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Morning Glories: please help me find a good thread on seed starting!

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critterologist
Frederick, MD
(Zone 6b)

March 20, 2007
4:26 PM

Post #3302420

I didn't just want to post a plea for information, because I'm sure growing morning glories from seed has been discussed again and again on this forum.

But if somebody could point me to a good past thread on the topic, I'd be grateful!

In the past, I've simply direct-sowed the seeds. Now I want to start some inside (especially some JMG seeds). So I need to know... nicking? soaking? bottom heat? moist paper towel in baggie method? all of the above?

Once we've located a good thread and bumped it up, I would love to have it "stickied" at the top of the forum... that way, newbies like me will be able to find the information and not be asking the questions everybody has heard 50 times before, LOL.

Thanks!
Syrumani
Whitsett, NC
(Zone 8a)

March 20, 2007
4:52 PM

Post #3302529

I don't know about past threads, but I've tried the nicking/not nicking, soaking, moist paper towel in baggie options in the past. I am currently (just this past weekend) trying the nick/soak/bottom heat method.
critterologist
Frederick, MD
(Zone 6b)

March 20, 2007
5:59 PM

Post #3302777

OK, I just found this post from Gourd, which answered some of my questions:

http://davesgarden.com/forums/p.php?pid=3296620
Syrumani
Whitsett, NC
(Zone 8a)

March 20, 2007
8:03 PM

Post #3303219

That's good information to know. I checked my seed tray when I got home, and quite a few seeds have already sprouted, but some of them have fuzz (mold?) on them. So I may just prop the lid open a half inch during the day starting tomorrow.
Grow_Jo
Calgary, AB
(Zone 3a)

March 20, 2007
8:04 PM

Post #3303225

Critter, because I am hopeless at re-finding threads, I cut and pasted this information on starting morning glories that was originally posted by RON_CONVOLVULACEAE:

"...Most MG's germinate in temperatues from 59 to 90 degrees, but there may be some unusual exceptions...the seeds may take longer to sprout if they are simply planted without any pre-soaking...I presoak seeds in a shallow container of 50/50 (or 25/75) hydrogen peroxide and warm water for several hours to a day or so until the seeds have visibly swollen and then proceed to placing the seed in a mini-greenhouse ...the seeds will often have unfurled embryonic leaves within a couple day.

The Hydrogen Peroxide helps to soften the seedcoat,functions as an antiseptic,helps to remove some germination inhibitors and adds extra oxygen to the soak helping to oxygenate the solution thereby lessening the 'drowning' effect of the seeds being submerged...using shallow containers for the soak helps to facillitate gaseous exchange..."

Hope this helps (Ron, you should write a book, LOL).

I started 6 different types of morning glories last week using the above soaking method, 50/50 solution. Some I soaked for 6 hours, some for 22 hours. Only 1 kind has not germinated, one of the six hours soaks.

Joanne
critterologist
Frederick, MD
(Zone 6b)

March 20, 2007
8:44 PM

Post #3303370

Aha! Thanks, Joanne! The very good thing that I've noted there is that it is not necessary to nick the coat of the MG seed if you soak it... definitely a labor saving tip!

I am copying all the bits that I can find into a word doc... I'm thinking that maybe I should try to organize a FAQ thread for seed starting (something where I can add Q&A's to the top post as people contribute to the thread), and then we could ask admin to "sticky" it to the top of the forum.

Of course, I'd be happy if somebody who actually knew what was what with MGs would create such a thread... I sure don't want to step on any toes or make anybody think I'm setting myself up as an "expert" on this forum when I'm so new to everything MG!

bluespiral

bluespiral

(Zone 7a)

March 20, 2007
9:02 PM

Post #3303432

Jill, hope this is helpful -

Draft #3 11/29/06

**Morning Glory Seed Germination using Coffee Filter and Small Zippy Bag**

These directions on how to germinate morning glory (MG) seeds are based upon the considerable experience and knowledge of people other than myself, so you are actually listening to the resident experts of the MG forum being filtered through my editing powers.

