Tricky Planting Instructions

Posted By on February 22, 2013

Seeds and Zipper Bags

Seeds and Zipper Bags

When our seeds arrived in the mail, some of them had instructions I have never seen before. The Chamomile, Hollyhocks, Butterfly Weed, Bachelor’s Buttons, Aster and Foxglove all needed the same treatment. The recommendation is to place the seeds in damp peat moss and keep them at 60 degrees for 3 days.

I labeled six zip-seal freezer bags and placed one entire packet of seeds in each one.

IMG_0915The Hollyhock bag is very full because we harvested the seeds from our rose-pink Hollyhocks this past summer. The stalks were clipped and dried, and then the individual seed pods were pulled off and opened. Then I added some of our planting medium (which contains a high percentage of peat moss) and added enough water to soak into the medium slightly but not puddle inside the zipper bag.

IMG_0916I then placed all six zipper bags in a gallon size zipper bag to ensure that there would be no leaks into my next container.

Outdoor temperatures here in North Texas are already reaching the mid- to high-seventies during the daytime, so I had to figure out some way to keep these seeds close to 60 degrees.

I finally decided to place the seeds in an insulated lunch tote and place that in the refrigerator – zipped up to keep the seeds slightly warmer.

IMG_0917 As the day progresses, I remove the insulated lunch tote every few hours and allow the seeds to warm slightly, keeping them much warmer than the actual refrigerator temperature.

IMG_0918 My feline and very bossy assistant keeps me on task.

IMG_0919 The seed planting beds are ready, but the seeds have two more days of the lunch tote treatment. After 3 days at or near 60 degrees, the seeds will be removed from the warm lunch tote and placed in the bottom drawer of the fridge. This will allow them to experience temperatures in the low 30s but not freezing. The seeds will remain in this state for 30 days.

On February 22 the seeds will be placed in the planting area above, but the clear lid will not be placed over them. These seeds require darkness to sprout, so we will reverse the planting container top and bottom trays. The clear plastic tray will be under the seedlings to catch water run-off and the black plastic run-off tray will be placed over the top to keep the seedlings in the dark until they sprout.

We will not truly know if this procedure works until mid-March when the tiny plants begin emerging, but we will let you know how it all works out.

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