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Propagation: OLD Seeds & NEW Seeds

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Kim_M
Hamburg, PA
(Zone 6b)

August 17, 2009
12:02 PM

Post #6955814

Hi Everybody,

I was Hoping some of you would share your own insight and opinion on this topic...

In 1996 My father saved watermelon seeds from my Great-Grandfather's watermelon. He use to grow the best. He has long passed...In 2006 I took the seeds and grew the watermelons myself.

When I give away or trade seeds "Freshness" always seems to be the concern or question. Therefore I always pick and send seeds of that year (because of the hype). Unless I inform the person from what year they are from.

But here's my point...I NEVER throw away seeds I plan on sowing at some point or another. All of the seedlings and flats I have now are from seeds over 6 years old. I have just about 100% germination rate. And next year I might sow seeds from 2004. There are some seeds that do not store well in my opinion and those are Marigolds. I have also noticed the very same seeds I have germinated this year, WOULD not germinate when they were received or the year after. But just about popped out in 2 days this year. Therefore I am deeply inclined that many many seed types need to be older to germinate.

I put away seeds Weezingreens sent me in 2004 dated and labeled "Pasithea Coerulea 2003". When I first tried these seeds they would not germinate. I tried them the following year..nothing! I revisited the pack and this year, 6 years later, I now have babies.

Can some of you list some seeds in Your opinion that are not viable over time...

1. My Opinion: Marigolds (somebody prove me wrong...LOL) because I'm holding on to one special kind knowing they may never sprout!


Thumbnail by Kim_M
Click the image for an enlarged view.

Keriblu
Johannesburg
South Africa

August 17, 2009
7:28 PM

Post #6957585

I think most seed keeps for a long time. There are exceptions of course. It is said that Agapanthus seed needs to be fresh to germinate. I do think that seed that has a soft piece to make it easier for the seed to float away from the mother plant are ones that do not keep well. Despite what is said about Aggie seed, I have grown some which is supposed to be past "its-sell-by-date". Very small seed - dust - is best planted fresh from the plant, like Streptocarpus. I have bought Strep seed and no results, planted some of mine and good germination when it is virtually off the plant. I have some now that I must get into the soil. Plants that rely on very good rain for a short while, also have a long life. Sometimes they must wait for a couple of years before a good wetting. I think planting by the moon is very helpful.

Kim_M
Hamburg, PA
(Zone 6b)

August 17, 2009
8:53 PM

Post #6957862

Wow! Thanks for that! I have germinated Agapanthus and I believe the seeds were fresh.

This statment: "I do think that seed that has a soft piece to make it easier for the seed to float away from the mother plant are ones that do not keep well."

Like what kind? I'm eager to know...

I don't store ANY seeds in paper envelopes. Only in plastic (without chaff), maybe it gives my seeds longer life?
Keriblu
Johannesburg
South Africa

August 20, 2009
8:41 PM

Post #6969477

My description of seeds with a soft piece -- Jacaranda have thousands of seeds that float away (hence they become a weed, but of course are beautiful). Agapanthus have a small amount of soft area area around the seed proper. I think many tree seeds have little extra pieces that make them fly away like Ash for example. I have to think of trees and plants more northern hemisphere than southern. Most of the seeds from Africa are hard and have a very hard shell like acacia trees - excellent Giraffe food - LOL

It is usual to store seed in paper until properly dry. I tend to start off with seed in a bottle with the lid off then into plastic of some sort.

I was reading in some of the older contributions that one experienced grower started seed in damp kitchen paper. I have some seed of a creeper than are very difficult to germinate and wonder if this is the answer. These seed are really round balls and nearly as big as sweet pea seed which of course germinate easily. One clivia seed grower I met had a refrigerator set at a very special temperature so as to germinate clivia seed before planting.
Some people store seed in their refrigerator. This does help to preserve viability.
Kim_M
Hamburg, PA
(Zone 6b)

August 20, 2009
9:09 PM

Post #6969589

I don't germinate anything in soil (except veggies). I use vermiculite or I place them in Bounty Paper Towel (moistened) and in a ziplock bag.This is because if I start seeds of any plant. It is because I really really want it. Therefore I never play the wishing and hoping game. I've been germinating things like this for years. When the seedlings are big enough I move them to a soil. I make my seeds do what I want them to! ha ha haa! That's probably why I never throw any I plan to grow away.
ibartoo
Pawleys Island, SC

August 21, 2009
7:01 PM

Post #6973062

I have found that most seeds will germinate for me if they are kept refrigerated or in the dark. However, the ones I have had the most trouble with are morning glory seeds. Some don't ever want to germinate.
Kim_M
Hamburg, PA
(Zone 6b)

August 21, 2009
7:44 PM

Post #6973197

Wow! Now those are the ones that germinate instantly for me. I had some MG's that someone here one gave me a few years ago. They popped up FAST! LOL
Jnette
Northeast, WA
(Zone 5a)

August 23, 2009
5:25 AM

Post #6978268

How long do you guys leave the seeds to dry before putting them in plastic bags?

Jeanette
Kim_M
Hamburg, PA
(Zone 6b)

August 23, 2009
11:49 AM

Post #6978570

Well I never thought about a real time frame. I guess a couple of days... You can kinda tell when they are dry. The move around in the baggie and shake easily.
Jnette
Northeast, WA
(Zone 5a)

August 24, 2009
2:45 AM

Post #6981464

I spread the seeds on separate paper plates and just stack them up off-centered so air can get to them, and put them up high in my computer cabinet and forget about them. I write right on the plate what they are.
Kim_M
Hamburg, PA
(Zone 6b)

August 24, 2009
8:58 AM

Post #6982052

That's a very good method. I have to try that! LOL

luvsgrtdanes

luvsgrtdanes
(Ronnie), PA
(Zone 6b)

August 24, 2009
11:04 AM

Post #6982136

Jnette, I have stacks and stacks of paper plate too! I use little plastics cups also with a piece of paper inside with the name on it.

Kim how do you use the vermiculite for starting seeds? Like you would soil? What is your reason for it? I love the paper towel baggie method for my MG seeds!!
Kim_M
Hamburg, PA
(Zone 6b)

August 24, 2009
12:01 PM

Post #6982213

Ronnie, The vermiculite is very loose and doesn't mold. Great for those itty bitty seeds. I have found that some soils mold if the seed requires a lot of moisture for germination. The vermiculite is so loose that the seedlings roots grow twice as fast, and you can virtually pull them out. Therefore no root damage and extremely easy transplanting from the vermiculite to soil. I use little cups and fill them with vermiculite and water. Sprinkle the seeds on top. Place the cup in a ziplock bag. Usually within a few days they sprout. I also get lazy and they can live in there for quite some time. With the baggie I always fill like I have to get the newly germinated seed potted up or in the ground. Vermiculite It's just a really nice medium...

luvsgrtdanes

luvsgrtdanes
(Ronnie), PA
(Zone 6b)

August 24, 2009
9:45 PM

Post #6984095

Thanks Kim, will definitely give it a try this year!!
JonnaSudenius

(Zone 6b)

August 27, 2009
7:03 PM

Post #6995034

Can someone tell me what 'vermiculite' is. I tried to translate the word to Dutch, but couldn't find a translation.
Thanks

luvsgrtdanes

luvsgrtdanes
(Ronnie), PA
(Zone 6b)

August 27, 2009
8:00 PM

Post #6995172

Jonna when I translated it this was the spelling

Vermiculiet

Here is a link that describes it better than I can...

http://www.thegardensuperstore.co.uk/vermiculite__uses_in_the_garden.htm
Kim_M
Hamburg, PA
(Zone 6b)

August 27, 2009
11:19 PM

Post #6995736

Good Looking Ronnie!

luvsgrtdanes

luvsgrtdanes
(Ronnie), PA
(Zone 6b)

August 28, 2009
2:36 AM

Post #6996370

:-)
gemini_sage
Winchester, KY
(Zone 6a)

August 29, 2009
12:55 PM

Post #7000775

Excellent thread!

Aquilegia seeds tend to take longer to germinate the older they are in my experience, but I'm not sure how much less viable the seeds become.

I've often heard Larkspur and Delphinium seeds need to be fresh to germinate well, but I've never experimented with this.

Last year I had excellent germination from 7 year old Hyacinth Bean seeds. I store most of my seeds in the freezer, except tropicals. Some find this risky, but I've never had any problems. I even forgot and put Canna seeds in the freezer with the rest last year, but they still germinated well.
Kim_M
Hamburg, PA
(Zone 6b)

August 29, 2009
1:17 PM

Post #7000814

Maybe I should experiment with the Delphinium seeds. I have some rare ones I've been holding on to for YEARS. They look the same as when I stored them. And I kept them because I plan on sowing them. I have Boatloads of Aquilegia seeds, I wanted to sow them. So I've been holding on. I wonder if I'll have any luck?

What about Penstemons? I have some Penstemon seeds I'm holding on to for dear life!

I will say this..
I have about 25 Ipomopsis Rubra babies. I sowed the seeds that were 6 years old. And I sowed the seeds that were fresh from 2008 (at the same time). They both germinated, but here was the difference... The newer seeds germinated FAST within days (sown in vermiculite) The Ipomopsis which was 6 years old sown in soil. Took 3 weeks to germinate. I don't know what to conclude but that was the deal...LOL
Kim_M
Hamburg, PA
(Zone 6b)

August 29, 2009
1:29 PM

Post #7000853

Oh and if you're growing..

