|Chairman Blondie Sprout making sure our|
supplies are clean
|Our supplies - trays, labels, straws, gloves, propagation guide, baggies, |
Clorox and seeds!
|Blondie Sprout and mamsprout highlight important features|
in our Propagation Guides
First fill with the damp soil. Then sow the seeds. Prior to the workshop, members had selected their seeds and studied whether they would need stratification (a cold period), scarification (scratching of a hard seed coat to allow water to reach the inside of the seed allowing germination) and how deep to plant. A few of our seeds would need to be planted up to 1/2" in depth. The majority would only need to be lightly pressed into the top of the soil and barely covered. Using a fine-tipped Sharpie each member prepared a label giving the botanical name of the seed being planted as well as today's date. Into the Ziploc gallon size baggies they went - this sometimes took a partner as the seed trays are a little flimsy and an extra set of hands meant no spilling. Plastic drinking straws were cut in half and inserted in each corner of the 6 packs and our bag became a tent. Our trays were inserted sideways, so that the zipper closure was on the side. Zipped up and ready to go!
**Note - see the note below the next set of photos for watering while in the tent.
|Another group - lots of work space for each member.|
|And lots of concentration!|
In a future blog (while waiting on germination to occur) we will go into more depth on the importance of the proper soil mix, defining stratification and scarification and we will give some details on watering and lighting. Two different ways of watering were suggested. One follows the Basic Plant Propagation Manual and the other comes from a member's beloved UVA Master Gardening Class Manual and also was suggested by a long-time, now deceased Charleston resident - retired chemist and master propagator Harry Wise.
For now: here is what our manual says - for the first week after sowing spritz heavily at soil level is the top 1/2" is dry. That means not all over the plant. And it means only if you don't detect moisture in your "tent". Go back to the earlier post "I C Sprouts" - see the moisture inside on the top of the bag? That is sufficient to keep the soil moist and provide the proper level for germination.
Mamsprout suggests that after taking home, members should make sure the soil is moistened thoroughly. Take the 6 pack that has just been planted and place in a container/tray/pan with about 1" of warm water. The water level should be above the holes at the bottom of the seed pack. Avoid splashing which could displace your small seeds. When the mix is saturated, set the 6 pack aside to drain. The mix should then stay sufficiently moist during the germination period without needing more water. Covering with the plastic tent should maintain this level and the plastic should be at least 1" from the mix. (Note from WV sprout - I neglected to do this additional watering, but our soil was sufficiently moist from the workshop that all seeds germinated without problems)
As our seeds germinate our bloggers will let you know which technique they tried for watering and placement for light and warmth. We will also supply a list of our seeds and their propagation requirements.
Off to the races!
|Label in the tray, straws added to prop up the plastic tent ..and..|
|Ready to travel to a nice warm & moist germination location! |
Our babies are ready to go.