Sunday, April 29, 2007

First Germination! Meet Seed #1

Most reasonable people would be able to check their seeds just once a week. Unfortunately, I can't go a day without peeking to see if any of the seeds has 'hatched' yet, sprouting its embryonic root, or radicle. I didn't expect to see any action for the first few weeks, especially since I didn't stratify the seeds first in the refrigerator for a month like most resources suggested.

Well, I was happily surprised. After nine days in its wet, unbleached coffee filter, one of my original fifteen seeds (now known as seed #1) sprouted its millimeter-long, white radicle. Because I folded the coffee filter like Shoot recommended (covering the seeds with one fold on one side, three on the other), I was able to see the radicle by holding the coffee filter baggie up to the light (second from the left in the photo).

In keeping with Shoot's Blog entry, I carefully removed the seed from the coffee filter, placing it in this simple greenhouse seed starter kit I bought at Lowes. I used starter soil, making sure it was wet and that the radicle is pointing downwards. I then buried the seed only slightly, keeping it about 1/4 inch below the surface. The greenhouse kit comes with a clear plastic cover which will keep the seeds warm, allowing sunlight and retaining moisture.

Now's the tough part... waiting. Hopefully this early germination wasn't a fluke, and more are on the way shortly. In the meantime, I've put the mini-greenhouse away in the corner of my kitchen where it can avoid direct sunlight. I'll need to check on it every day to make sure the soil doesn't dry out, killing the little giant before he has a chance.

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