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Re: HYB: germination - chill time

  • Subject: Re: HYB: germination - chill time
  • From: Linda Mann <lmann@lock-net.com>
  • Date: Sat, 27 Jun 2009 14:58:27 -0400

Thanks for the detailed post, Chuck. Surprising that such warm temps are considered "chilling". No wonder the topic is so confusing!

Re: non-shelled seeds: The moisture in the pods keeps seeds hydrated, & the loosely folded plastic baggie keeps the moisture there.

Some of the IMMORTALITY crosses take the longest chilling and have the lowest % germination. Not all, though, and I haven't detected any trends for which ones they are. My suspicion is that seed development is stressed before/during bloom & during pod formation, not genetic, other than susceptibility to stress?

Most crosses here take around 3 months of chilling - that's when I used to take all burritos out of the fridge. Some wouldn't germinate till the second round of chilling. So now I don't take them out until at least one seed from the cross has started to sprout.

Or after ~5 months (~first of Dec; occasionally later for really late pods), whichever comes first ;-)

I think the Spoons have said that they get better germination with 4 months than with just 3, which is why I started leaving them in the fridge a little longer.

Benefit of not shelling immediately is that it just suits my temperament better than having to shell each one the minute the pod starts to split. Less trouble to just pop the pod in a baggie and put it in the fridge.

This way, I can shell a batch of them when I'm in the mood/stuck indoors because of air quality/allergens/heat/rain. As long as I get them all burrito'd within a couple of months. Nothing has shown any sign of starting to sprout in the pods so far.'

I'm not sure I know what you mean by "too early harvest" - you mean they mature too early here, compared to ? Typical timing from pollination to pod split is variable - 8 to 12 weeks. Mostly ~8 weeks. Faster in hot, dry weather. Usually.

I try not to harvest until the pod starts to split, unless the stalk rots. Then I leave as much green stalk as possible with the pod on a sunny window sill to ripen indoors. Splitting pods usually have turned partially brown, but still have some green, quite a bit on some. Seed color (seen thru the split in the pod) varies from nearly white to dark brown; average is tan.

Maybe you are thinking of the miracle 5 day old pod snapped off by the microburst? That pod not only matured normal looking seeds, but they actually germinated! Totally unexpected and bizarre.

No noticeable difference in germination rate/required time of chilling between immediately shelled & shelled later, but that's comparing different years.

Before I set the thermostat in the fridge high enough to make sure seeds <never> freeze in burritos, germination was worse. I think. Again, comparing different years.

<Linda, I suspect your procedure has some elements that make germination
slower. ie: occasional drying out which resets chilling hour clock. Or
perhaps too early a harvest coupled with putting unshelled pods into
burritos. I can't see any benefit of not shelling pod before placing in
cold environment>

Linda Mann
Rhizome sale today and tomorrow

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