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TOPIC: last years poor seed germination in the spring

Re:last years poor seed germination in the spring 5 years 7 months ago #17469

What is confusing to me is this delayed germination thing. I got very nice germination in the beds I planted with new seed last October. This seed took me thru about 2/3rds of my available beds to plant. I had 5.5 lbs. that I put into the ground then.

The other third of the beds, came up thick with new 3 leafers this year as well. all of those beds look pretty good, except one or two, which are sparse. That third of the beds were planted in late winter 2011 -along with all the other beds- and the emergance of 3 leafers last year was dismal. Now this year, is very different!

So it's curious, yes? The questions I have are:
1] did the fall planting [oct/2011] emerge in the beds I planted?
2] or was it the delayed emergance from the 02/2011 planting?

Either way, I'm happy to see them, however it would be nice to clearly say that it was only the fall plantings that came up.

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Re:last years poor seed germination in the spring 5 years 7 months ago #17472

So it's curious, yes? The questions I have are:
1] did the fall planting [oct/2011] emerge in the beds I planted?
2] or was it the delayed emergance from the 02/2011 planting?


I think it could have been both.

One of the things most guys do...and they shouldn't we've found...is keep their stratified seed in the refrigerator until they plant it. (the other issue is too much water)

Keeping the seed in the fridge is one thing that can cause delayed germination. If you kept the seed in the fridge before you planted in October, you might have caused delayed germination.

Without knowing for sure which seed was which, it will be impossible to tell for sure what is going on.

Another thing that can cause germination to delay slightly, is drought. I'm doing a series of articles on my site about this very subject now. Part 1 deals with seed moisture.

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Re:last years poor seed germination in the spring 5 years 7 months ago #17474

Ok, I hear ya about the fridge. However I don't remember reading anything about that in Person's book. I'm not saying that you are woring... not a'tall. It's just that this is news to me. Thanks for pointing it out.

What would you recommend doing with arrived seed, until I can get it in the ground? sometimes there's a lag of 2 weeks until I can get it in; sometimes it's just a few days.

What is your website addy? I'd like to visit it.

I get from reading your postings, that you don't think that there is a deliberate attempt by vendors to sell immature, not-complete-with-stratification seeds?

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Re:last years poor seed germination in the spring 5 years 7 months ago #17476

Whitjr wrote:

Ok, I hear ya about the fridge. However I don't remember reading anything about that in Person's book. I'm not saying that you are woring... not a'tall. It's just that this is news to me. Thanks for pointing it out.

What would you recommend doing with arrived seed, until I can get it in the ground? sometimes there's a lag of 2 weeks until I can get it in; sometimes it's just a few days.

What is your website addy? I'd like to visit it.

I get from reading your postings, that you don't think that there is a deliberate attempt by vendors to sell immature, not-complete-with-stratification seeds?


Right, I don't think Dr. Persons mentioned that. It is indeed news to most people, along with some other issues about which we are learning that we can and can't do with ginseng seed.

If you trust your dealer at all, don't bother float testing your seed. In fact, do not add any water at all. This just encourages disease formation and spread. Keep the seed cool, but not cold. I would keep it in a basement or shaded area in a breathable container (like a woven feed sack) and plant it as soon as you can. Don't put it in the frig.

We don't want the seed to dry out completely, but it can take much more drying than we used to believe. Remember, always go back to how nature plants a ginseng seed. The berry falls off the plant, or is picked and run through a bird, at the hottest and dryest time of the year in some areas. It falls onto the ground and hopefully gets some covering of leaves or such by wind action. In this part of the country, it might not get rain for a month after that. The temperatures remain warm until we start changing into the season of the seed's first cold period. Remember, seed needs cold, warm, cold, warm before they come up. If we change that to semi cold (frig), hot, cold, warm,cold, warm....it might shock the seed into a delayed dormancy.

emeraldcastlefarms dot com I remember seeing you on the members list. :D

No, I don't think this was a widespread scam at all. At the commercial level, seed is seed with some exceptions (low viability tests etc). It is either stratified seed which must be planting this fall, or green seed which must be planted next fall. Therefore, it normally all sells for the same price. This means there are few circumstances which would justify a grower or dealer selling green seed in place of stratified seed.

A few years ago I sold (and planted) some seed that had bad germination also. Yet, the following spring (last spring) it all came up just fine along with the newly planted seed. Now, that year, my source ran out of seed and obtained some for me from a friend. Most likely, there was something that went wrong with the seed prior to stratification or after stratification and prior to my receiving it. The producer might not have even realized this. To avoid that, I've moved up both my selling, purchasing and shipping of seeds.

The dealers you all know who sell commercial seed have no real way of testing what will happen the following spring. When I get seed, I'm provided with a general germination/viability test percentage. Last year, the seed I sold tested at 98%. The year we had all the problems the seed tested in the high 80%s. So, delayed germination is a risk the grower/producers, the dealers, and the local growers all share. I don't want to sell you seed that I know will not come up next spring. This is completely counter productive to building my business. I think most other dealers out there today are the same way.

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Re:last years poor seed germination in the spring 5 years 7 months ago #17483

Things just started to pop here this past week in my home garden. I'll get out and check some of the areas I planted a couple years ago.

