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TOPIC: Planting Seed Question

Planting Seed Question 3 years 3 months ago #30384

Hey guys just a quick question I got the opportunity to get 1lb of seed on Saturday would it be ok to plant this weekend? Also should I do the float test in water if so how does a guy go about this?

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Re:Planting Seed Question 3 years 3 months ago #30407

What planting method are you doing? If you are doing a rake and scatter planting, I would not float test the seed. Just rake off the leaves, scatter the seed, walk them in and cover back up with the leaves.

If you are going to plant each seed individually (for spacing purposes or whatever), then you might want to float test them before planting dead seeds. Place the seed into a bucket of water. Remove the \"floaters\" and discard them. Remove the good seed (sinkers) and let them dry off a bit in the shade (like on a window screen) or head out and plant them immediately.

Good luck!

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Re:Planting Seed Question 3 years 3 months ago #30408

I had planned to rake and scatter the seed then rake back the leaf litter what about this time of year usually I plant in mid October

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Re:Planting Seed Question 3 years 3 months ago #30410

I agree with the float method but I still plant the floaters, just in case the float test is in error. Just like Gold panning, Gold flakes will often float in the water in the Gold Pan and be washed out. This is due to surface tension of the water and is often caused by oils and/or other minerals and contaminants. A small drop of dishwashing liquid will break the surface tension and the Gold flakes will then drop to the bottom of the Gold pan. I would imagine that this can also occur with Ginseng seeds and that some good, viable seed will sometimes float due to the same reason as Gold flakes. Therefore, I would recommend placing a small drop of dishwashing liquid or Jet Dry in the water when doing the float test.

When you ask whether it is okay to plant this weekend, I assume you are referring to purchased stratified seeds and not fresh seeds directly from the plants! If so, then I believe you should wait until colder weather and the temperature of the ground is cold enough to not cause the seeds to begin germination before Winter. If the wether and ground is too warm (the ground temperature at 50 degrees or above), it could possibly trigger some of the seed's embryos to emerge. If this happens, they will likely be frozen out during the Winter and will die. If planted when the weather and ground is colder, the seed's embryos will remain dormant until Spring when the ground temperature gets above 50 degrees and then begin to emerge. While some loss or death of ebryos within some seeds are inevitable, I believe that planting the seeds when the weather and ground is colder, will result in less loss or death of the embryos.


Frank

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Re:Planting Seed Question 3 years 3 months ago #30414

Plant them now.

Remember, the seed that was harvested last fall would have been planted by nature last fall and been already in the ground. I wouldn't wait unless they were held in a refrigerator for a period of time before you got them. I highly recommend you do not put them in the fridge after bringing them out of stratification unless you intend to wait until the ground temperature approaches that of your fridge temperature.

Once seed is pulled from the stratification boxes, unless it is kept in very ideal conditions, it can go bad quickly. This is the reason the commercial growers don't pull all their seed at one time -they only pull what they need for a few days at a time.

Also remember that there is moisture in the ground and the seed will be fine. Ginseng seed can take much drier conditions than we used to understand, however, delayed germination might be the result of getting too dry.

As for the float, let the seed soak for a while before culling anything. If you are buying from a reputable source, I wouldn't bother as you are adding more moisture and an increased opportunity for disease.

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Re:Planting Seed Question 3 years 3 months ago #30415

Frank,
Yes stratified seed is what I'm referring to. If I do purchase it this weekend how can I safely store it??? Dome say refrigerator some say not too

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Re:Planting Seed Question 3 years 3 months ago #30416

huntsman53 wrote:

If the wether and ground is too warm (the ground temperature at 50 degrees or above), it could possibly trigger some of the seed's ebryos to emerge. If this happens, they will likely be frozen out during the Winter and will die.
Frank


Frank, I'm sorry but there is a flaw in your logic there. You are assuming that after coming out of stratification (and being at ground temperature > 50 degrees all summer) that the seed will sprout if planted before the ground is cooler. This just doesn't make sense since the ground is already going to be warm and the seed would naturally be in the ground already. Don't forget ginseng seed has a very complex dormancy that must experience a second cold period before they will emerge (assuming conditions are correct for them then) the following spring.