Linum Flavum
Linum Grandiflorum
Linum Perenne

They are viable FOREVER! and I mean forever...lol
gemini_sage
Winchester, KY
(Zone 6a)

August 29, 2009
2:01 PM

Post #7000929

I think with Aquilegia they require more freezing and thawing and/or more time to germinate when they're older. I imagine this is nature's way of ensuring that seeds that fall to the earth later in the season don't germinate only to be killed by winter as tiny seedlings. Wintersowing would probably be a good way to start the older ones.

I've had good luck with 2 and 3 year old Penstemon seeds.
Jnette
Northeast, WA
(Zone 5a)

August 31, 2009
7:29 PM

Post #7009255

You may not be able to get vermiculite in Belgium. A lot of stores are no longer carrying it because of the danger to your lungs if you breath the dust.
Kim_M
Hamburg, PA
(Zone 6b)

October 26, 2009
4:39 PM

Post #7210171

Ok Neal...we'll I guess I'm going to have a Aquilegia garden next year! ha I am going to winter sow for the first time. I have the BIGGEST bag of Aquilegia seeds with every species I've ever gotten my hands on. They are all mixed up in a bag. I'm going to dump them all and see what I get. This is going to be fun! Except the Hinkley's Golden Columbine. I will keep them separate.
Jnette
Northeast, WA
(Zone 5a)

October 26, 2009
5:14 PM

Post #7210264

Wow Kim, that is going to be some experiment. Is that what it is? How big of an area are you planting? Be sure you take pictures along the way.
Kim_M
Hamburg, PA
(Zone 6b)

October 26, 2009
6:32 PM

Post #7210532

Ummmm I didn't get that far! ha ha. I don't know what to do. Should I put them in the ground? I was thinking about a large container of some sort. So I can see what is coming up and remember what it was I was planting. It's thousands of columbine seeds...LOL. But maybe I should try the ground in a semi-shady spot? Ohhh darn I don't know. I just want to see what I get..I remember when I started dumping seeds in this bag because I had so many different species and never sowed any of them. And the last columbine I grew from seed was in 2004 (White McKana's Giant) Then been collecting ever since and never sowed 1 seed. I've never sown any flowers in the ground but I have so many seeds I have to start trying.
gemini_sage
Winchester, KY
(Zone 6a)

October 26, 2009
7:07 PM

Post #7210657

Hmmm...I think a big container may be just the trick. Something big enough to stay moist, that could just sit in place through the winter, maybe a half whiskey barrel or something concrete. I've had wintersown Columbine wait till June to germinate, so it would be good to have them confined so that you don't disturb them.

I'm so excited to see my Columbines bloom next year! I started lots of them last year, and while they did survive their first winter, they hadn't gotten very big due to the drought that year. This year they beefed up amazingly, but didn't bloom, so I'm sure they'll bloom like mad in '10. Some of them are Nora Barlowe, that I believe came from you originally.
Kim_M
Hamburg, PA
(Zone 6b)

October 26, 2009
7:41 PM

Post #7210774

Well take pictures we want to see... I have long forgotten what species are in this bag. Time will tell..everybody thinks I'm nuts around my neck of the woods. Like I need a 12 step program for seed aholics. Yesterday I picked about 300 Pink Dogwood seeds..Now what to do with them? I've never grown a Dogwood from seed. But many other trees...
gemini_sage
Winchester, KY
(Zone 6a)

October 26, 2009
8:41 PM

Post #7210999

I've been playing around with a few trees from seed too. Last year I started several Golden Chain trees (Laburnum anagyroides) and only kept a couple, thinking they're likely not to like our hot, humid summers. And from my quick check of Plantfiles, I see you've started them from seed too! I have one seedling that has survived, and it looks good- time will tell. I started Chaste tree this year, and was shocked to see blooms already.
Kim_M
Hamburg, PA
(Zone 6b)

October 26, 2009
8:47 PM

Post #7211018

Ohhhhh wow! I have about 2,000 of those seeds (chaste tree). Was gonna throw them out. Do they germinate well? They look the same as when they were picked. You think they are any good? couple years old...
gemini_sage
Winchester, KY
(Zone 6a)

October 26, 2009
8:55 PM

Post #7211050

If they're only a couple of years old, I'd think there's a good chance. Mine were fresh seed from the Piggy swap last year, and they germinated easily via wintersowing.
LeBug
Greenville, IN
(Zone 6a)

October 26, 2009
9:57 PM

Post #7211251

Kim_M, On your question about the dogwood tree, plant it 1/4" deep I Winter Sowed mine a few years ago and got several but the next two years tried to grow them and no luck go figure :) I did notice a seed that germinated on it's own under leaves by my other dogwood so that might be a way to go too just make sure it stays moist with mulched leaves on top of it.

I've heard that there isn't much of a chance of getting a pink dog wood out of your seeds probably white they revert back sorry. It's better to take cuttings not sure after or before they bloom seems like it's after they bloom I had notes on it and lost a word document a while back :(

They sure are slow gowers from seed I have one I planted about three years ago and it's still about five inches high lol It doesn't get a lot of sun though, I'll see how long it takes that one to grow that came up under the leaves it gets more sun. I have a white dogwood and it's about on it's last leg so I'm wanting to replace it.

Kim you sound like a true seed aholic lol

Lea
Kim_M
Hamburg, PA
(Zone 6b)

October 26, 2009
10:39 PM

Post #7211401

Oh My! Years and 5 inches. Hmmmm wellon't know if I have that much patience...lol. This tree is about 15 years old and 15 feet wide and high. Very large..So pink ones are a type of hybrid or the seed just produce the pink flower?
gemini_sage
Winchester, KY
(Zone 6a)

October 26, 2009
10:44 PM

Post #7211427

Kim, the pink ones do occur from time to time in the wild, a mutation I think, but not something you see very often. Those extra pink ones that have been selected (and probably hybridized too) have been vegetatively propagated. A friend of mine had a pink one show up in her woods growing up, and her Dad let his brother dig it up and take it- she was so mad!
LeBug
Greenville, IN
(Zone 6a)

October 27, 2009
6:43 PM

Post #7214076

Oh! I would have been mad too! lol

I keep watching the woods next to us for a pink dogwood or heck even a smaller white one I could dig up but haven't seen anything yet. It must be a miracle when the dogwoods grow in the woods like that lol Then again as long as it takes them to grow they may be in that woods just not big enough to see yet I just wonder how old the trees are that we see in bloom on the highways that have reseeded lol

I have no idea how old this dogwood is here I know it was here when I was growing up and I'm 60 now so it couldn't last much longer that's why I'm trying to get another one to grow because it's so beautiful when it blooms and in the fall with the red leaves. I read somewhere that they live about 25 yrs. but this one has got to be older than that, another ice storm like we had last year may just wipe it out, that's so sad.
Jnette
Northeast, WA
(Zone 5a)

October 28, 2009
12:50 AM

Post #7215249

LeBug , are you talking about the ones that grow wild and are very tall with big white flowers in the spring? Those are just beautiful. They grow wild in the mountains in Washington State. You see a lot of them when driving thru Snoqualmi pass on I 90.

This message was edited Oct 28, 2009 7:11 AM
gemini_sage
Winchester, KY
(Zone 6a)

October 28, 2009
11:23 AM

Post #7216174

The wooded areas of Kentucky are full of white dogwoods too. The redbuds bloom first, then the dogwoods join them for a brief time- its gorgeous!
LeBug
Greenville, IN
(Zone 6a)

October 28, 2009
2:34 PM

Post #7216582

Jnette, yes that's the ones I'm talking about they are just beautiful! I wish I saw more wild ones around here I would be soo tempted to dig one up for my yard! These trees like mine and Kim's in height are like 15' not that tall really the flowers are close to 3". Here is the one I have:

http://plants.usda.gov/java/profile?symbol=COFL2&photoID=cofl2_016_avp.jpg

yes Neal, those redbuds are beautiful! I traded for one a few years back then two came up in my wild bird garden right after that :)
Kim_M
Hamburg, PA
(Zone 6b)

October 28, 2009
3:15 PM

Post #7216698

When I was a little girl there was a white one like the pic above in the front yard. I admired that tree...should have known back then I was going to be plant crazy. Since then my mother lives in the same house and cut that tree down many years ago. For what I'll never know..

Here's my project for today:

MOIST PACKING

I recently bought seeds from Garden's North. The description of the seeds "Aconitum lycoctonum subsp. moldavicum" stated will come moist packed. Well I had no idea what that meant and was curious to see. I received them and many others I bought and some were "moist packed". Well well well...These packages were little plastic baggies tightly packed with moist vermicullite and the seeds. Ahhhhhhh! Well I have tons of vermiculite.

Soooooo I figured today I will take all my aconitum seeds, astrantia, and Tree Peonies and moist pack them for experiment. Then place them in the fridge from now until Spring. This coming year I am going to have a BLAST! I can not wait to see what I get. Bought some seeds from JL Hudson many many years ago. Gonna moist pack some of those too. Resurrecting Long Lost Plants! ha ha Some of these seeds there aren't any pictures in the PF for them. So can't wait to get some pics up there.
Jnette
Northeast, WA
(Zone 5a)

October 28, 2009
4:55 PM

Post #7217056

There you are LeBug. I looked all over for the thread and couldn't remember which one you wrote and posted the picture on. Isn't that beautiful? Just love those trees.

Kim, if they are moist packed why don't they rot? I know the vermiculite holds the moisture, but does it keep them from rotting? I wonder how long they last like that?

