Germination, stratification methods report

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jbergeson
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Germination, stratification methods report

Post: # 71313Post jbergeson
Sat Apr 11, 2020 11:04 pm

I've posted extensively about my somewhat impulsive and varied stratification methods and typically poor germination, so I thought I'd give a brief report on what's happening for me this spring.

I'm behind most of you other Northern Hemispherians this year in my transplanting. Normally I sow my seeds into seedling flats in February before getting any germination in the baggies, because I have too many crosses to pick out a seed at a time as they germinate. This year I got busy and was unable to sow and they've started germinating in the baggies en masse. Just seeded my first eight flats.

Last fall I ended up using moist, unsterilized Minnesota sedge peat in the baggies with the seeds. It seems to have worked very well, and I think I've found my method of choice.

Last fall, before I switched to putting peat in the baggies, I packaged up some seeds into nylon tea bags. Just the seeds, moistened. I put them all in one ziploc with moist vermiculite. They seemed quite wet throughout the winter. Interestingly, essentially none of those are germinating compared to tons that were in the peat. It's not a great trial because the teabag seeds were from new parents and I didn't do any a/b with that parent's seeds in peat. However, it makes me suspect that the peat promoted germination (or the teabag seeds were killed from being too wet, but I've cut a few open and they seem to have viable embryos). I really wish I would have done a comparison, because most of the teabag seeds were from a new, very promising seedling that set huge hips filled with seeds. I hope they still germinate.

A few years back when I soaked my seeds in strong bleach solution before stratifying, perhaps killing many, I observed that seeds of a particular seedling of mine responded very well to that and germinated fabulously. So last fall pretty much my only a/b experiment was to soak half of a large batch of seeds from that rose in bleach solution, and the other half in plain water. They were then put into baggies with peat like all my other roses. The plain water batch seems to be germinating better than the bleached batch. Although not a large sample or a direct a/b, it also seems like the plain water batch (soaked for about an hour) might be germinating better than those that went straight into the peat.

I'm realizing that my hybridizing obsession was perhaps only sustainable due to poor germination. This year I'm going to be drowning in seedlings and might have to throw some lower priority crosses away.

In conclusion I think a one hour water soak and stratifying in baggies with slightly moist peat is a solid method.

dmears
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Re: Germination, stratification methods report

Post: # 71315Post dmears
Mon Apr 13, 2020 12:35 am

Hi Joe, after reading this I had some thoughts, one being, the peat, could it have been it which broke the seed coat ?. In nature if seeds go to ground, there must be something in the soil which breaks it down along with heat and cold. My thoughts go back to earlier posts about animals consuming pods/seeds and their digestive system breaking the seed coat. I do not have chickens but that was talked about with a member over the years.

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