By Jannie Vaught
There have been some questions coming up about seeds and germination. People thinking the seeds they purchased are not viable. Germination, the sprouting of a seed, spore, or other reproductive body, usually after a period of dormancy. The absorption of water, the passage of time, chilling, warming, oxygen availability and light exposure may all operate in initiating the process. Britannica definition.
When you order your seeds from a reputable seed company they will have been germination tested. According to the Organic growers rules the seed must be tested every 6 months. They have far more accurate testing than the home growers have. Old seeds can be a factor, age can determination lack of germination. If you have been storing them at home, loose and exposed in a open container for example they are exposed to insects and light exposure. All outside factors effect seeds. You need to look at the seed package, this will have a photo, a description of the plant, Best by date which is usually stamped on the back, this is the date the seeds were packed this is usually on the bottom Packed for: 2022 Lot: 6 Sell by: 11/22 and Origin with a code. Use the seeds the same year. If you do store seeds use a airtight container in a cool dark place is best.
You can do a home test simply by wetting paper towel and placing a few seeds on the wet tower cover with towel and then place another light weight plate on top. Black out and pressure to mimic planting and check in a few days. There is never 100%. That is why when your plants in the garden come up if there are empty places you can fill in the gaps. With all this information this is the critical piece. Cold, hot, wet, dry, full sun, partial sun and soil quality. If you see you have a questionable batch of seeds contact the seed company. Yes, you can. They need to know if there is a problem. I have contacted a well know seed company and actually spoke to a representative and they said “You know we have had problems with that seed.” They will need the batch number and date, they sent me a new package of seeds. There is no getting around this drought and heat going across our country. This is having a slowing of the plant to production. Or for example the beets are small and the tomatoes wont set.
Last column we touched on the Fall garden. At” agrilifeextension.tamu.edu ” type in Fall vegetable gardening guide for Texas. Each state has an extension and will cover your specific growing zone. It will have:
What can I plant?
Frost tolerant and even a printable planting guide.
Many of us like fall gardening the best. For example, broccoli, greens, squash, peas, root vegetables like beets , carrots and turnups, or rutabaga. And the not so obvious tomato plant. My second start seedings are in 5 gallon pots under shade. They will eventually go to bigger pots and then into the hoop house for winter or I have even brought them in to the porch. As you are planning for fall and winter remember to have an extra frost cloth and items to repair any tools, and soaker systems. Our delivery systems have been slower than usual so ordering early will get the things in you will need. People ask me about planting squash late. We have a long growing season and I do have a problem with vine borers, their cycle seems to be gone by mid July and that is when I plant summer and winter squash like patty pan and Red Kuri.
Gardening is a learning experience and this year we are learning to garden in the” Hot dry times.”
Growing Green With Jannie