Jeanette

Kim_M
Hamburg, PA
(Zone 6b)

October 28, 2009
5:01 PM

Post #7217069

Very good question! Vermiculite is weird..I have had seeds in moist vermiculite waiting on germination for months. And it still doesn't rot. So I figured if it's in the fridge does it last longer? Time will tell...I just don't know yet. I will check on them from time to time.
Kim_M
Hamburg, PA
(Zone 6b)

January 22, 2010
3:40 PM

Post #7485409

Hi Everybody,
As of Yesterday I decided to Blog everything that has to do with What, When, and Where I'm growing. At this time I am propagating many seed types and species. And I'm about to list ALL the seeds which have been prepared for germinating in April. What comes up..which ones I'll donate to my garden friends at Dave's...Love this place! Hope you check out the Blog on this!
http://uniqueseeds.blogspot.com/

Soooo I started with this post...
gemini_sage
Winchester, KY
(Zone 6a)

January 23, 2010
5:47 PM

Post #7488784

Love it, Kim! I have it bookmarked :-)
Kim_M
Hamburg, PA
(Zone 6b)

January 23, 2010
11:22 PM

Post #7489644

Thanks Neal, I keep changing the page who knows how you saw it! LOL. Thanks for the seeds I got in my box from the piggy swap.
perenniallyme
Jamaica Plain, MA
(Zone 6a)

January 24, 2010
3:00 AM

Post #7490168

Hi guys. Just for your info, I had some delphinium grandiflorum seeds left from what Jonna sent me last year, and they sprouted with heat under lights in about a week - same as last year, I think, and in the same amount of time as some other delph grandiflorum that I harvested this year. I also had close to 100% germination.
Kim_M
Hamburg, PA
(Zone 6b)

January 24, 2010
4:12 AM

Post #7490397

That's really good to know! I have some that I am holding on to...lol
congminglaoshi
Tuckahoe, NY

February 13, 2010
2:19 PM

Post #7555835

Couple of pointers, if you put moist packed seeds in the fridge, watch them closely, they may start to sprout. I do this with ones that require a moist cold period and then plant them in pots when they are beginning to germinate (though I have been too late a couple of times). Works well with monkshoods (Aconitum) as an example.
If seed is refrigerated, not frozen, even short lived seed like Agapanthus will live for years. I germinated A. coddii seed that was more than five years old, but it was refrigerated upon reciept.
Short lived seeds, at room temp, are pretty common in the following families (there are exceptions) Asteraceae, Poaceae (grasses), Ranunculaceae (monkshoods, buttercups, delphiniums, etc), and Amaryllaceae (fleshy seeds need planting even with refrigeration within a few weeks, black flattened seeds like Zephyanthes last longer but should be refrigerated if you plan on keeping more than 6 months).
Particularly long lived seeds often have hard impermeable seed coats, some examples would be Hibiscus and some scented leaved pelargoniums.
Of course, if you have old seeds, there's no harm in trying them out, pleasant surprises are one of the fun things about gardening!
Kim_M
Hamburg, PA
(Zone 6b)

February 13, 2010
3:01 PM

Post #7555933

Wow! That is very good and informative. Thanks for posting this. It is my first time doing this and I was told that the Tropaeolum Azureum I have in the fridge might do this..I was like..no way! Now I know it's the truth!
Kim_M
Hamburg, PA
(Zone 6b)

February 13, 2010
3:08 PM

Post #7555951

OHHH MY Goodness! I just ran to the fridge after this post. Wouldn't you know..I'm in trouble now. I have seeds I have had for 10 years and every last one is germinated in the bag. What to do now??? And the Aconitum seeds I paid big money are germinated. I wasn't ready for that..Now what?? I din't know seeds germinate in the cold. Ohhhh phooey.
perenniallyme
Jamaica Plain, MA
(Zone 6a)

February 13, 2010
4:45 PM

Post #7556223

That's great to know about the aconitums. Thanks!
Kim_M
Hamburg, PA
(Zone 6b)

February 13, 2010
5:01 PM

Post #7556267

Yeah but I would have not looked in that bag if congminglaoshi didn't post that. Now I have to try to save them. Looks like they germinated some time ago.
Jnette
Northeast, WA
(Zone 5a)

February 13, 2010
5:28 PM

Post #7556331

So, what do they look like now?? Do they look fresh, dried up, or??
Kim_M
Hamburg, PA
(Zone 6b)

February 13, 2010
5:48 PM

Post #7556382

Well some look fresh (aconitum). One looks like it went without air and light too long. I'm about to pot them up. So excited. The other ones (different species) are fresh and green.
Kim_M
Hamburg, PA
(Zone 6b)

February 13, 2010
5:55 PM

Post #7556396

I wrote a Blog about the baggy thing..Now just updated it.. Seeds will germinate in the bag...LOL And posted the Great information from congminglaoshi (Thanks so much!)
http://uniqueseeds.blogspot.com/2010/02/vermiculite-germination-bag-some-seeds.html
Kim_M
Hamburg, PA
(Zone 6b)

February 13, 2010
10:30 PM

Post #7556885

Ok..got all the Aconitums potted up and out the fridge. Stuck the ones that didn't germinate back in with more vermiculite. Well if you want to call this potted up. It was the best I could do for now and stuck them in a windowsill..until I get set up.

Thumbnail by Kim_M
Click the image for an enlarged view.

congminglaoshi
Tuckahoe, NY

February 14, 2010
1:49 AM

Post #7557293

Hope the aconitums are okay. When mine germinate in the fridge I take them out, put them into seed starting mix with added perlite, and place them under flourescent lights. They grow pretty well, though it takes a couple of days for them to straighten out if they have more than roots showing from the seed (better to get them before the cotyledons appear, but not always possible,and they will grow okay anyway if they aren't too stretched out. I have a couple of small pots now, one of one from seeds from a plant of mine I orginally got from the old Heronswood in Washington, the other is sp Rya from Gardens North. GN has an amazing selection of aconitum seeds.
perenniallyme
Jamaica Plain, MA
(Zone 6a)

February 14, 2010
2:23 PM

Post #7558195

Wow- thanks, congming. I had to go look at GN and I love those reddish ones they have. Maybe next year. I have too much going on now... unless someone has a few seeds of those they want to trade.
Kim_M
Hamburg, PA
(Zone 6b)

February 14, 2010
2:47 PM

Post #7558241

You saved a whole bunch of babies! Thanks so much for posting here. I would have never opened that box up. Every last one is perfectly fine :-) And much much more had germinated. I've taken them out too.
congminglaoshi
Tuckahoe, NY

February 14, 2010
3:08 PM

Post #7558281

Great to know that they are fine!

onewish1

onewish1
Denville, NJ
(Zone 6b)

February 16, 2010
3:50 AM

Post #7563049

my dad gave me a bunch of seeds he found in the basement last year... they were packed in 1999.. marigolds, aster, and zinnia were all still viable
Kim_M
Hamburg, PA
(Zone 6b)

February 16, 2010
1:32 PM

Post #7563585

Now that's a very good one to know! Thanks for Posting. Because I haven't had any tell me about the marigold seeds. I have always assume they might not be viable over time. So I know for SURE I'm going to plant mine in a few weeks. I have some marigolds that I kept (very well packaged) for a few years and want to start them.
Thanks!

onewish1

onewish1
Denville, NJ
(Zone 6b)

February 16, 2010
1:35 PM

Post #7563596

they were in commercial packages... I was shocked when I saw something green poking up.. I did the paper towel in a zip bag.. because I didn't think they would germinate
Kim_M
Hamburg, PA
(Zone 6b)

February 16, 2010
3:26 PM

Post #7563845

That's always a good method! LOL. Someone told me to stick the brown part of the marigold seeds (straight down) into the medium just above the fan-like tan part. And they will always germinate...hmmmm Will try that too.

onewish1

onewish1
Denville, NJ
(Zone 6b)

February 16, 2010
3:28 PM

Post #7563851

always willing to try something new... thanks!
Kim_M
Hamburg, PA
(Zone 6b)

February 16, 2010
5:36 PM

Post #7564152

Anthyllis vulneraria
(had these seeds for 10 years, all have germinated in the fridge)

Thumbnail by Kim_M
Click the image for an enlarged view.

Kim_M
Hamburg, PA
(Zone 6b)

February 16, 2010
5:36 PM

Post #7564154

Lunaria annua 'Variegata Alba'
(all have germinated in the fridge, wasn't expecting that)

Thumbnail by Kim_M
Click the image for an enlarged view.

onewish1

onewish1
Denville, NJ
(Zone 6b)

February 16, 2010
10:13 PM

Post #7564915

nice
evelyn_inthegarden
Sierra Foothills, CA
(Zone 8a)

February 20, 2010
10:21 PM

Post #7575065

This is an exciting thread everyone, and thanks all for sharing your findings. I have just germinated some alyssum seeds from 1997, at least that was the date stamp, as I have discovered, not always accurate from commercial seed companies. I even received some seeds this year, with a new tag over the old one, with this years date. I have not yet had a chance to peek, but probably not important. Now, onto the details of my experiment. On Feb 1st, I sowed a packet of purple alyssum seeds onto Jiffy Mix seed starting formula, with a bit of additional perlite and vermiculite. This were started in formerly small fruit containers, like blueberries, from the market, since they had holes on the sides both top and bottom, as well as more on the bottom for drainage. These could not be recycled, so I thought I would try to reuse them, after washing them all in a bleach/water mix. After 2 wks, about 7 seedlings, then I thought to use bottom heat. The next night there were about 12 more. I took them off the heat, a regular heating pad, wrapped in 3 layers of small towels. Well, after taking them off the heat, only 2 remained, so I thought to put them back on to see what would happened next. The next morning, I have 5 seedlings now up, not a whole lot, so I have concluded, that if you put them on heat, at least wait until they get there true leaves out. I will be doing tomatoes doing a new experiment, only because I have so many old seeds, and it is still early enough to even start them a month from now. I will start some with heat, and some without, on a windowsill, which is considerably much cooler this time of year. If there is a freeze imminent, I will take them from the windowsill those nights. Do you usually start your tomato seeds with bottom heat? Dr. Carolyn says it will speed up germination. I have in the past, with fresh seed started tomato seeds without heat as I had so many and did not have the facility for heat for all of them, in fact it had not occured to me. I just wanted to get a head start so they were all started in February, a bit early for we generally had late frost and snow here.