Of the many different ways to germinate morning glory seeds, the filter/baggy method is preferred because it is particularly economical of time, space, materials - and seeds. Germination results are faster and the gardener can also see what the seeds are doing before they go into the ground. This method can be used on just about any other type of seed as well.

Also, please note that one gardener says that when the seedlings are ready to be potted, they won't be as large as in the photos - unless she doesn't get to them in time.

Readers' input and variations will be welcome after all the illustrated sections that comprise these directions are posted.

MATERIALS TO HAVE ON HAND:

Seed

Exacto Knife or Tweezers (the kind with a slanted tip with scizzor-like handle)

Coffee Filters (round, basket type) (Since coffee filters are denser than paper towels, roots don't get enmeshed in them as easily.)

Baggies
-- plastic zippy bags 2"x3" for small amounts of seed or larger size for bigger amounts of seed
-- recycled newspaper plastic sleeves or bread bags

Labels:
-- cheap Walmart mini-blinds, or
-- any recycled plastic container like that used for yogurt which can be cut up, too.

Sharpie Permanent Marker

Masking Tape

3% food grade hydrogen peroxide (H202)

Cups (Small, plastic 3 oz disposable type can be reused.)

2 Kinds of Potting Soil:
-- all purpose
-- 'Jiffy Mix'

Small Pots - OR for the Frugal again - http://www.selfsufficientish.com/newspaperpots.htm

METHOD:

1) Label each zippy bag with the name of MG to be germinated in it.

You can write the MG name with a Sharpie Permanent Marker on masking tape affixed to the baggie or directly on the baggie. EmmaGrace's favorite way to label these baggies is to make an ID marker by writing the MG name with a Sharpie on a piece of mini-blind (see above) and then slipping it inside the baggie along with the seeds. Cut the mini-blind (or recycled yogurt container) to slightly less than 2" so it will fit inside the baggie with the bottom edge slanted to make it easier to push into the ground later on when you are ready to plant (Photo 1).

2) Pre-sprout your seeds.

a) Next, put a solution of 1 gal water with 1 T H202* (as warm as possible) into a 3 oz. disposable cup, along with that ID marker you made in step #1. Then, put in your seeds. Do not soak seeds more than 24 hours, and - until they have swollen - change the water frequently keeping the water as warm as possible. Usually, they'll swell within a couple of hours to a few hours (Photos 2, 3 & 4).

b) If the seeds don't sprout within 24 hours, it's time to get out your chain saw (kidding). Very delicately, barely nick each seed that didn't swell with either the Exacto knife or nail clippers listed above. You only want to "barely" scrape or nick the seed coat just enough to where you can see the "white" of the inside of the seed (cutting deeper will damage the seed). Aim your nicker at the edge near the point - or at the end of the seeds (NOT ON THE EYE, which is where the root emerges). When you put the nicked seeds in water, faucet water that is not very warm works fine. It will only be a matter of a few minutes to an hour for them to swell.

c) When your seeds have swollen, they are ready for their baggie treatment:

-- Cut your coffee filters in half for only a few seeds (or use the entire filter and a larger zippy bag if you have several seeds).

-- Wet the coffee filter and then squeeze out excess moisture so it is damp (NOT dripping wet).

-- Place the seeds in the center of the filter so that the eye of each seed faces the same direction (Photo 5).

-- Fold the filter 1/3 over the seeds (Photo 6), then the other 1/3 over the seeds (Photo 7). Your seeds should have one layer of filter on one side and two layers on the other. Then fold each end over toward the center (Photos 8 & 9) so it will fit inside the zippy bag. Your folded filter should measure approximately 1 1/2" x 2 1/2".

-- With the seeds facing UP (Photo 10), place the filter, along with your ID marker if you are using one, inside the zippy bag (Photo 11).

-- Place the zippy bag on a sunny window ledge or under lights with the EYE OF THE SEED facing toward the light, as this is the part of the seed where the root will emerge. You can also place the baggie vertically (rather than laying it flat) so the roots will grow straight, rather than curved. This means the roots go down between the sheets of paper rather than into them. And the roots know which way is up no matter which way the baggie gets moved around.

