Thursday, January 28, 2010

Things to Do in Winter- Seed Starting 2

My earlier post on seed starting was a little brief . I fell into the blogging trap of feeling compelled to post something everyday and as a result rushed the discussion of something that is rather complex. What to do? Delete the whole thing and start again? I then remembered my dear friend Prashant Miranda who is a brilliant artist journal keeper. His sketchbook/ journals are an inspiration, and I remembered that in a bound book, you can't erase or remove an image but just have to keep on keeping on.
So instead of pulling the plug on the Jan. 25th post, I'll keep it as a record of that moment in time. And now I'll add something that will explain my enthusiasm for propagating plants from seed.
Many seeds benefit from soaking in water for 24 hours before sowing, one of these is Phytollaca americana (Pokeweed). In fact, this seed has a pulpy coat that inhibits germination, so a soak in warm soapy water removes this and helps speed up the process. I'm sowing a variegated strain of P.americana called 'Silberstein', it has varying patterns of speckled markings and with reddish stems. It should be fun to germinate, as each plant is slightly different. Hopefully I can show the progress of these plants over the next few months. In these pictures you'll see that 'Silberstein' seeds released this magenta pink colour as soon as it hit the water. In the second image, 'Silberstein' seed makes good contact with the growing medium and will later be covered with w thin coat of Turface.


James Missier said...

Yes, its better to add than editing the last post, too much work and its really time consuming.

Never knew a seed can give out a pink colour. Do keep the seedling updated, very interested to see how this plant turn out.

Barry Parker said...

I'll do that James. I only hope I can follow through on this. I've grown it before and I seem to remember that it's fairly easy to germinate.

Helen said...

Thanks for the link to Prash... what beautiful, lyrical work. And good luck with your pokeweed. No need to ever apologize for a short post. Besides, the link you provided to Turface was highly educational. It's always a pleasant visit to your blog, Barry, even for a quick cuppa.

Barry Parker said...

Helen, If you'd like to try Turface, I could give you a sample.

Prashant Miranda said...

Way to go Barry.....I'm in Bangalore where the weather is warm.
Just had surgery on my right knee on Saturday.
All's well.

Sending you and the plants warmth from India.