I bought some stratified seed a couple weeks ago. My plan is to get most of them planted as soon as the ground thaws and hold onto the rest until Spring. When I opened the bag there was a strange smell but the seeds looked good with ~20 % smiling. The seller claims he float-tested and bleached them but I'm planning to do it again for peace of mind.
According to the seller they are woods grown and they are smaller than the seed I'm used to buying from well-known farms. They were also very dry when I received them so I added some water. I’ve been keeping them moist and opening the bag and moving them around every other day. I cut into a few to check the embryos right after I received them and most looked good but there were a few that were dried out.
Here’s where things go South. I attempted a germination test on wet paper towel at room temp. The embryos all got squishy and died after a couple days. When I lightly squeeze the seed, the embryo squeezes out with very little force and is mushy. Sometimes I see the actual sprout within the mush and sometimes I don't. I’m wondering if I killed them by trying to germinate too early. Only a few of the seeds that are still in the fridge squish out like this. Most of them Perhaps the seeds are carrying a fungus and once it hits ambient temp, it kills them? Maybe they were stored too dry before they got to me and started too die? That would explain the smell. Maybe they just got too wet?
Do healthy seeds typically squeeze out like this?
I might have to ask for my money back. What do you guys think? I would really appreciate your input here. I think the clock is ticking on getting a refund.
I am sure some folks that know more about Ginseng seeds, testing and planting them will post the information and answers to your questions soon. I do know that Ginseng seeds go through an 18 month dormancy. If they have not been dormant for that long, I would imagine that they will die if using the wet paper towel test. Just my thoughts but I am by know means an expert on Ginseng seeds!
Ascertaining why is difficult, given what you posted. Did you have these for a long time? How old were they when you bought them? Did you pay a fair, current, comparable price for them, or did you get a discounted rate?
I have received dry seeds once but after I soaked them in water the hull or seed shell rehydrated? The most important thing is the meat of the seed inside. It should be crisp like a fresh radish in texture. As a matter of fact the seed inside almost has a radish like taste if you want to to try tasting one. At no time should the seed inside feel or look mushy.
I float tested and bleached them a couple nights ago. 10-15% floated and are dried out. 20% of the sinkers are mushy and squeeze out with moderate pressure. However it seems like there is still structure to the embryo within the mush. Maybe I'm just forcing it and squeezing too hard? I paid $145/lb including shipping and figured i would take a chance when I realized that all of my usual sellers were sold out. I hope I don't regret it. They are definitely woodsgrown, given their Smaller size and dark color.