The MG seeds will sprout their roots within two hours to several hours - or by the next day (Photo 12). Photos are posted following this text showing sprouted MG seeds in different stages. When the seeds are left in the bags for two or three days, you can even see the leaves starting to emerge (Photos 13, 14 & 15). Be sure to check on your seeds often until their roots have formed.


3) Plant the seedlings when their roots sprout. You can plant directly in the ground if the last spring frost has come or in a small pot.

-- To prepare the pot, first presoak both the 'Jiffy Mix' and regular potting soil - separately (Using water soon after it's been brought to the boil not only speeds up the rate by which the potting medium absorbs the water, but also helps to further sterilize it. Evidently, the peat in the mix takes forever to absorb water when it's cold.). Next, put the moistened regular potting mix on the bottom of the pot and 1/4" to 1/2" of the moistened Jiffy Mix on top (you don't want to apply the Jiffy Mix when it's in that fine dust stage straight from from the bag). Jiffy Mix is very soft and easier on the seedlings than the lumpier regular potting soil.

-- When planting the seedling in the pot, place the rooted end in the soil, leaving the tip of the seed just barely outside the soil (It helps to ease the root's passage into the soil with a nail file. When the root is in, smoosh the soil gently up against the root so there are no air spaces around the root). They will start growing right away. If you are starting your seeds before spring, place them under lights or on a sunny window ledge to sprout. If weather permits, place your container outside in part sun.

-- When the seedlings have their first set of true leaves (and a couple of inches or so tall), you are ready to plant them (moving them carefully) from your pot directly into the ground or into a larger container.

There are many ways to grow from seed, and this method may be too fussy for some with the extra transplanting step. But the benefits for EmmaGrace, besides the fast germination, are that only viable plants take up the limited space under her growlights and/or upon her windowsills with sufficient light - not to mention the extra abundance of MG seedlings for the garden after frost due to the greater germinating efficiency of this method.


Good Luck with your seeds - and Happy Gardening,
Emma (jmglvr)

Notes

* See http://davesgarden.com/forums/t/423028/ for more info on germinating seed (and other horticultural practices) with H202. The ratio of H202 to water can vary quite a bit from 1 oz H202 per pint of water to 1 T of H202 per gal of water. Some said they saw no difference between using distilled or tap water.

Also, some species of morning glory, like Evolvulus nuttallianus germinate better after being exposed to cold temperatures (stratification). For this morning glory, see http://davesgarden.com/pf/go/76546/index.html . For further information about winter sowing mentioned on that link, see DG's Winter Sowing Forum. Other techniques of exposing seed to cold to induce germination can be found in the Propagation Forum on DG.

And - to germinate old seeds, here are some instructions: http://davesgarden.com/community/forums/p.php?pid=2991357. If you haven't read the thread from which this link comes, you really should.


This message was edited Mar 12, 2008 10:30 PM

This message was edited Mar 13, 2008 3:28 PM
rjuddharrison
Houston, TX
(Zone 9a)

March 20, 2007
9:09 PM

Post #3303472

This is also a handy guide.
Seed germination database

http://www.backyardgardener.com/tm.html
critterologist
Frederick, MD
(Zone 6b)

March 20, 2007
10:21 PM

Post #3303771

Bluespiral, that's fabulous! I'm so glad to hear a FAQ sticky is being put together... I feel so silly asking beginner questions, but it's hard to search old threads sometimes to find the right info!
fchilders
Clatskanie, OR
(Zone 9b)

March 21, 2007
12:00 AM

Post #3304042

critterologist, I am sad to say that all but one of those that just posted are not usually here. Did they come with you? Hmmm. Blue spiral is usually here. The others look new.

I am Frank. I would suggest you go back a page and look at the links I posted for growth regulators or anything that looks like it . You may have to copy the catalogue and then read it about 40 times, but those that are using the new technology are getting such spell binding results, it is worth it, even if not for this year.

You didn't tell us if you have

bottom heat
flourescent lights for plants

or what you do have going FOR you.

iF you have JMG, seeds, bottom heat, flourescent lights for them, set at 8 hours per day, Hydrogen peroxide for a 24 hour soak after scarifying, then you should get germination after planting in a high quality seed starting mix, in 3 to 5 days.

