[NAFEX] pear seed germination

tanis cuff tanistanis at hotmail.com
Sun May 29 19:32:37 EDT 2005


Well I have a dozen nice little pear seedlings which made it thru the blight 
stage, so I can report now.

In past years I had tried several different methods to germinate pear seeds. 
  I harvest my tree (sorry, cultivar name not known) later than recommended 
because this pear doesn't keep, even when picked way green.  I figure one 
advantage is, the seeds inside tree-ripened pears are fully mature.  But, no 
luck on germination.  So, last fall I thought I'd try once more before 
giving up.  I wrapped about 50 fresh moist seeds in damp p.towels and put 
them in a plastic bag, put this bag in a compartment of the refrigerator, 
and forgot about them.

Discovered this bag of stratified seeds in mid-March.  I'm not normally 
shocked by what I find in refrigerators, but this was ugly.  I carefully 
picked thru the mold and gently pinch-tested all the seeds.  In about half, 
the kernel inside was rotted, or there never had been a kernel.  The other 
half were firm.  Of this sub-set, about half were plump and half seemed only 
partially filled.  I planted these in separate seedling tray rows, and the 
plump mostly germinated and the part-filled mostly tried but failed.  Two of 
the strong seedlings died of a seedling stem- or root-blight.

Germination was in a cool room, but in the sun of a south-facing window.  I 
built a tent of clear plastic loosely over the seedling tray, to increase 
the r.h. and temperature during the day (loosened further and eventually 
removed as all seeds sprouted).  Night temp in the room was cool enough I 
wondered about aux heating, but didn't get around to it.  Soil was a mix of 
odds/ends left from last year, not sterile but high in healthy compost.  
Water was collected rainwater.

I hope this saga helps others.

Comments, please, from the more successful seed-starters!





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