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Re: Voodo seed germination

On Fri, 3 May 1996, Merle Roberts wrote:

> Many years ago, noted hybridizer Jack Boushay told me that if you soak 
> seeds in automotive carburetor cleaner a few minutes before planing in 
> the fall you will have 10% to 15% better germination.  Has anyone tried 
> this?  Has anyone ever heard of this kind of practice?  
> Merle Roberts
> Grand Coulee Dam, Washington
> irisbuff@televar.com

Chris writes:
Umm...for sure your car will start better with this product usage, but as 
far as iris seeds starting better... never tried it, but it does seem 
kind of un-natural. ;> 
Seriously, though, the only thing I can think of 
this stuff doing is that it may strip away some of the germination 
inhibitors that are naturally present on the surface of the seeds. These 
are naturally washed off by autumn and spring rains allowing the plant to 
germinate at the correct time of year (spring). This may be 
accomplished artificially by a repeated soaking and rinsing treatment of the 
seeds and stratification which does improve the percentage chance of first 
year germination. This process is thus mainly applicable to iris seeds that 
have been harvested and then started indoors over the winter.  
Keep on growing those iris, that future Dykes Medal winner is out there 
somewhere and in fact it may just be something other than a tall bearded 
iris!!! ;> (like a siberian...) 

Chris Hollinshead e-mail: bu336@torfree.net
Mississauga, Ontario Canada

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