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FW: to freeze or not to freeze... that is the question

  • Subject: FW: to freeze or not to freeze... that is the question
  • From: "msbucky" <msbucky@rogers.com>
  • Date: Wed, 9 Jan 2002 10:17:05 -0500
  • Importance: Normal

Morning Folks,
The following was sent out on Monday but for some reason didn't go through on the open, so it was subsequently posted to the pixlist - I'm resending it for those of you are not members of both lists.  Any feedback from those of you who have conducted similar trials would be very much appreciated. 
Some time ago several posts were made regarding the drying/freezing of hosta seed. Some said 'sow them fresh', some said, 'dry first' some said 'dry and keep frozen until sowing'.
In October of this year, I sowed a number of trays of seeds. These were 'fresh from the pod'. In fact, in all cases but one, the pods were manually split with a fingernail, prior to their natural opening. The seed was sown immediately. Germination was EXCELLENT! Not only was germination something like 90-95%, some varieties were up and running within 7 days of sowing.  These baby plants are now a good four inches tall, some with as many as seven leaves. (All were more than ready to be transplanted 4 weeks later). The one exception where the pod was left to open on its own and the seed sat for a couple of days (it got forgotten) produced only 2 seedlings.
On November 19th, another sowing was done, using the same seed in many cases as before, plus a number of additional varieties, with the difference that this seed had been stored frozen, since October.  HUGE difference.  Germination is very poor.  In some cases where 50+ seeds were planted, only 2-3 seedlings have emerged. In three cases, NO seedlings have germinated as yet. The only exception in the entire group is seed from L. Black Satin which has about 60% germination so far, and I cannot compare it to fresh seed, as I had none at the time.
As a further experiment, I will be sowing the remainder of seed I have from Midwest Magic, just to check on germination and other differences. This variety was exceptionally quick to sprout and the fastest growing of all, so it will be interesting to see what freezing may have done to affect this.
The same soil mixture (soilless - peat, perlite, vermiculite) was used, the same location, temperature, trays etc.
I would be interested in knowing if anyone else has done a similar experiment and what your results were?

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