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Re: Jim's new picture links

This reminds me--did anyone else hear the report on NPR about the effects of smoke on seed germination? Work was done in Perth and published, I think, in "Science." Forever people have thought that some seeds [think, bristlecone pine, here] had to be subjected to fire before they would germinate. Turns out not to be true. It's a constituent of smoke, not heat, that pulls the trigger. Anyway the Aussies identified it. They found that all seeds--lettuce, carrots, tomatoes--germinate better when treated with "smoke water." You can probably get a transcript of the story/interview at www.npr.org.

Oh, yeah. And what the constituent of smoke does is activate dormant gibberilic [sp?] acid crystals in the seed, so it even brings to life very old seeds.

On Tuesday, July 13, 2004, at 09:39 AM, Aplfgcnys@aol.com wrote:

In a message dated 07/13/2004 12:05:05 AM Eastern Daylight Time,
kmrsy@comcast.net writes:
fungicide, though I suppose the hormones might help.
I'd love to have a set up like that. Having it ready and waiting would make
it so much easier to take cuttings whenever it occurs to you to do so.

Kitty, this might not be sufficient for your needs, but for a number of years
I kept a clear
plastic "sweater box" - don't know what else it would be called - about
15"x6" by 5" deep
with a cover - filled with about 3 or 4 inches of vermiculite on my kitchen
counter - protected
spot by a sunny window. The lid of the box was its tray, though there were
no drainage
holes. I can't begin to guess how many plants I rooted in that box but there
were many.
Whenever I had a leaf or cutting or pruning, a piece of it went into the box.
When the
rootings began to get so big they overwhelmed other things, or there was no
room for
new cuttings, I would pot them on. Since it was on the kitchen counter, I
was reminded
to water it frequently, but never let it be soggy. I theorized -never read
this anywhere -
that the rooting plants produced their own hormones that helped other things
to root.
Anyway, I kept the same vermiculite going - just topped it up when it got low
(some would
cling to the roots of the cuttings when I removed them.) When we remodeled
the kitchen
a few years back I promised myself a new box - that one had become pretty
looking after more than fifteen years - but somehow have never replaced it,
though I think
of it often. I usually have something rooting somewhere at any given time.

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Island Jim
Southwest Florida
27.0 N, 82.4
Zone 10a
Minimum 30 F [-1 C]

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