3rd germination tests

Diane Whitehead voltaire@islandnet.com
Thu, 28 Mar 2013 10:15:12 PDT
The tests I am doing have two purposes:   the best way to store seeds,  
and the best way to germinate old seeds.

In 2007 I stored mixed hybrid PCI seeds four ways:

in a paper envelope or in a plastic ziplock in a kitchen cupboard  
(which never gets hotter than 21C or 70F)
in a plastic ziplock in the fridge
or in the freezer.

These are not all the ways they can be stored, of course, and all of  
them were stored in the dark.

Beginning in 2010,
Lots of 20 seeds were treated in one of three ways:
soaked in the toilet tank for a week,
soaked in a saucer for four days,
or not soaked at all.

This produces 12 lots of 20 seeds each.

They were then sown in a peat-based seedling mix in ziplock bags at  
the recommended temperature for germination:  5 to 10C, or 40 to 50F.   
All lots were treated alike.

The tests all use the stored 2007 seed.

Test 1   Fall 2010    No differences - 19 or 20 germinated of each lot  
of 20

Test 2  Fall 2011
paper envelope:  soaked 4 days - 19 germinated,     toilet tank -  
19,      unsoaked - 16
plastic bag:           soaked 4 days - 20 germinated,     toilet tank  
- 20,      unsoaked - 18
fridge:                     soaked 4 days - 20 germinated,    toilet  
tank - 20,      unsoaked - 18
freezer:                   soaked 4 days -19 germinated,     toilet  
tank - 18,     unsoaked - 17

Test 3 Winter 2013  -  I changed the date so it would coincide with  
the date that we receive our SPCNI seeds
paper envelope:  soaked 4 days - 20 germinated,     toilet tank -  
18,      unsoaked - 18
plastic bag:           soaked 4 days - 19 germinated,     toilet tank  
- 19,      unsoaked - 15
fridge:                     soaked 4 days - 18 germinated,    toilet  
tank  - 20,      unsoaked - 16
freezer:                   soaked 4 days - 20 germinated,     toilet  
tank - 18,     unsoaked - 15


Germination is when the radicle first emerges, which is something I  
can see as I dump out each ziplock bag and search through the soil.

First germination took 26 days.

Unsoaked seeds each year went mouldy in the ziplocks but this did not  
unduly affect germination.

Five year old seed is still germinating well, though not soaking them  
decreases the number that germinate.
The method of storing the seeds doesn't yet matter.

Diane Whitehead
Victoria, British Columbia, Canada





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