You have all encouraged me for I have many ornamental seeds as well as the chaste tree and laburnum seeds which are more than 10 years old. I will report back my findings on these and others when I have some results. Thanks all for sharing!


Evelyn
Jnette
Northeast, WA
(Zone 5a)

February 21, 2010
1:11 AM

Post #7575444

Evelyn, are you making notes? Actually you could just copy what you have written to us. But, keep a record of some kind. Especially since you say you have a lot of them.
Kim_M
Hamburg, PA
(Zone 6b)

February 21, 2010
1:21 AM

Post #7575476

Thanks for sharing Evelyn. Very exciting! I think my theory proves right! LOL
evelyn_inthegarden
Sierra Foothills, CA
(Zone 8a)

February 22, 2010
2:48 AM

Post #7577966

Yes, this year I will make notes as well as share my findings in the propagation forum. Also, I will have some seeds to share, but wait until I post as I have not yet received them all, much less started them.
evelyn_inthegarden
Sierra Foothills, CA
(Zone 8a)

February 28, 2010
9:20 AM

Post #7593954

OK, KIm and Jnette!

I have begun the experiment in earnest. And yes, I am making notes. I have a special small notebook I got at Big Lots for a dollar, just for germinating seeds, and I leave room for notes when they are planted, as well as the year, the source, if known, as some were gifts to me or in seed trades, and some of my mom's old seeds, as she is no longer with us. (She never could throw away her old seeds, either!)

2-27-2010

Tomato 'Sub-Artic Plenty' 1990 Gurney Seeds (This was left over from my first huge experiment, where I grew 100 tomato plants, but more about that later...)

Tomato 'Homestead' 1987 Ferry Morse (Mom's)

Tomato 'Supersteak' 1991 Burpee

Tomato 'Aunt Ruby's German' 2003 Pinetree

Foxglove 'Foxy' 1992 Pinetree

I have some other flower seeds that did not have dates, but I knew they were there for a long time, Abutilon and Diascia. I still logged them as well.
I am growing fresh tomato seed along with the other tomatoes to compare germination side by side.

I do have a question about petunia seeds. They are so small. Do you first germinate them in a ziplock with either vermiculite or a paper towel, or do you just sow them and prick them out into cell packs? I have not yet sowed my petunias, and I have never grown them from seed. I used to buy them, but I love petunias and want lots of them. If I am successful this year I probably will buy more varieties, as I got only two from Swallowtail Seeds. A beautiful blue and a yellow. I won't be expecting a lot from the yellow one, but who knows, as they are not usually vigorous...we'll see.

I have a lot more seeds to go and I will probably W/S many of them as I have limited space by the windowsill on heating pads with CFL's instead of shoplites. So some will be early and some late.

Thanks everyone! You make it more fun as the starting of seeds can be tedious work at times. The joy is in sharing the experiences.

Evelyn
Kim_M
Hamburg, PA
(Zone 6b)

February 28, 2010
3:22 PM

Post #7594313

This is great Evelyn,
As far as the petunias. Just Sprinkle them on top of the vermiculite and you can transplant them when they get big enough. They always seem a little slow to get big to me..But eventually they will get big enough in the vermiculite to transfer somewhere else.
Jnette
Northeast, WA
(Zone 5a)

February 28, 2010
6:11 PM

Post #7594645

I guess it depends on how much time I have when I am planting them. If not much time then I plant the way Kim said. If I have time I will plant one seed in each hole. 6 packs. Yes, they are tiny but if you can see them you can still do it that way. Take a piece of paper about 6 inches square. Crease it in the middle and then on one end fold it in about 1 or 2 inches. Pour your seeds in the crease and holding it with the one hand just let the seeds roll out, one at a time. Use a sharp pencil or pen to control how they come out. Tip the paper up or down to control them. Once you do it a couple of times it will be very easy. Even with petunia seeds that are not pelleted.

I guess it depends on when you have the time to work with them. Either way it will take time. If you do it Kim's way then you will take more time re-potting them. Or, my way takes longer on the initial planting. Then when they have 4 leaves I use tweezers to take the 2 middle leaves out. That makes them bushy.
evelyn_inthegarden
Sierra Foothills, CA
(Zone 8a)

February 28, 2010
11:47 PM

Post #7595366

Thanks both of you! I appreciate your kind assistance with me, as I am already over my head with so many seeds! I will try and seed some into the cell packs, and maybe some others onto the vermiculite. That is right, it would save time to sow them individually, but is there generally 100 percent germination rates for fresh petunia seeds? If so, I will surely have a ton of petunias!
Jnette
Northeast, WA
(Zone 5a)

March 1, 2010
3:47 AM

Post #7595994

You might be suprised. I normally get close to that. And I know the feeling well.
evelyn_inthegarden
Sierra Foothills, CA
(Zone 8a)

March 1, 2010
5:29 AM

Post #7596174

WOW! I am going to have petunias everywhere!! Hip, hip, hooray!! I will be rich in flowers...I hope I can grow my veggies as well. I don't think my hubby will like petunia salad! hehe. Well, lettuce is so easy, so i don't think it will be a problem. I won't plant every single lettuce seed, though. I can save some for a fall sowing and then next spring. Oh, but all those tomatoes! Well, if they go through the germination test, maybe I can trade some of them...do you mean you ever bought too many seeds??
Jnette
Northeast, WA
(Zone 5a)

March 1, 2010
5:52 AM

Post #7596199

I always buy too many seeds.
echinaceamaniac
(Clint) Medina, TN
(Zone 7b)

March 1, 2010
7:08 PM

Post #7597274

I planted some 3-year-old Echinacea seeds last week and the germination is better than my fresh seeds. I had them in the veggie drawer for 3 years. LOL.
evelyn_inthegarden
Sierra Foothills, CA
(Zone 8a)

March 2, 2010
1:13 AM

Post #7598177

Isn't this fun? I am sowing some lettuce today out in the raised beds, as it is a nice day, in between storms. I will probably sow a few in cell-packs as well so I can get a lot of variety. All those different and interesting leaf lettuces...Oh and the tomatoes! I did start some of the old ones last night, but I will do more, and not all of them will get bottom heat. I guess I will WS some of them too..."so many seeds and so little time"...well, I had better get out there!

(It used to be...when I was SO much younger..."so many men..." and now it is seeds!)

evelyn_inthegarden
Sierra Foothills, CA
(Zone 8a)

March 5, 2010
4:03 PM

Post #7607112

onewish...those old seeds that you germinated in the paper bag...did you put them on top of the frig or in it? I have so many old ones, and I hope to germinate all of them this year.

I have some more germinating now, but they are the new ones, so they don't count and the peas are buried under the snow, so they probably won't be coming up until it warms up a bit.

onewish1

onewish1
Denville, NJ
(Zone 6b)

March 5, 2010
4:09 PM

Post #7607130

I wrapped mine in damp paper towel and put them in a zip bag... think it was just on my desktop next to the computer... OCD... have to look everyday
WormsLovSharon
Las Vegas, NV

March 5, 2010
7:07 PM

Post #7607566

Well, I did no realize when you collect all these seeds you were suppose to plant them. LOL. I have thousands of seeds I have collected over the last 4 years. But they have not been in the refrigerator but tin cans in the garage. And the garage, even though insulated can get to be 95 degrees. I have a very large raised holding garden that I use when I receive plants shipped that are not large enough or strong enough to go directly into the garden. I think I am going to kludge up an incubator and sow some seeds and see what happens. I have seed starter kits but not enough for all these seeds., And I have an EZ Clone so I am also right now starting cuttings. I am a 67 little young lady and I think I have finally gone to far. But now you all have got me started. I hope my body stays stupid and does not realize that I am old. Thanks. This will be fun. Anyone here know how to germinate a Texas Laurel tree. I am doing cutting but I have several hundred seeds.
Jnette
Northeast, WA
(Zone 5a)

March 5, 2010
7:46 PM

Post #7607642

LOL, Sharon you will still see seeds that you want besides all of the ones in the cans. But, no, they don't do anything in the cans. You have to do something to help them produce whether it be vegetables or flowers, or trees, etc. They cannot do it in cans. Don't try to do all of those seeds. You will be overwhelmed. Just pick out a dozen or so, whatever you want, but don't try to grow them all. I you do, you will never try it again.
Kim_M
Hamburg, PA
(Zone 6b)

March 6, 2010
7:31 AM

Post #7608363

LOL!
evelyn_inthegarden
Sierra Foothills, CA
(Zone 8a)

March 7, 2010
12:47 PM

Post #7611161

Ok, Jnette, when you start your petunia seeds in vermiculite, do you put them in a ziplock or sow on top of a container? I am not clear on this, as today, I am starting a lot of seeds and I will be doing the petunias as well. I think some petunias will go right in the cell packs...I should at least a few on heat, and maybe I can transfer others to the heat, once the first batch germinates.

