that it was possible to do this! And the little sprouts look in really good condition. Little roots really do love aeration and it would seem this method really provides that. I spoke with a greenhouse owner years ago, and they were experimenting with a new very, very high aggregate starter mix for all their annuals. Given their scale that was a big experiment. They said the super high aggregate facilitated root growth so well that they were saving money on fertilizer because they cut back so much in relation to the superior growth. Looking at what you've got here I can see why!
 

ducks4you

Garden Master
Joined
Sep 4, 2009
Messages
11,266
Reaction score
14,105
Points
417
Location
East Central IL, Was Zone 6, Now...maybe Zone 5
it would be challenging to remove 48 lettuce seedlings from the vermiculite held in a Styrofoam cup.

digitS' de foliate
You just need a bigger cup or bowl and the dexterity to dump and fish them out of that. :lol:
That is Fascinating, @Branching Out !
Did you read about this, or just come up with it on your own?
 

Branching Out

Deeply Rooted
Joined
Dec 2, 2022
Messages
1,463
Reaction score
4,658
Points
175
Location
Southwestern B.C.
You just need a bigger cup or bowl and the dexterity to dump and fish them out of that. :lol:
That is Fascinating, @Branching Out !
Did you read about this, or just come up with it on your own?
This is an idea that I got from a grower who germinates his chilis in vermiculite, and decided to give it a try. When it worked I decided to try some other seeds as well. I suspect that not all seeds will germinate using this method as the moisture level is so high, so some trial and error will be required. Currently I have several more pepper varieties on the go, and I'm even trying a few Huacatay seeds as well.
 

flowerbug

Garden Master
Joined
Oct 15, 2017
Messages
16,092
Reaction score
24,248
Points
417
Location
mid-Michigan, USoA
This is an idea that I got from a grower who germinates his chilis in vermiculite, and decided to give it a try. When it worked I decided to try some other seeds as well. I suspect that not all seeds will germinate using this method as the moisture level is so high, so some trial and error will be required. Currently I have several more pepper varieties on the go, and I'm even trying a few Huacatay seeds as well.

the seeds will need to be pretty clean to carry this out for some varieties. if there's a hint of a mold spore they'll ... kaput...
 

Latest posts

Top