[NAFEX] Ordering plant material from USDA

JAMES ELIE tomelzear at earthlink.net
Wed Feb 4 23:26:38 EST 2009

Hey Deb,

They send a sheet of instructions for breaking the seed dormancy.  This is basically soaking in repeated water baths for about two days then placing the seeds in a damp paper towel in the refrigerator.  It was between 8 and 12 weeks but the germination rate was excellent.  Seedlings are then transplanted to a growing medium.  

I did lose a few but I think it was because I used potting mixtures with too much sphagnum moss.  I thought it would help with dampening off but, now I think it kept things too moist.   I attempted to alleviate that issue by adding more perlite to the mix but still didn't feel comfortable with the results.  If I do a repeat, I will just pick up some topsoil rather than potting soil and adjust it with perlite.  Going with the jiffy-7 and then going with a better draining growth medium with transplants to larger containers may be sufficient

It has been a year since I started those malus seeds  so hopefully they are safely sleeping under the snow, undeterred and unmolested.

Please let me know how things go for you if you decide to follow your "planting genes".

Good Luck

Jim Elie
Green Bay WI
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