I just have 2 heating pads, wrapped in towels. I did check the soil temp...as I was fearful that they would cook...tiny lobelia is coming up too. The old seeds, not yet, so I will report when they show their leaves. Oh, I take that back...someone sent me some tomatoes...very special ones.

Now normally I am opposed to GM foods...but this is a tomato with some blueberry genes and it is vigorous! I think I will prick them out today into cell-packs. I started them on 2/27, on heat. What I am opposed to is if the GM foods are not labeled as such, then people can make a choice. I am not sure how this one will taste, and it has been so long, I don't even remember who sent it to me. I think I will check on my old DG and GW mail, maybe there is something there about it. It is always best if I can figure out the dates. I should have put a separate label on the back of the envelope. Aw...shoulda', coulda'...no more...all with notes and labels!

Anyone else have trouble with this...it should be simple, but it does cut down the time one takes...I will try and figure out a way to do it, as well as quicker...

Have fun, and I 'll be back later, as it is a good sow day!
Jnette
Northeast, WA
(Zone 5a)

March 7, 2010
2:56 PM

Post #7611476

I don't put petunia seeds in a zip lock. Only if I plant them in a square cake pan first and put them in a gallon zip lock. They fit right in there nicely. I don't use vermiculite. I suppose I would/might if I had some. I just put them in a soiless seed starting mix. Pro-Mix.

Here is a tip by the way. If you are starting seeds in the house, always use a soiless planting mix or you will have a house full of gnats. Just as though you had ripe fruit lying on your kitchen counter.

That is what I do with both tomatoes and petunias. I try to start them on a heat mat and then move them so others can take their place when they germinate. Not a good idea to use heating pads. You should use the heat mats that are made specifically for plants. You could either cook the plants or start a fire.
evelyn_inthegarden
Sierra Foothills, CA
(Zone 8a)

March 8, 2010
9:04 PM

Post #7614874

Ok, I have been home all the time that the heating pads were on, and the soil thermometer say the soil temp is 70 degrees. Should I turn off the heat when I go out? Will this damage the seedlings-to-be? I tried taking the alyssum off the heat too soon, and it killed almost all of the seedlings, as well, I took off the plastic bags and I think the soil dried a bit as well. All the others are doing well. I transplanted some of the tomato seedlings, maybe toon soon, as they did not have there true leaves up yet, but I think I may have successfully done this before, as they look fine.

I was a bit concerned about the heating pads at first, but now I remember that I used them before, many years ago with success. I use towels to protect them from direct heat, I do not put them directly onto the mat. Also, they are in a thick plastic tray and the heating pads are underneath wrapped in towels.

I have been using Jiffy Mix, though I add a bit of vermiculite, as the mix does not wet easily by itself. I could not find Pro-Mix, and it is too costly to order by mail or internet, due to the shipping fees.

I might be a bit like Sharon, as I have a lot of seeds, and I am trying to at least get some of the oldest started first...no, I will not grow every single seed, but I do have a good start. My plan is to start the most important ones first, then WS many others as well as some samples of perennial seeds by the Deno method.
Jnette
Northeast, WA
(Zone 5a)

March 8, 2010
9:27 PM

Post #7614898

Sorry, I don't like to cry wolf, but maybe I am getting cautious in my old age. I just don't think a few seeds are worth taking a chance on burning your whole house down and possibly you included, and maybe pets?

Do whatever you feel comfortable with I guess.
evelyn_inthegarden
Sierra Foothills, CA
(Zone 8a)

March 8, 2010
10:14 PM

Post #7614962

Now you are scaring me...no, seeds are not more important than our home.
Kim_M
Hamburg, PA
(Zone 6b)

March 9, 2010
6:37 AM

Post #7615459

I just don't know anymore...about heat mats. I have a whole garden that germinated in the fridge!! Right now I have over 200 seeds that germinated in the fridge and just got them all outside in a cold frame. I know some seeds need heat to germinate..But geez. After this fridge fiasco..I wonder. I have plants that "The Book" says are annuals and they are all coming up from the roots..Plants that are not suppose to take cold..All alive! I just don't know anymore. I say DO WHAT WORKS..But don't burn the house down..LOL
Jnette
Northeast, WA
(Zone 5a)

March 9, 2010
8:10 AM

Post #7615739

LOL, Kim what are you doing to the seeds to make them so prolific? How do you explain all of these seeds that people, including myself, have had for years and they haven't sprouted in their packages?.

I guess Evelyn what I am saying is that you can use the hot pads many times and nothing happens, but it only takes once.

WormsLovSharon
Las Vegas, NV

March 9, 2010
11:00 AM

Post #7616146

Put it all in the bath tub.
evelyn_inthegarden
Sierra Foothills, CA
(Zone 8a)

March 11, 2010
8:16 PM

Post #7622685

The petunias that I sowed on 3/7 are already showing a bit of green! How long do they usually take?

Old seeds - Sub-Artic Plenty Tomato sowed 2/27 shifted to cell pack 3/5 Gurney 1990

Super Beefsteak Tom. sowed 2/27 shifted to cell pack 3/7 Burpee 1991

Aunt Ruby's German sowed 2/27 shifted to cell pack 3/7 Pinetree '03

Blueberry Tomato - sowed 2/27 shifted to cell pack 3/7 Oregon State '08

Homestead Tomato - sowed 2/27 shifted to cell 3/7 Ferry Morse 1987

Jnette
Northeast, WA
(Zone 5a)

March 11, 2010
8:21 PM

Post #7622693

How long do they take for what? to be moved? What did you plant them in? Not sure what you want them to do. Tomatoes will grow much faster than petunias.
evelyn_inthegarden
Sierra Foothills, CA
(Zone 8a)

March 11, 2010
8:37 PM

Post #7622718

Oh, sorry..."How long does it usually take for petunias to germinate?"

These were old tomato seeds, and they germinated about 3/5, from a 2/27 sowing. I don't usually wait for the true leaves on tomatoes. Especially if they are stretching. They look good and are getting bigger already, as I buried them almost up to their leaves. They are dark green and look strong. I transferred them from those plastic boxes (mini-seedbeds) which were wrapped in plastic bags on heat, then transferred to cell packs, no wrap, no heat.
Jnette
Northeast, WA
(Zone 5a)

March 11, 2010
8:44 PM

Post #7622731

Just be sure the tomatoes get plenty of light.

Petunias need heat to germinate fast if at all.
evelyn_inthegarden
Sierra Foothills, CA
(Zone 8a)

March 11, 2010
8:54 PM

Post #7622749

Thanks, Jnette!

The petunias are on heat and light...the light about 12 hrs. I have only sowed blue and yellow so far. next come the mixed. I put them directly in cell packs this time, since the seeds are so small, was that right? I will do some more tomorrow, as I have been in the city all day today.
Jnette
Northeast, WA
(Zone 5a)

March 11, 2010
9:02 PM

Post #7622760

That is fine, however when you put lights on plants they should be on about 16 hours per day.
evelyn_inthegarden
Sierra Foothills, CA
(Zone 8a)

March 11, 2010
9:53 PM

Post #7622891

Whoops...not 12 hours...about 14-16, sorry!
evelyn_inthegarden
Sierra Foothills, CA
(Zone 8a)

March 24, 2010
9:42 AM

Post #7652612

Kim_M, whar seeds germinared in the fridge? I have a lot, and this would save me a lot of time. Did you do deno, or in containers?

Thanks!
KyWoods
Melbourne, KY
(Zone 6a)

March 24, 2010
10:47 AM

Post #7652713

Yes, that's amazing, I always thought all seeds had to be warm to sprout, not cold! May have to try that.
Jnette
Northeast, WA
(Zone 5a)

March 24, 2010
3:30 PM

Post #7653289

Here's one for you. Verbenas need dark to germinate. They say to put a black plastic over them. I put an unfolded black plastic trash bag over mine. Under the dome. I am going to see if I can't put it on top of, around the dome. First time I have ever done this.
KyWoods
Melbourne, KY
(Zone 6a)

March 24, 2010
4:03 PM

Post #7653369

Interesting--do keep us posted!
Kim_M
Hamburg, PA
(Zone 6b)

March 24, 2010
4:42 PM

Post #7653472

Well so far what germinated cold (in fridge) was surprises.

All Penstemons
Lavatera
Impatiens Balfourii
Tropaeolum Azureum
Delphinium
Aconitum
Astrantia
Alpine Sea Holly
Anthyllis

And a few more I'll have to look up those are just off the top of my head

onewish1

onewish1
Denville, NJ
(Zone 6b)

March 24, 2010
5:04 PM

Post #7653548

just wanted to let you know my marigold crackerjack seeds from 1999 .. I WS'ed them.. and they germinated today
KyWoods
Melbourne, KY
(Zone 6a)

March 24, 2010
5:33 PM

Post #7653614

Wow, congrats!!!
Kim_M
Hamburg, PA
(Zone 6b)

March 24, 2010
5:33 PM

Post #7653615

Wow! I love those marigolds..

onewish1

onewish1
Denville, NJ
(Zone 6b)

March 24, 2010
5:48 PM

Post #7653661

you never know

:)
Jnette
Northeast, WA
(Zone 5a)

March 24, 2010
7:39 PM

Post #7653964

Well, my verbenas that germinated in the dark came up looking like white hairs so I now have 10 of them under lights. Don't know, I have never grown plants like this.
evelyn_inthegarden
Sierra Foothills, CA
(Zone 8a)

March 26, 2010
1:53 PM

Post #7658199

Jnette wrote:Here's one for you. Verbenas need dark to germinate. They say to put a black plastic over them. I put an unfolded black plastic trash bag over mine. Under the dome. I am going to see if I can't put it on top of, around the dome. First time I have ever done this.


