Wednesday, March 28, 2012

March 28, 2012 journal

Our summer like weather is a thing of the past, as the temperatures have returned to somewhat normal. Monday's overnight low was about 25 degrees; so rather than heat the greenhouse I have been bringing the plants inside in the evening. Fortunately, they are still small, and it is relatively easy to do so.

Periodically, I remove older seeds from the freezer to do a germination test. Many times I have read that lettuce seed only remains viable for six months, and that you should purchase fresh seed each year, so I thought I would share my experience with storing seed.

The seeds for the plants above, Gentilina and Red Lollo, were purchased in 2009. As they were approaching three years in storage, I was really generous in sprinkling the seeds on the moist coffee filters; thinking that the percentage that would germinate might be poor.

Quite the contrary, the great majority of the seeds germinated within 48 hours. In fact, I had so many tiny seedlings that I planted only the largest, and strongest, and had to discard a great many seedlings.

Actually, there are seeds in my freezer that are even older than three years. The seeds are sealed in small zip lock bags, and the bags are placed, by variety, in sealed Tupper Ware type containers, which are stored in a chest type freezer.

My storage procecure may not be "according to Hoyle", but it seems to work for me.

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