Friday, May 18, 2007

Seed #6 - Quick to Sprout

This has been my quickest sprout to date - popping out of the soil and opening up overnight.

Originally planted 5/9/07, nine days ago.

Thursday, May 17, 2007

Seed #9 - Cotyledons Pushing Seed Coat Off

This seed coat should fall off in the next day or two. The cotyledons are looking healthy, as is the stem. I can't be sure from these photos, but I would guess that there's four cotyledons, based on the stem thickness and heartiness it's shown so far.

Seed #5 - Standing Up

This little guy is looking healthy, but has the same thin, light-green stem as the others with three cotyledons.

Seed #4 - Cotyledons Opened Upward

This is probably my healthiest sprout, and my first one with four cotyledons (that I'm sure about). There's definitely a difference between those with three and four. The latter seem to have much thicker, purple-brown stems, where the former are a light green and more frail.

Seed #2 - Seed Coat Fell Off - What's Next?

When I gently touched the seed coat today, it fell right off. Underneath, the cotyledons are still bundled up, so I'm not sure that they're going to make it out in the open. If they haven't opened up in a couple days, I might try to gently pull the sheath off.

Tuesday, May 15, 2007

Seed #5 - Showing Three Cotyledons

Seed #5 spent today unfolding and opening up. This is my second with three cotyledons (from separate batches, too), which is supposed to be unusual.

Originally planted 5/9/2007, six days ago.

Seed #4 - Showing Four Cotyledons

Seed #4 is my first to have four cotyledons. In one day, he emerged from the soil and started opening up.

Originally planted 5/7/2007, eight days ago.

Seed #9 - Seed Coat Sprout

Seed #9 pops out of the soil after six days.

Originally planted 5/9/2007, six days ago.

Monday, May 14, 2007

More Mold! (No Problem)

For the past month, I've had between fifteen and one-hundred fifteen giant sequoia seeds sitting in damp coffee filters in the dark. I realize now that there's no guaranteed way to prevent mold growth, so rather than freak out, I spent tonight cleaning all of my seeds, and transplanting them in new coffee filter baggies.

I found the best way to do this was to place the seeds in a metal vegetable strainer with very fine holes (less than 1mm square), and run room-temperature water through them. For the few seeds that had a decent build-up of mold, I carefully gave them a little rub, and more water. I used toothpicks to help maneuver the seeds, discarding them after touching dirty ones. I didn't want to waste my time cleaning the seeds, only to give them back their mold afterwards.

Once the seeds are in the soil and sprout, the air circulation should help prevent mold problems at that point. My goal is to keep them as clean as I can until then, then make sure to remove the seedlings from the greenhouse as soon as they sprout. With germination taking anywhere from seven to ninety days, the baggie method really helps fight mold. If I had planted the seeds in soil from day one, there would have been a serious mold problem in the greenhouse pretty early on.

Seed #14 - Germination

This is probably the best photo so far of the side of the seed coat splitting as the radicle pokes through.

Originally placed in the coffee filter on 4/27/07, seventeen days ago.

Seed #13 - Germination

Originally placed in the coffee filter on 4/27/07, seventeen days ago.

Seed #12 - Germination

Originally placed in the coffee filter on 4/27/07, seventeen days ago.

Seed #11 - Germination

Originally placed in the coffee filter on 4/27/07, seventeen days ago.

Seed #10 - Germination

I don't know how this wasn't more obvious in the coffee filter - this is the longest I've let any of the radicles grow before putting them in the soil.

Originally placed in the coffee filter on 4/27/07, seventeen days ago.

Seed #5 - Sprouting Without Seed Coat

Seed #5 is sprouting just like seed #4 (and probably seed #1, though the seed coat isn't visible) - just to the side of the seed coat, leaving it behind in the soil. You can still see it in the bottom of the photo.

Originally planted 5/9/07, five days ago.

Seed #4 - Sprouting Without Seed Coat

Following seed #1's lead, this little one is sprouting without his seed coat. That yellowish blur in the bottom right of the image is the seed coat. The roots and stem have poked out of one side, but I don't think it's completely detached from the seed coat.

Originally planted 5/7/07, seven days ago.

Seed #2 - Taller Stem, Still Hasn't Shed Its Seed Coat

Four days after first sprouting, seed #2 is now 3/4 of an inch tall. He still hasn't shed his seed coat, which isn't out of the ordinary. The sides of the seed coat have split, showing that it won't be long now before we see how many seed leaves it's hiding.

Seed #1 - Seed Leaf Shriveling

I'm not sure exactly what caused this, but it does concern me. The seedlings are supposed to have four cotyledons, and this guy starts off with three. Now one is shriveled up - who knows how long it's going to last. Luckily there's several more in the queue.

I'm hoping that this was due to my keeping it in a glass that was taller than the seed leaves. Maybe there wasn't enough air circulation around the leaves, which started killing it off. I removed it from the glass, and now have it out in the open, receiving a tiny bit more sunlight, though not yet direct -- I'm waiting for the secondary leaves to come in before I give this guy direct sunlight.