What verbena was it, and was it on heat, and how many days until germination?

Jnette
Northeast, WA
(Zone 5a)

March 26, 2010
6:25 PM

Post #7658765

They are not perennials. Summer Hill Seed. No heat, 20 to 25 days to germinate according to the pack. I put it on th top shelf of my unit and forgot about it. So, I finally thought about 'cause I had forgotten how long to germinate and when I had even put it up there. So, took it down in one week and they were coming up. Looked like white hair. I had planted them in 6 pack ponies. One seed per and 6 seeds in each pack. They are coming up now, a few each day. The first ones I did this with are getting little green leaves when they get the seed head off of their 2 'new' leaves. Not sure if they are true leaves or not.

Very strange little plants. Now, not knowing anything about verbenas I got some pink perennial seed in a swap and winter sowed them. I guess maybe I should bring them inside and maybe stick them in a closet or something.
c
birder17
Jackson, MO
(Zone 6b)

May 20, 2010
9:16 PM

Post #7812520

Hi all, interesting thread. I would like to hear a report on the seed germiating success.
I WS Rainmaster petunias, an heirloom, and I had excellent germination. I re-potted them in little cell packs. Since then, I have planted some in my window boxes and some in a garden. They are slow to grow. Growing annuals are a lesson in patience! It takes them so long to actually bloom and then we have a freeze and poof it's all over. I still have many petunias to either plant in containers or other gardens.
I WS allysum in the containers you get berries in that was mentioned above. I put wet paper towels on the bottoms and then Pro-Mix. I had great germination. I have planted many of them in containers with my amjyrillis and others. They have started to bloom.
I had very old marigold seeds: 80's they did not germinated. I had some from the 90's and I had weak germination. I had year old marigold seed, Crackerjack, and I had great germination.
I purchased a garden heat mat, (I assume that is what the above discussion is about) and had very poor luck with germination. I guess I don't know how to use it yet. I could not find any information as to how to actually use this mat. The soil became very dried out and I wasn't sure how to keep them moist since it is electricity.
I have had seed for years and years-going back to the 80's. I experimented with a lot of the seed this year: the Deno method, to see if the seed was still viable. If it was, then, I planted a bunch of it. My dad always did this with his wheat seed to get a percentage of seed germination.
To the person that could not get Pro MIx--Fertilome puts out a nice soil for starting seeds or potting plants. I have used both.
I took a bunch of the very old seed and put it all together and still plan to plant it out in one of my gardens just to see what will grow. Probably nothing~!
I planted Aquilea, 'McKenna Giants, mix and wonderful germination. I plan to plant them in their permanent place this fall. I have really good luck WS perennials and planting them in the fall.
I also had very good luck with perennial snapdragons, annual snapdragons, candytuft, shasta daisy, and foxglove. I do foxglove every year and plant it in the fall for flower the next spring/summer. It germinates very easily. I have tons of MG that come up from seed every year.
I am still wanting to grow Thunbergia 'Blushing Susie', (clockvine or blackeye susan vine). I had great WS germination last year, but failed to get it sown this past winter. Do you think it's too late? Any suggestions to speed things up? I really like this plant.
Jnette
Northeast, WA
(Zone 5a)

May 20, 2010
9:50 PM

Post #7812576

LOL, yeah buy one like I did. Just kidding. Won't hurt to try.

I discovered that the verbena did better for me under the lights and on heat. BTW Birdie, did you get a thermostat with your heat mat? You need both or you will burn your plants. Yes, it will also dry them out. I normally use a dome when I use a heat mat. Once the seeds have pretty much germinated I take them off the mat and the dome off and just have them under lights.

Sounds like you are doing everything right with your wintersowing. Much better than I did. I found that all of the warming during the day and freezing every night that went on for 2 months or more sure didn't help them much. Anyway, it was a fun experiment, but I lost a lot of good seeds by trying it.
I
birder17
Jackson, MO
(Zone 6b)

May 21, 2010
8:03 PM

Post #7815543

Yes, I did verbena last year from seed in doors. I put it in a container like a cool whip container with no light. I had poor germination, but did get some plants to grow. And you know, I don't need 50! I thought the Verbena seeds were rather tricky to get from seed to bloom.
No, I didn't get a thermostat. Nice to know about a thermostat, and the dome and that you take the seeds off after germination.
Jnette
Northeast, WA
(Zone 5a)

May 21, 2010
8:06 PM

Post #7815560

Doesn't your mat have instructions on the back of it? I think it probably talks about a thermostat.
birder17
Jackson, MO
(Zone 6b)

May 22, 2010
3:16 PM

Post #7817616

No, Jnette, it does not mention a thermostat.
Jnette
Northeast, WA
(Zone 5a)

May 22, 2010
6:36 PM

Post #7818135

Must be a different brand than I got.
Kim_M
Hamburg, PA
(Zone 6b)

May 22, 2010
7:39 PM

Post #7818318

I tried the mat thing..years ago. I just don't do it anymore. I started getting tired of babysitting everything...LOL.
Jnette
Northeast, WA
(Zone 5a)

May 22, 2010
7:53 PM

Post #7818375

LOL, I am with you Kim. On another thread I was told that I was confusing my brugs. So, I sure don't want to do that. I promised to quit doing what I was doing. Long story, don't ask.
evelyn_inthegarden
Sierra Foothills, CA
(Zone 8a)

May 22, 2010
8:15 PM

Post #7818446

Does everyone use the domes like Park Seeds have? And what size cells are the most efficient?

http://www.parkseed.com/PD/6456/
Kim_M
Hamburg, PA
(Zone 6b)

May 22, 2010
8:17 PM

Post #7818450

I've actually wanted to try those a couple times...Nothing popped up for me but are those the Bio dome with those sponges?

onewish1

onewish1
Denville, NJ
(Zone 6b)

May 22, 2010
8:19 PM

Post #7818463

I have a couple... they are good... try this link

http://www.parkseed.com/gardening/store/TextSearch?storeId=10101&SearchUnion=Y&CustSearchText=6456&x=0&y=0
evelyn_inthegarden
Sierra Foothills, CA
(Zone 8a)

May 22, 2010
8:20 PM

Post #7818472

So, Kim_M ~ Do you "Deno" everything? Or W/S?
Kim_M
Hamburg, PA
(Zone 6b)

May 22, 2010
8:26 PM

Post #7818493

W/S = Winter Sow...Deno =?? LOL I'm not hip to that one..
evelyn_inthegarden
Sierra Foothills, CA
(Zone 8a)

May 22, 2010
8:35 PM

Post #7818539

Sorry, duplicate post!

This message was edited Jun 9, 2010 2:22 PM
evelyn_inthegarden
Sierra Foothills, CA
(Zone 8a)

May 22, 2010
8:36 PM

Post #7818541

Deno ~ Damp paper towel in fridge. Or do you put them in flats then refrigerate?
Kim_M
Hamburg, PA
(Zone 6b)

May 22, 2010
8:50 PM

Post #7818580

Ohhhhhhhhh boy oh boy. That's a hard one..I germinate seeds differently depending on what I might think the seeds need to germinate may be. Somtimes even depending what mood I'm in..how fast I want the plant..lots of different factors.

Germination Tips:
Most seeds can be stored in the refrigerator, and can withstand cold treatment. Annual flowers and vine seeds usually germinate without any cold treatment. Although there are many Annual seeds that benefit from cold treatment (like Impatiens capensis and pallida) Very tiny seeds (like snapdragons) can be sown right on top of the growing medium surface for germination. Hard coated seeds can benefit from being nicked and soaked in water before sowing. For example, Morning Glory seeds germinate faster when soaked before sowing. Seeds that benefit from cold treatment are usually Cold Hardy Perennials. They can be winter sown in the ground or prepared indoors.

Keep in mind when sowing seeds indoors the key is: You are trying to duplicate how germination occurs in natural conditions for that particular plant. For preparing indoors, place seeds inside a small bag, or container with vermiculite, add water. Just enough to wet the vermiculite and squeeze any excess water out the baggie, then seal it shut. Then place the ziplock bag/container in the freezer (very cold hardy plants) or in the refrigerator (semi-cold hardy plants) for 6-12 weeks until ready to sow. Therefore they will already be cold stratified and ready for sowing indoors. Always use good seed starting medium (or vermiculite) when trying to start new seeds.

Note: Seeds can germinate in the Baggie in the refrigerator. So keep an eye on them after a few weeks.
goshsmom
Cincinnati, OH
(Zone 6a)

May 25, 2010
4:03 PM

Post #7827287

I'm tagging this thread-- I stumbled on it & it answers at half of my stock of seed questions! Thanks!
Pat
Kim_M
Hamburg, PA
(Zone 6b)

May 25, 2010
4:08 PM

Post #7827302

Great!
WormsLovSharon
Las Vegas, NV

May 30, 2010
8:32 PM

Post #7844329

Welcome. Enjoy and learn.
JonnaSudenius

(Zone 6b)

June 9, 2010
11:55 AM

Post #7872972

Kim contacted me to tell her 2 year old daugter was seriously hurt in a major accident at home. She's in the hospital now and doesn't know when she can contact people or send out trades again.
Please give here time to be with her daughter and come back to you.
She's an excellent trader who always handles correct, so be sure she'll be back as soon as she can and will send out everything she promised and will answer mails you sent her.

