I think that a study needs to be done on stratified seed to find the best methods of storage and/or handling depending upon whether the seeds are going to go straight into the ground when they arrive from the Seller or whether they are going to be stored for weeks or even months before being planted. I think that everyone on Wildgrown will have different takes on what has/does and what hasn't/doesn't work! I purchased my' first seeds from Mike in the Fall of 2011 and although I intended to get them into the ground before full blown Winter that year, I did not due to losing my oldest sister and due to pinched nerves causing severe pain in my' left shoulder and arm. I then planned for a Spring planting but health problems and surgeries again got in the way. I was finally able to plant them in the Fall of 2012 and from the areas that I could get to due to my' back problems, it appears that the germination and emergence was close to 50 percent in the Spring of 2013. I can't comment on the seed that I planted much higher up as I could not get to them again due to back problems. About half of the seeds were planted in small trenches I dug, then covered over and the remainder were planted via the rake and scatter method. The seeds were stored in the refrigerator from the Fall of 2011 to the Fall of 2012 and when I removed them, I soaked them in water for about 5 or 10 minutes, drained the water off and placed them on paper towels to drain any excess water. This method seemed to work better than many other methods that have been noted here on Wildgrown. Now, the seeds that I received from Mike as a gift seem to have done much better on germination and emergence. These seeds were placed into the refrigerator as soon as they arrived in the Fall of 2013 and stored there until the Spring of this year. I removed them from the refrigerator and as with the other seeds, I soaked them in water for about 5 minutes, drained the water off and placed them on paper towels to drain any excess water. All of these seeds were planted by digging trenches and covering them over except for a few that I lost and was unable to find when I dropped the bag twice that I was carrying them in. Again, I was unable to get to the high locations where I planted some of the seeds on August 17th due to back problems but in the areas I could reach, it appears that the germination and emergence was very close to 90 percent.
IMHO, I think that there are several methods of storage and handling of the seeds which will work and have decent percentages of germination and emergence. However, I feel that no matter which method is used, the seeds really need a drink of water before they are planted.
That is my take on things and I am sure that there will be many more opinions and stories of good luck and bad luck that will posted here.
I\"m going to agree with Hugh and applaud TnTrader's explanation. I think that is most likely the nuts and bolts of the issue. I also have had good results in the past keeping seed in the fridge, and have recommended it to my customers. However, I do not recommend that any longer. I think the best bet is to plant the seed as soon as possible and just keep it in a relatively cool spot.
Think about how nature plants ginseng. It drops off the plant in the fall, gets covered by leaves and is frozen. Then, as it warms up, the leaves begin to decompose causing the seed to find itself surrounded by new dirt (so to speak). It gradually cools down -remember, the ground temp is often warmer than the air in the fall- until it freezes again. Then in the spring it gradually warms up and is watered and it finally germinates.
I think we should try to mimic nature's planting. If we quickly cool the seed in a fridge, we are messing with its timing. Perennial plants are finicky about germination and dormancy anyway....why give it any more cause to be so?
I\"d say if you are going to keep it in the fridge, plan on planting after the ground has gotten nearly as cool as the temp in your fridge.
thanks again for everyones input,i will continue to plant every year, thanks to you guys i have a few more options,
oh yea any input re; soil moisture levals.i realize the plant knows enough to go dormant in a drout but in a dry season is it better to let nature take its coarse,or do we have the optoin to irregate
That all depends on your perspective. One person might consider irrigation to be a common agricultural practice and therefore the crop resulting to be of cultivated nature. On the other hand, it is not a growth enhancer per se, so I see nothing wrong with adding water only during a dry spell.
For good germination, you want to see about an inch of rain during the period of emergence, normally mid April until the end of May here in Ohio and points north.