[NAFEX] Moldy seed germination

Stephen Sadler Docshiva at Docshiva.org
Tue May 31 14:23:01 EDT 2005

Many of those types of seeds need something to happen to the seedcoat before
they're able to germinate - the 'damage' to the seedcoat probably simply
allows water inside.  It's common practice to sand some seedcoats, or even
cut a small slit in larger seeds, such as Wisteria.  One needs to be very
careful not to damage the seed within the coat.  In nature, microbes/fungi
do this work.

Apple seeds do have germination inhibitors - but they're to reduce
competition, not keep the seed itself from sprouting.  Malus seeds are
deeply dormant, and require stratification for both germination and
embryonic development.  

BTW, lazy gardener that I am, I sometimes have the best germination rates by
simply planting the seed/seeds in a suitable outdoor location and let the
local temperatures, pH, microbes, and other microecologic factors do their
thing.  Some seeds take over a year, but they would have taken months in the
fridge/greenhouse/cold frame/seed tray or wherever, and I get much more
vigor with bed plantings.  

Stephen Sadler, Ph.D.
USDA 9, AHS heat zone 8, 
Sacramento CA - Mediterranean climate

-----Original Message-----
From: nafex-bounces at lists.ibiblio.org
[mailto:nafex-bounces at lists.ibiblio.org] On Behalf Of bluestem_farm at juno.com
Sent: Tuesday, May 31, 2005 4:22 AM
To: nafex at lists.ibiblio.org
Subject: [NAFEX] Moldy seed germination

When I'm trying to get seed to grow with a really hard seed coat, it often
ends up moldy.  I convinced myself a while ago that that's how it should be.
The Baptisia hard seeds only seem to germinate after molding.

-- "tanis cuff" <tanistanis at hotmail.com> wrote:
  I have to wonder if 
the mold/rot broke down any germination inhibitors?  That seems to be the 
one thing which worked FOR me.

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