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FutureStarrASeed Stratification Methods
Seed stratification is when farmers separate their seeds in some way, to create different farm fields, specifically with regards to the desired characteristics of the crop to be grown.Germinating Your Seeds is Fun and Easy. Methods vary by plant type. Seeds of annual plants have a shallow dormancy and do not need a winter to germinate, they only live one season. Annuals generally are buried to a depth equal to the size of the seed in moist well drained soil. Some, like tomatoes and peppers, require warm soil or a heat mat to germinate.
Some seeds require scratching or nicking the hard seed coat to allow moisture to enter the seed to begin germination. This mimics natures weathering or the gnawing of rodents. Medium to larger seeds can be nicked with a knife, filed or rubbed with sandpaper. Rub smaller seeds between sandpaper or emery paper. Hobby rock tumblers can be used to scarify larger seed volumes. Abrade only the outer coating, embryos should not be cracked or damaged to remain viable. Commercial nurseries scarify using solutions of sulfuric acid.This method works best for medium and larger seeds a few weeks before last frost. You are trying to imitate snowmelt. Place seeds in a small jar and fill with cold water. Viable seeds should sink, although this is not true for all seeds.
Many flat seeds or seeds with edges float. Change water daily, your are trying to wash germination inhibitors in the seed. Sow after two weeks. You can also try putting seeds in a small muslin bag and suspending them in the toilet tank. What could be easier, automatic rinsing. A variation of autumn sowing is planting later in the winter, starting with the winter solstice on up to February. This method takes full advantage of winter cold and spring heaving and the growing energy of the earth as days lengthen. This works well for hard to start seeds like Good King Henry. We direct sow once in each month from November through March to find the right stratification window. In our zone 7b, mid-December was the proper sowing time to germinate Good King Henry. (Source: www.permaculturenews.org)