Confirming the Viability of the Home-Grown Seeds

Last Friday evening, I posted this pic:

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It shows a small plastic container (about 6″ – 15 cm long) which was partially filled with ordinary soil from the garden. Of course, the soil was very cold, and so I left the container on the fireplace while I went for a pint. When I got back from the pub, I misted the surface of the soil with hot water (which cooled down rapidly, but warmed the surface a bit) and then I sowed seeds directly onto the surface. Then I covered the container with cling-film and put it on a shelf in the kitchen which is directly over a radiator. The surface of the shelf is only just warm to the touch, but I have done this before successfully. I was pleased to see moisture on the underside of the cling-film the next day.

This afternoon, I took a peep at the surface of the soil, and there, to my surprise, were tiny seedlings emerging. I say “to my surprise” because it is only two and a half days since the seeds were sown. Here is a pic:

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You can distinctly see two seedlings – one is centre-right, and the other looks like a white dot centre-top. There are also a couple appearing elsewhere. As a matter of interest, I tested the temperature of the soil which was only 25°C, which was actually about room temperature, but we must remember that the radiator will have been off most of the day since the system is controlled by the room thermostat. The radiator will mostly be on overnight. This is all very, very pleasing because it confirms the viability of the seeds which I took from my ‘star’ plant November/December last year.

What now to do with the seedlings since it is very early? Well, I could just throw them away, but I have in mind to do a little experiment. (I think that I explained it a few days ago, but I’ll say it again)

Last year, because I germinated the seeds early, the plants were becoming very ‘leggy’, meaning that the stalks were growing long and floppy. That was one of the reasons that I made the mistake of planting them out too soon in mid-April. So I have decided to see if I can reproduce that effect, but this time, I’m going to see if I can slow the growth down, if it seems too fast. I intend to have the plants spend some time (say, every other day) in a dark, cool place, out of the sun. Even in winter, on the South-facing window ledge, the plantlets will get plenty of light. In the next few days, several more seedlings should emerge. I then need to let them grow for another two or three weeks before I transplant them into individual pots. after thinning out. Once the seedlings have emerged, I no longer need to have them on the shelf over the radiator. They can go onto the South-facing window ledge.

All I did was sprinkle some seeds on the soil without bothering about how many. If I get 20 seedlings, that would be fine for my experiment.

It seems only yesterday that I was stripping the last of the leaves from the plants, and here we go again! Lovely!

 

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2 Responses to “Confirming the Viability of the Home-Grown Seeds”

  1. J Brown Says:

    I am always surprised at how quickly seeds taken from my own plants germinate, as compared to packet seeds. I have a tobacco plant in a pot on my window that has now been growing for 3 years. Larger stems appear to go brown as though they are finished, and then suddenly small shoots will appear on that stem, and grow. Of course, the leaves are very small – only about 6 inches long at best. However, this plant has flowered 2 times every year for the past 3 years, and is where I originally was able to get my own seeds from. This past year, like you, I took my seeds from my ‘star’ plant in the greenhouse. It will be interesting to see how hardy the plants are that come from that. I am hoping that they will be acclimatized to my conditions so that I can get a nice harvest. In the meantime, smaller plants in my greenhouse that were hidden under the larger ones are continuing to grow, even in January. The larger ones have been cut down, so the smaller ones now have whatever light is available. I am letting them continue just to see what they will do.

  2. Junican Says:

    Do you remember me talking about a plant which had somehow self-seeded in the gap between the house wall and the paving? It is still alive! Quite useless, of course, since the roots are so restricted that the leaves are very small. Nevertheless, I’ll leave it there out of curiosity. We haven’t had any frost yet, so I expect that the first frost will see it off.
    I am not sure what I expect from the seeds being ‘acclimatised’ to my soil, but your sentence above:
    It will be interesting to see how hardy the plants are that come from that
    has given me an idea. If the acclimatisation makes the plants from these seeds hardier, then I should be able to plant them out earlier. So, depending upon the actual conditions at the time, it might be worth deliberately planting out a few of the plantlets at a time to see how they cope with weather conditions in, say, late March. I’m talking about when the grass on the lawn starts to grow and the hedges start to leaf. It doesn’t matter if they die, because they are experimental.
    Interesting.

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