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nafex - RE: [NAFEX] Moldy seed germination

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  • From: "Stephen Sadler" <>
  • To: "'North American Fruit Explorers'" <>
  • Subject: RE: [NAFEX] Moldy seed germination
  • Date: Tue, 31 May 2005 11:23:01 -0700

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-----
[] On Behalf Of
Sent: Tuesday, May 31, 2005 4:22 AM
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" <> 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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