Sowing Seeds

G’day everyone,

A few weeks ago I noticed that a lot of the trees around my property were starting to produce some seeds. As shown in the photo below, you are able to see the different kinds of seeds that I have been able to collect. I have allowed most of the seeds to sit and go through a process called stratification.  Stratification is when seeds are exposed to cold temperatures that simulate the chilling process that they would experience in winter. Another technique is called scarification and this is the process of abrading the outer coat/shell of the seed pod. This means that when the seed pod is exposed to moisture it will take a shorter period of time to soften and not several weeks (though this varies from seed to seed).

©BMHPhotographyTheGardener’sNotebook2014©BMHPhotographyTheGardener’sNotebook2014

The main selection of seeds that I chose to sow this week were the Acer palmatumGrevillea robustaMagnolia denudataWisteria sinensis and Lupinus polyphyllus.  All these seeds needed to go through the process of stratify which is the ‘slang’ for stratification.

Acer Palmatum:

Stratification: 4-12 weeks

Scarification: No need

Soak: No need

Germination time: 14-40 Days

©BMHPhotographyTheGardener’sNotebook2014
Acer palmatum seed

Some seeds may need to be soaked in warm-hot water for multiple hours. For example, the silk tree Albizia julibrissin seeds will need to be soaked for 24 hours and the Mandevilla seeds need to soak for at least 8 hours. This is not a compulsory step when growing seeds but by doing these subtle things it can help increase the chances of successful seed germination. Personally I do not always soak my seeds; it will usually depend on the time of year and the condition of the seeds.

Wisteria sinensis:

Stratification: 8-20 weeks         OR          Soak: 24 hours

Scarification: No need

Germination time: 20-45days

©BMHPhotographyTheGardener’sNotebook2014
Wisteria sinensis seed

©BMHPhotographyTheGardener’sNotebook2014©BMHPhotographyTheGardener’sNotebook2014

Grevillea robusta:

Soak: 12 hours

Stratification: No need

Scarification: No need

Germination time: 14-40 Days

©BMHPhotographyTheGardener’sNotebook2014

©BMHPhotographyTheGardener’sNotebook2014
Grevillea robusta seed

 Lupinus polyphyllus:

Soak: 24 hours

Stratification: 1 – 2 Weeks

Scarification: No need

Germination time: 14-40 Days

©BMHPhotographyTheGardener’sNotebook2014

©BMHPhotographyTheGardener’sNotebook2014
Lupinus polyphyllus: Russell lupins

When sowing your seeds make sure that you don’t bury them too deep. Sometimes when a seed is planted too far down into the soil or is covered by too thick a layer of soil the seeds are beyond recovery and may never germinate. If you are sowing seeds in a raised garden-bed or straight into the soil, plant them the same depth as the length of the seed itself and lightly cover over with soil. When sowing seeds in a tray fill the tray with seed raising and propagation mix/soil until about 1cm (half and inch) from the top of the tray. Place all your seeds that you would like to grow in rows and then lightly dust some of the mix over the top until they are just covered.

©BMHPhotographyTheGardener’sNotebook2014

©BMHPhotographyTheGardener’sNotebook2014

Once all your seeds have been sown and covered with soil, water them with a fine mist and keep the soil moist. You can then place glass, newspaper or planks of wood over the top if desired to help keep the soil warm. Currently I have my seed trays in my glass house so I won’t need to place anything on top for now. However, if we experience sudden weather changes I may add some newspaper and small wooden planks.

©BMHPhotographyTheGardener’sNotebook2014©BMHPhotographyTheGardener’sNotebook2014

©BMHPhotographyTheGardener’sNotebook2014

By Bonnie-Marie Hibbs

©BMHPhotographyTheGardener’sNotebook2014

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