Fire, smoke, etc.

Jane McGary
Thu, 25 Aug 2005 16:35:47 PDT
I thought somebody would mention it, but no one has (you're not reading the 
right magazine), so I will point out that the Spring 2005 issue of the Rock 
Garden Quarterly contains an article on smoke and germination, in which the 
author recommends using Liquid Smoke, a product available in the section of 
the supermarket where you get the Worcestershire and Tabasco sauces, to 
treat seeds.

Jane McGary
Northwestern Oregon
Editor, NARGS

At 11:02 AM 8/25/2005 -0700, you wrote:
>Mary Sue wrote:
> >>I've never tried Rod Saunders' suggestion of putting a pot in a plastic
>bag, starting a fire in a bee smoker and directing the smoke into the bag,
>closing it up and leaving it for a day or so. I think it would be worth
>trying. Has anyone done this?
>I have, kind of.  I have a smoker in my backyard, sort of a glorified oil
>barrel that I sometimes use for smoking meat.  I decided it ought to work
>great for seeds.  Several times now I have loaded it up with flats of seeds
>and smoked them for hours or overnight.
>The smoker is a *great* way to melt plastic pots and labels.  But once you
>learn to adjust the temperature properly, it leaves the labels intact and
>makes the seed flats smell like a rack of really good pork ribs.
>Unfortunately, I haven't seen a dramatic difference in germination compared
>to just putting the flats out in the rain in fall.  I didn't do any
>carefully controlled experiments, though, so I can't say for sure.
>Jim asked:
> >>who indeed among us really grows South African heaths
>I do.  Or, I should say that I try to.  The seeds seem to germinate pretty
>well, smoke or no smoke, but I have a terrible time getting them past about
>2mm in height.  They just stall out at that size and eventually die.
>I've tried cuttings numerous times but without any success.
>I have two plants that I purchased, now growing in the ground.  One is
>surviving okay, one is almost dead.  They seem to be very particular about
>sun exposure and soil.  Growing them in pots seems to be a lot easier.
>This is off topic so I will shut up now.  But if anyone wants to talk about
>South African Erica culture, especially if you have any tips on making the
>seedlings grow, please drop me a note privately.
>San Jose, CA (zone 9, min temp 20F)
>pbs mailing list

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