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Re:last years poor seed germination in the spring 5 years 7 months ago #17489

Right. Emeraldcastlefarms. I remember now. You have a forum there, however I really don't have the time to do but so many forums... Belong to this one, an audi one, and the linville gorge one. No reflection on your forum... just a time constraint. Your website is a nice one!

You wrote: \"If you trust your dealer at all, don't bother float testing your seed. In fact, do not add any water at all. \"

I am still figuring out which dealers to purchase from. so far I've bought from 4 different dealers, and I have that many on my list to continue to try. Some are 'way more expensive than others, and that's a consideration for me. As is their reliability, and customer service. And, then there's sticking to my business plan as to the rest of my criteria for purchase.... and American seed only! These are the factors I consider when making a purchase [any purchase] for my budding [sorry - no pun intended] business.

If you look, there are seed vendors from around the work. Cameroon, China, etc. I am choosing NOT to dilute the American 'sang gene pool with international seed. Looking on \"Alibaba.com\" is enlightening. Harding sells seed on it, as well as the other international vendors.

On dryness: I did find that some exposed seed I put down last fall was still viable. I found several seeds lying on top of the bed where the leaf cover had been blown off. I opened several of them, and found the the embyro was still good. Re-Planted all others I found like that.

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Re:last years poor seed germination in the spring 5 years 7 months ago #17492

Thanks for the kind words Whitjr. I know exactly what you mean. I normally keep up on a number of forums myself. A police forum, another for our department that I run, one for online gaming, my own at EmeraldCastleFarms, this one, one I run for a youth camp where I serve on the board, and my college classes are now exclusively online in forum style.

I had the idea to put a forum online ever since we had the Yahoo group years ago, but just didn't get around to doing so until I made the new site over a year ago, long before I started coming back here and found this site so popular. I think forums are really the best way to exchange information. Not only can we provide information convieniently, but the communications go both ways in a comfortable, informal exchange.

Now, don't misunderstand my suggestion to not float seed. If you don't know your dealer well, you might want to do so. But I'm suggesting that doing so will add moisture which might cause more problems with your seed, and if you don't trust the dealer, you shouldn't be buying seed from him or her anyway.

I'm still of the opinion (until new information changes my mind) that North American ginseng seed is North American ginseng seed. I've had no issues with the seed I get from Canada. Most normally, I can buy it at a better price, which is why I can sell seed for less than some of my competitors. I have bought seed from US sources and have had issues with some of it.

Dead on with the drier seed. Those seed might still come up once they are properly hydrated. This is the second reason I suggest not floating seed from a trusted source. We now know that stratified ginseng seed can get dry enough to float and still be viable. So, if you are going to float it, be sure you soak it for a few minutes (15 or so then drain the water and let it dry a little) and let it sit long enough ...maybe a day or so...to fully hydrate before you float it. Otherwise, you might be throwing away perfectly viable seed and thinking bad things about your dealer that are unjustified.

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Re:last years poor seed germination in the spring 5 years 7 months ago #17494

Fellas, I have always float tested mine with a little bleach in it to make sure I kill any surface disease. I then take the seed I have soaked for an hour and place them on a dry clean bath towel and pat dry them off. Then I place them in a large tupperware bowl with a lid. I then stir the seed with my hands every couple of days until I plant.

I am not saying this the best way, but it has worked for me. I always thought that ginseng seed needs the cold spell and to refrigerate them was a good way to mimic that. But I could be wrong on that and may try just storing then in a cool spot until planted.

Planted a pound of seed from a seed supplier in Michigan in early Oct and planted a pound of seed from Larry Harding in mid November. Larry's seed germinated great this spring and the Michigan dealers seed did terrible. Planted them the same way in the same woods only a 100 feet apart. I do not get commission for saying nice things about Larry's seed in case anyone is wondering. Just being honest and beware of the Michigan seed source. It has let me down a number of times as well as letting down some other folks. I am not saying anything is wrong with Michigan seed. However, there is one seed dealer I would be leery of and I do not feel comfortable bashing him by name publicly. If you are buying from a Michigan seed dealer and their seed is doing well for you then great.
Latt

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Re:last years poor seed germination in the spring 5 years 7 months ago #17495

I bought the first batch of seed I ever got from a high profile guy in Michigan. I had trouble with it too.

It would be interesting Latt, to take some of the same seed from the same batch, and handle it both ways. That way, you can plant it side by side (marked), and see if there is any difference in the way it works out.

I have started to discourage the practice of bleaching more and more. I did all of that too, and I've aome observations which lead me to believe it has some negative effects at times. For instance, if the seed is already grinning, I don't think you should bleach it. Likewise, I'm starting to form the opinion that if you use a 10% solution (which is most common), and leave the bleach on too long or don't get it all off, I am wondering if it will kill some of the seeds. I\"ve not experimented with that yet, but might this fall. I know the seed I get has been bleached out of the stratification boxes, so I don't bleach it again after that.

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Re:last years poor seed germination in the spring 5 years 7 months ago #17496

I do not bleach if the seeds are grinning either. I know a few have said it wont hurt them but I do not want to risk it. Forgot to mention after I use the 10% bleach solution I rinse with clean water too at the end of the soak. Not sure if this is right or wrong but it's what I do. I think some just take it out after soaking in the 10% bleach solution and do not rinse the seeds. Not sure if anything is wrong with that but I just felt better about rinsing them.
Latt

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