Jonna
KyWoods
Melbourne, KY
(Zone 6a)

June 9, 2010
12:12 PM

Post #7873033

Wow, thanks for letting us know, Jonna, I will put her and her daughter on my prayer list!
evelyn_inthegarden
Sierra Foothills, CA
(Zone 8a)

June 9, 2010
2:36 PM

Post #7873454

Kim ~ First of all, my thoughts and prayers are with you and your family. Here's wishing for a speedy recovery for your daughter.

Second, I was just asking what methods that you use, not how to do them, but in any case the methods are always informative for anyone viewing this thread.

Thank you for taking the time to share your experiences with the different methods.


Evelyn


This is what most of our spring looked like this year...

Thumbnail by evelyn_inthegarden
Click the image for an enlarged view.

Kim_M
Hamburg, PA
(Zone 6b)

June 26, 2010
6:37 PM

Post #7923365

Thanks for the Prayers...

My Marigolds!!! I sprinkled all the old seeds I had and low and behold..The only seeds that came up where of marigolds I collected seeds of...LOL!

So what does that mean?

How the seeds are stored?

When you pick the seeds??

Gonna take pictures tomorrow...Scarlet Starlet, Crackerjack Gold, Disco Flame, one I'm not sure of..and a possible Tashkent :-)

KyWoods
Melbourne, KY
(Zone 6a)

June 26, 2010
7:17 PM

Post #7923509

How is your daughter, Kim?
How old were those marigold seeds?
Kim_M
Hamburg, PA
(Zone 6b)

June 26, 2010
7:26 PM

Post #7923530

Ohhh she is fine. She is healing like I never imagined. I didn't consider that babies heal fast and better then us grown folks... So I was all Crazy for nothing. But she still had 26 stitches inside out...sigh.

These marigold seeds were about 5 years old.
KyWoods
Melbourne, KY
(Zone 6a)

June 26, 2010
7:42 PM

Post #7923619

Wow, that's alot of stitches! I'm so glad she's doing well, though.
Congrats on growing the marigold seeds! I tried some, but they were so old that most of them had turned to dust, lol.
Veshengo
Faversham
United Kingdom
(Zone 8a)

March 21, 2012
1:02 PM

Post #9051612

Aconitum seeds are moist packed to stop them drying out too much. They are best sown as soon as possible as they do not keep well.
If you want to learn more about them, go to my thread in the perennials section.
Steve.
Kim_M
Hamburg, PA
(Zone 6b)

August 3, 2012
6:17 PM

Post #9228750

Yup...I have purchased aconitum seeds that have been shipped in moist vermiculite seed packs. There are a few species that will germinate without cold treatment. I can't think of the species off hand but i have both. I'll go look in the fridge and come back with the names :-)
evelyn_inthegarden
Sierra Foothills, CA
(Zone 8a)

September 10, 2012
5:56 PM

Post #9271353

I am just curious, Kim. Where did you purchase your aconitum seed that they sent you in a moist pack?

Thanks, Evelyn
Kim_M
Hamburg, PA
(Zone 6b)

September 10, 2012
6:53 PM

Post #9271424

Ooops I never came back with the names...One that germinates without the cold treatment is Aconitum hemsleyanum 'Red Wine' and the other one is Aconitum heterophyllum.

I can't think of the website off hand...who send their seeds packed in vermiculite. I have ordered from them several times and I can't believe I have forgotten the name. Other people from Dave's have purchased from them too. I remember reading a thread that someone had a hard time with an order from them. Which I have never had any problem with an order. They are in Canada I believe...It'll come back to me and then I'll post it. Sorry
evelyn_inthegarden
Sierra Foothills, CA
(Zone 8a)

September 10, 2012
9:07 PM

Post #9271542

Yes, Kim...I was wondering where you got such special aconitum. I have not heard of these at all. Do you have a place where you have a file of your orders? Or do you keep catalogs in a file box? OK, I can wait...LOL!!! :-)
Kim_M
Hamburg, PA
(Zone 6b)

September 11, 2012
7:14 AM

Post #9271847

I found it! :-) Some of their seed packs don't have their info on it. I found a seed pack that has their name on it.
It's http://www.gardensnorth.com
evelyn_inthegarden
Sierra Foothills, CA
(Zone 8a)

September 11, 2012
12:48 PM

Post #9272115

Great! Thanks, Kim! I'll check it out. I am always looking for some different seeds that are not commonly available.

Do you have the Chiltern's catalog? http://www.chilternseeds.co.uk
Kim_M
Hamburg, PA
(Zone 6b)

September 11, 2012
1:26 PM

Post #9272146

I have never ordered from them. But I will browse around :-) Thanks!

RickCorey_WA

RickCorey_WA
Everett, WA
(Zone 8a)

November 7, 2012
5:51 PM

Post #9327419

I always store seeds with some dessicant in the jar. Many 2x3 Ziplocs plus one paper envelopem of silica gel in a 3-pound plastic jar that held peanut butter or peanuts. And I dry them for weeks before I put them in plastic Zip0locs. But some humidity can migrate right through the plastic baggie, and more migrates through the zipper closure.

Good luck with starting Penstemon of any age! Most need cold stratification, and they still sprout and grow very slowly in my limited experience.

Maybe when some seeds get to be several years old, they will break their dormacy without stratification. I read someone speculating about that. I started some seeds that "need stratification" but got 40-50% germination without it.

Someone suggested that for Salvia (and probably most hard-shelled seeds), they germinate faster and tend less to rot if you pre-soak them overnight in dilute hydrogen peroxide (0.1% = One and a half teaspoons peroxide per cup of water, or
1 ounce peroxide per Quart of water).


>> You may not be able to get vermiculite in Belgium. A lot of stores are no longer carrying it because of the danger to your lungs if you breath the dust.

I've read that that was more a concern of the past, that now all vermiculite sold anywhere is asbestos-free.

Hi Evelyn!

>> Does everyone use the domes like Park Seeds have?

I use the two that I have, then put thin, clear plastic film over the tray. I have a roll of 18" wide film, but you could use a dry-cleaning bag cut lengthwise.

evelyn_inthegarden
Sierra Foothills, CA
(Zone 8a)

November 9, 2012
1:20 PM

Post #9329051

Corey ~ You might find that aconitum do better in your climate than penstemon...just saying...I have a hard time keeping mine alive during the summer. I am constructing a new shade garden, but it is not quite ready yet. They really do not like hot sun, even "morning sun"!
birder17
Jackson, MO
(Zone 6b)

November 9, 2012
4:50 PM

Post #9329221

When I purchased my Acontinum, I was advised by the garden center employee to put it in complete shade for this area.
evelyn_inthegarden
Sierra Foothills, CA
(Zone 8a)

November 9, 2012
6:31 PM

Post #9329318

I concur. I have had several but they did poorly since I did not have a good shady spot for them. I look forward to completing my new shade garden. I have several plants that I grow on the north side of my house that really would like more shade as well.

Hydrangeas, ferns, lamium, primula are all there but need more moisture as well. The new spot will be much more accomodating to them. Actually there is varying degrees of shade so I can put some plants in a little more sun and some with less. It sure has been needed for a while.

I won't be starting any aconitum just yet. I want to get that new bed fully established and it will need lots of amending as I have hard clay soil.

RickCorey_WA

RickCorey_WA
Everett, WA
(Zone 8a)

November 10, 2012
12:57 PM

Post #9329749

My new policy is to try to grow only "easy things" for the next few years. I have so many projects half-finished or barely started that I don't wnat any new challenges.

At least, not until I retire!

Kim_M
Hamburg, PA
(Zone 6b)

November 10, 2012
3:24 PM

Post #9329851

Hmmmmm my aconitums get sun and they seem to grow well. I think they prefer rich soil. Which may make a difference in their growth... Mine are in very rich soil.

Just my opinion... But any seed is easy to germinate when given the proper conditions (and knowledge on how to germinate). I had a pack if seeds and sowed half and every seed germineted within days for me. I gave the same seed from the same pack to someone else.. He swore I gave him bad seed because not one would germinate.
Thalictrum
Noordwijk
Netherlands

November 11, 2012
4:05 PM

Post #9330577

Hello Kim. What a wonderfull thread. I started to wintersow a lot of seeds this weekend. The vermerculite method looks great to me. Just have to find some. I know Jonna in Belgium is able to buy it.What a nice seed site Gardensnorth! Will keep following this thread. Keep notes on all the seeds I sow.
Kim_M
Hamburg, PA
(Zone 6b)

November 11, 2012
4:57 PM

Post #9330627

Great I hope you have great success with your new seeds :-) Ria... I sent you 2 little bags of vermiculite to try. Please tell me they were in your box? I hope so...
Thalictrum
Noordwijk
Netherlands

November 12, 2012
12:06 PM

Post #9331273

Kim I did receive the bags of vermiculite. When I opened the package I thougt for a second that they were gras seeds lol. Thanks a lot. Did not know that vermiculite could come in such fine structure. I already used one back to cover the seeds with, which needed covering. I did find a company who sells it to the agriculture business not far from here, so I will give them a call to-morrow. I took a look at your site Unique Seeds. You have some nice seeds listed there. Are you going to add some more seeds there? I will keep following this tread. It provides me with a lot of information. I don't know how my DH will react when I start filling the fridge with seeds.
Kim_M
Hamburg, PA
(Zone 6b)

November 12, 2012
1:49 PM

Post #9331372

Oh good! I was hoping I didn't forget. Well I started with building a site and it became too much for me to maintain and really get off the ground. So I probably won't be adding too much more...
evelyn_inthegarden
Sierra Foothills, CA
(Zone 8a)

November 13, 2012
4:53 PM

Post #9332430

Kim_M wrote:Hi Everybody,

I was Hoping some of you would share your own insight and opinion on this topic...