You did wisely by comeing to this forum, there are many wonderful people here and of couse the most popular are the old timers. I watched your posts on other threads, and I must say I am glad to see you here, because we love to get seeds of THE UNKNOWN, and grow them. Sometimes they come with hitch hikers, aka, beetle larvae, unknown to us from one side of the states to the other.

Hang out with us for the Morning Glory season this year and you will never regret it and you will no doubt develop some wonderful trading relationships.

Frank
MsKatt
Mid-Michigan, MI
(Zone 5b)

March 21, 2007
4:02 AM

Post #3304249

Critterologist, I've never grown an MG from seed before because I was put off about the nicking/soaking..blah blah. Anyway, Bluespiral dmailed me the draft about the coffee filter method so I tried it. It worked wonderfully. I started mine on March 6th.
http://picasaweb.google.com/michelle.katt/Seedlings/photo#5044235357069443282
http://picasaweb.google.com/michelle.katt/Seedlings/photo#5044235378544279778
http://picasaweb.google.com/michelle.katt/Seedlings/photo#5044235211040555106

Granted, I used common seeds and bottom heat to sprout. They are in my basement with flourescent lighting and the temp is about 60 to 65. I don't know if that helps or not, just thought I would share my experience with the coffee filter method.
critterologist
Frederick, MD
(Zone 6b)

March 21, 2007
8:47 AM

Post #3304582

Thanks, Frank! I'm glad to "meet" you! I'm thinking that the other "new" people might be lurkers here... I lurk occasionally, soaking up the wonderful photos and expert discussion here, but I rarely have anything to contribute to a thread (other than a question!) since I'm so new to MGs.

I do have bottom heat, and I guess I'm so used to starting seeds on my light shelves that I figured florescent lights were a given (although mine are on more like 12 or 14 hours per day).

I'm seeing all sorts of conflicting advice about nicking (or not) and soaking (how long, how much hydrogen peroxide), so I'm thinking there may not be "one true way" to start MG or even JMG seeds. I'd rather not nick if it's not necessary, so I may try following Ron's directions (quoted above)... if I don't see the seed swelling, then I'll nick it and soak again (also what Bluespiral's directions suggest).

RJ, thanks for that link! That's getting bookmarked and filed right next to Tom Clothier's site. :-)

MsKatt... good growing!! Thanks for letting me know what worked for you. I'm intrigued to see you're growing red trillium from seed -- cool!



Grow_Jo
Calgary, AB
(Zone 3a)

March 21, 2007
10:05 AM

Post #3304779

"...I am sad to say that all but one of those that just posted are not usually here. Did they come with you? Hmmm. Blue spiral is usually here. The others look new..."

What's your point Frank?

I'm new to DG and new to MG's as well, but so what? I've been combing the MG threads looking for the same information as Critter; and I don't think it hurts anyone to pass on what I've found in this forum, especially if it was initially posted by RON_C.

Critter: I've seen the same conflicting advice that you have with respect to nicking/not nicking. I agree that some experimentation may be in order. As I mentioned, one of my MG's (5 seeds, soaked for 6 hours) did not germinate at all, and it's been a week. I am going to try them again, but soak for a longer period of time. Then, if that doesn't work, I will try the nick & soak method. I do not use bottom heat, but I do use grow lights.


Joanne



critterologist
Frederick, MD
(Zone 6b)

March 21, 2007
10:18 AM

Post #3304842

When I got 2 special V. caracalla seeds a couple of years ago, I wanted to hedge my bets... so I soaked them both but only nicked one... the nicked one swelled, and the other did not, and after a week of warmth only the nicked one had germinated. So I dug up the other one, nicked it and soaked it until it swelled, then put it down again and it came shooting right up.

My point there is that if you choose not to nick, you can backtrack with any ungerminated seeds and try again, with nicking, nothing lost. Just don't put the seeds into such soggy potting mix that they rot while you're waiting to see if they'll germinate.