Placing seed in the fridge is simulating that second cold spell. As long as seed remains warm (ground temp or so) it will not normally germinate and sprout until after the second cold spell.

Of course there are always exceptions and some sprout after one year, and others always wait for two years before germinating. Its the nature of the plant.

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Re:Planting Seed Question 3 years 3 months ago #30417

Brad,

I understand where you are coming from in your reasoning but explain this! I received the gifted stratified seed from Mike last fall and placed them immediately into my' refrigerator. The temperature in my' refrigerator is kept well below 50 degrees but I am sure that the temperature in it rises occasionally every time myself, one of my two daughters or 5 granchildren open the refrigerator's door to get something out. However, the stratified seed should not be significantly affected by opening and closing of the door (temperature-wise) but yet, about 10 percent of the stratified seed's embryos had begun to emerge by the time I removed them this Spring to plant them.

By the way, even though those 10 percent of the seeds had emerging embryos when I removed them from my' refrigerator, I planted them along with the other seeds. I was very careful in handling and planting them and from what I could tell, most if not all of the seeds that had emerging embryos survived and are doing well.


Frank

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Re:Planting Seed Question 3 years 3 months ago #30420

huntsman53 wrote:

Brad,

I understand where you are coming from in your reasoning but explain this! I received the gifted stratified seed from Mike last fall and placed them immediately into my' refrigerator. The temperature in my' refrigerator is kept well below 50 degrees but I am sure that the temperature in it rises occasionally every time myself, one of my two daughters or 5 granchildren open the refrigerator's door to get something out. However, the stratified seed should not be significantly affected by opening and closing of the door (temperature-wise) but yet, about 10 percent of the stratified seed's embryos had begun to emerge by the time I removed them this Spring to plant them.

By the way, even though those 10 percent of the seeds had emerging embryos when I removed them from my' refrigerator, I planted them along with the other seeds. I was very careful in handling and planting them and from what I could tell, most if not all of the seeds that had emerging embryos survived and are doing well.


Frank



First of all, we are not being scientifically exact on temperatures, but speaking of general guiding principles.

Secondly, the germination in the refrigerator is exactly why folks like me -especially in more northern climates- caution against spring planting. Ginseng held in a refrigerator will ALWAYS be sprouting before we can get it into the ground in the spring on a normal year.

You handled your sprouting seed with tender loving care. However, if you had broken any of those little tails the seed would have died. that prohibits rake and scatter (if you can do that around here in the spring anyway) and using any form of mechanical device to assist in planting those seed that have started to germinate. That might not be a big deal for someone who has the time or for planting 100 seeds. But when we are talking a pound or so, most of us can't do that, and should not since we can plant it in the fall and it will do just fine.

Please understand that when you hold seed in the fridge, it is already at the temperatures of germination in the spring. So as soon as that cold requirement is satisfied, if enough moisture is present, it germinates in the fridge. Normally, about 6 months in the fridge and you will start seeing tails.


So, the point is not that seed in the fridge will not germinate. The point is that seed held in the fridge until FALL planting may delay germination for another year.

Again, my recommendation is to never plant in the spring and never hold seed in the fridge unless planting in late fall after the temps of the ground are about the same as the fridge.



Frank, for you, if you insist on planting in the spring. I would recommend that you initially put your seed in the fridge for maybe a month or so, and then move it to the freezer. In a frozen state, the period of time you can hold the seed can be extended. It will not germinate until it begins to again warm up.

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Re:Planting Seed Question 3 years 3 months ago #30454

I live in Iowa and have planted in Oct and in the first part of Nov. Ideally, when should I be planting to achieve the best results?

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