21 December 2008

My Cold Stratification Seed Starting

If you have extensive experience with planting seeds outside in the fall or winter in order to give them that 30 to 90 days of cold, wet, even freezing condition they need, please weigh in. This is only my second attempt.

This week I used two half gallon milk containers.

Mark the 3-inch soil level so you know where to cut the top of the container. Leave the handle corner attached.

Soak the planting soil until the water runs out the holes you put in the bottom for drainage.
Some seeds would enjoy being planted on a layer of seed starting mix, but it is not necessary.

Plant the seeds at the depth indicated on the package. Usually large seeds need dark to germinate so they are planted one-half inch deep. Small seeds like many perennials, need light to emerge so they are put onto the surface of the soil.

Gently press the top of the soil or the seed so there is direct contact between soil and seed. Use a
spray bottle to moisten the seeds and the soil on top of them.

Prepare a marker for your planter, if you want to know what you have coming up. I usually put the date planted, the seed provider and sometimes the number of seeds as a germination check.

Then, tape the container closed. Leave the top off the carton and put it outside. Moisture should be able to enter the top and drain out the bottom.

Of course, this is only for those of us who cannot stand being away from our gardening activities no matter how busy the season is.

3 comments:

Dee/reddirtramblings said...

I am not a good seed starter. I think I'll go grab a catalog and dream of those I can place directly in the ground in February, March and April.

Merry Christmas, Martha.~~Dee

Wayne Stratz said...

My students and I did this last year and had successes and had failures. But mostly questions as to why there was a line of gallon jugs down by the greenhouse. will try again this year.

Martha said...

Dee - Anytime you want me to help you learn to start seeds, just let me know. I'd enjoy seeing your garden on the same trip to the other side of Oklahoma.

Wayne - I hope you try again with your students and that you'll let me know which seeds worked and which type didn't. It's all new to me and I'd like to eavesdrop on your learning.