Can some of you list some seeds in Your opinion that are not viable over time...

1. My Opinion: Marigolds (somebody prove me wrong...LOL) because I'm holding on to one special kind knowing they may never sprout!



Kim ~ I have heard that delphinium and larkspur will not be good after the first season. Have you had any germinate beyond that time frame? What about columbine? And of course, aconitum...??

Kim_M
Hamburg, PA
(Zone 6b)

November 13, 2012
5:17 PM

Post #9332451

Evelyn I am not sure with the delphinum. I have never grown one from seed. Every one I've ever had was purchased. I will try some and put them to the test :-) I have seeds of a striking delphinium I collected in 2005. The seeds look the same as the day harvested. As far as aconitum... Most of the seeds I've germinated were not more then a year old. Columbine will germinate under extremely high moisture when old. I put them in a cup of soaking wet vermiculite and place plastic over it. So no moisture will escape and they usually germinate in about 7 days. I let them get a little bigger and transplant in a small pot.
I planted linaria seeds from 2005 harvest this summer. I got 100% germination...surprised me!

Maybe it matters how the seeds are stored also?
evelyn_inthegarden
Sierra Foothills, CA
(Zone 8a)

November 13, 2012
5:56 PM

Post #9332481

All of my seeds are stored at room temperature and dry. We have very little humidity here. Room temps range from about 60 to 70. I keep them in an underbed storage container, and further separated by smaller plastic bins sorted according to type. I have yet to divest myself of all of them. If I don't sow them all by the end of fall and wintersow, maybe I will be able to sow them in spring.

I say that every year, but spring through summer and until it gets cold, I am outside working the soil, watering, weeding and so on. I hope to get my grandson-in-law to install a watering system to the gardens as that will save me so much time during the summer. I wanted to sow pansies this summer, but it was too hot. I suppose I could have sown them indoors, but did not seem to have the chance to do it. I ended up buying pansies...again!!! (GRR...!!!) They last all winter in color bowls under our windows.
Kim_M
Hamburg, PA
(Zone 6b)

November 13, 2012
6:08 PM

Post #9332490

I just planted some pansies today :-) They seem to thrive in cooler weather. Ohhhhhh I keep my seeds in the fridge... yes I have a fridge for my seeds... LOL!
evelyn_inthegarden
Sierra Foothills, CA
(Zone 8a)

November 13, 2012
8:32 PM

Post #9332626

planted or sowed??
Kim_M
Hamburg, PA
(Zone 6b)

November 14, 2012
6:14 AM

Post #9332818

Planted.. They were fully blooming in a six packs.
evelyn_inthegarden
Sierra Foothills, CA
(Zone 8a)

November 16, 2012
4:32 PM

Post #9334999

Yes, Kim...I did that, too! I have 3 color bowls on shelves in front of 2 windows. They are out of the reach of deer, though they have been known to eat those too. I had better put repellant on those as well. Usually they do not bother to reach, but they can if they are hungry enough.

So far, I have a few planted in the ground unprotected by a fence and they have not been harmed. I doused them heavily with Liquid Fence. (stinky stuff!) It works until it wears off and then when it has been raining and then snowing, I forget about it and the snow melts and the plants get a fresh attack!

blomma

blomma
Wyoming, WY
(Zone 4a)

November 19, 2012
11:58 AM

Post #9337255

Here is a great site on germinating seeds. Hardy perennials usually need to be stratified (moist cold) to sprout. I store all my seeds in the crisper in the fridge. Perennials can be stratified in damp kitchen towels placed in a zip lock back and stored in the fridge for 3 weeks. Most will sprout when brought out to room temp.

http://tomclothier.hort.net/

1] Below is photo of daylily seeds sprouting in paper towel.
2] then potting up.
3] Planted in the nursery May 31, 2012. Iris seedlings on the right side.

If stored in the crisper, seeds will remain viable for years.

This message was edited Nov 19, 2012 1:00 PM

Thumbnail by blomma   Thumbnail by blomma   Thumbnail by blomma      
Click an image for an enlarged view.

Kim_M
Hamburg, PA
(Zone 6b)

November 19, 2012
2:00 PM

Post #9337341

Those looking really good! Thanks for the pictures and for sharing. I love to see plants from seed to bloom :-)

blomma

blomma
Wyoming, WY
(Zone 4a)

November 19, 2012
5:42 PM

Post #9337527

Below are 5 seedlings with maiden blooms this past summer. I especially love the first 2 and the 4th one. Sold the 5th one and all the extra fans it producd.

I will see how the first 2 seedlings will do next summer and see if they are worth registering. All are Tets.

Thumbnail by blomma   Thumbnail by blomma   Thumbnail by blomma   Thumbnail by blomma   Thumbnail by blomma
Click an image for an enlarged view.

WormsLovSharon
Las Vegas, NV

November 19, 2012
8:07 PM

Post #9337650

Great job Blooma.

RickCorey_WA

RickCorey_WA
Everett, WA
(Zone 8a)

November 20, 2012
7:03 PM

Post #9338649

By the way, the crisper drawer actually maintains HIGHER humidity than the rest of the fridge. Lettuce stays c risp becuase it is not dried out.

Maybe the crisper prevents room-humidty from condensing on seed pkts every time you open and close the fridge door. THAT is a good thing!

Those seeds might last even longer if they were in a SEALED container in the fridge or crisper drawer. I put little paper envelopes of silica gel in my screw-lid plastic seed tubs, to KEEP them dry no matter what. 1-2 tablespoons lasts me a few months or a year, depending on how often I open the jar.

Silica gel is cheap at craft stores (used for drying flowers). You can veen regenerate it by baking at 250 F for a few hours (no hotter or you'll "scortch: it and reduce it's capacity).

You can also bake rice extra-dry, until "not quite brown yet". That doesn't have as much c apac ity as silica gel, and won't reduce the humidity quite4 as low, but it does help.

blomma

blomma
Wyoming, WY
(Zone 4a)

November 20, 2012
9:42 PM

Post #9338753

Rick,
I guess I forgot to mention that I keep seeds in small zip lock bags, THEN, in the crisper drawer in the fridge. when I need to take the seeds out to use, I allow the bag to lay in room temp before opening to prevent condensation.

Sharon, thanks for the complement..

RickCorey_WA

RickCorey_WA
Everett, WA
(Zone 8a)

November 21, 2012
9:08 PM

Post #9339561

>> I allow the bag to lay in room temp before opening to prevent condensation.

I do roughly the same thing with cold-stored seeds.

But my O. Seed D. causes me to keep the Ziplocks inside a jar, so when I pull the jar out, condensation forms on the jar, and not right on the surface of the Ziplock.

It drives me crazy when people say they store seed for years on open paper bags in an unheated shed. Since their way works too, I know I'm not just overly cautious, but INSANELY overcautious.

Still, like Frank Sinatra, "I did it MY way".







KyWoods
Melbourne, KY
(Zone 6a)

November 22, 2012
12:13 PM

Post #9339994

"O. Seed D. "? ROFL Good one, Rick!

blomma

blomma
Wyoming, WY
(Zone 4a)

November 22, 2012
10:59 PM

Post #9340320

Rick,
putting plastic bags in a glass jar is a great idea for a few bags. I have too many ziplock bags with seed to do it that way. I also use the prescription plastic container. My daughter and daughter-in-law saves them for me whenever they get them. Theky are great for a large number os seeds.

Instead of vermiculite to use a mideum to sow seeds in, I use fine peat moss. For dust-like seeds that require stratification, it works great in the fridge. Just dampen the peat moss and sprinkle the seed on surface. When germinated, just transfer some of the peatmoss to potting soil. I have germinated Delosperma cooperi (red iceplant) dust-like seeds on peat-moss.

The photo is seedlings of red iceplant after planted in potting soil. They germinated in peat moss. The other 2 are the finished product. They come true from seed since not a hybrid.

Thumbnail by blomma   Thumbnail by blomma   Thumbnail by blomma      
Click an image for an enlarged view.

RickCorey_WA

RickCorey_WA
Everett, WA
(Zone 8a)

November 28, 2012
7:43 PM

Post #9345085

This is the SMALL box.

But I agree, even a 3-pound peanut jar fills up really fast with clusters of 2x3" Ziplocks.

Thumbnail by RickCorey_WA
Click the image for an enlarged view.

KyWoods
Melbourne, KY
(Zone 6a)

November 29, 2012
1:56 PM

Post #9345591

How nice and neat!
Kim_M
Hamburg, PA
(Zone 6b)

November 29, 2012
3:06 PM

Post #9345635

Yeah that is neat and organized :-) But like blomma...I have wayyyy to many many seeds baggies. I haven't had a problem with moisture (that I know of). I have a fridge full of seeds.
Pfg
(Pam) Warren, CT
(Zone 5b)

January 29, 2013
12:03 PM

Post #9401413

Bump

I just re-read this entire thread- a lot of great info in it, and now is the time we need it!

Pam

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