I'm a little leery of nicking because it seems like the seed can swell very quickly, and if you don't catch it in time, it can burst... this came up in another thread, with people reporting different results as to whether or not burst seeds germinated & grew.

I think it was in the seed germination forum where somebody mentioned they'd seen advice to soak in warm water and interpreted that to mean the water should stay warm for the whole time... so they put the glass with the seeds on their heat mat... and bam! the seeds had little root "tails" by the next day. If you have a warm place (not necessarily a heat mat) to put your seeds while they're re-soaking, you might give that a try.

With some daylily seeds I started this year, I put the soaking solution right into the little zip bags, which made it easy to keep track of the varieties. I've also soaked seeds in a plastic ice cube tray (making a list to keep track of which seeds went in which compartment) when I was starting more than a few varieties. There's such a thing as too many labeled juice glasses sitting out on the counter, LOL.
greg2007
Buford, GA
(Zone 7b)

March 21, 2007
11:07 AM

Post #3304995

I started some seeds last night using the info from this link:
http://www.iamshaman.com/hbwr/cultivation.htm

I used the method at the bottom of the page. I soaked the nicked seeds for 2 hours in warm water wrapped in a coffee filter (used a halogen lamp to keep the water warm)

-Greg
critterologist
Frederick, MD
(Zone 6b)

March 21, 2007
11:25 AM

Post #3305127

OK! The deed is done... 18 little cups of JMG seeds are soaking in a splash of hot water with 25% hydrogen peroxide. I will be away for the next 6-8 hours, so hopefully none will burst in that time (I did save at least 2 backup seeds of each, just in case). Most of the seeds sank in 1/2 inch of water... a few varieties are floating, and I'm thinking that as with pepper seeds that may mean they are older or just more dry and may take a little extra soaking (possibly nicking). Actually, checking.. most of the floating seeds are ones I saved from trades a year ago, and also the 'Cameo Elegance' seeds, which I know I dried more than thoroughly (I have a horror of ending up with moldy seeds, so I generally leave them out a couple of weeks after I'm sure they're dry).
Gourd
Mesilla Park, NM

March 21, 2007
11:40 AM

Post #3305176

Hi Critter,
good to see ya here..

I have almost always nicked the seeds, most of the Brug seeds, I even peeled off the skin after soaking to get them to germinate, but those babies are tough (Brugmansia seeds).

Perhaps the trick here is to keep the mg seeds moist, warm and keep your eye on them while soaking/baggie method before sowing. Those vigna seeds come up real quick with a nick too. I too use lots of small cups on the counters (clear cups) those small medicine cups should work really well.

Try to use soil less mix if you can it is a more sterile medium. Like Critter said, make sure your soil is not sopping wet, that is how I've lost several to rott. The other thing I do is pour the soil less mix into a bucket, wet it with as hot as my tap water gets (not to the point that it is soggy, just fluffy) sometimes it doesn't look wet enough, but when you put that on a heat mat with a dome, the moisture is just enough to make the germination possible, and I always mist the dome before it goes on to start the humidity off, or at least I think it does.

Sometimes the seeds themselves are damaged or have not developed, I found out that I got some seeds that were not good to begin with, so that is not your fault. There were a couple that had cuts on them, and the cotyledons come up without a root (and die), so do not blame yourself for those.

Good luck, and glad to see you all here.. post your baby pictures.. we love to see them.

I've not used the baggie method, but may try it today, just to at least have a idea what I am talking about when I do.

A.
RON_CONVOLVULACEAE
Netcong, NJ
(Zone 5b)

March 21, 2007
11:59 AM

Post #3305246

Some seeds may want to see a series of temperature fluctuations before they will sprout...the fatty acids which are the main germination inhibitors are denatured by moist cold...


Heres a few more posts where shared some thoughts

delayed sprouting
http://davesgarden.com/forums/p.php?pid=2274253
http://davesgarden.com/forums/p.php?pid=3224242
http://davesgarden.com/forums/p.php?pid=1971075

seedcoats
http://davesgarden.com/forums/p.php?pid=2997627
http://davesgarden.com/forums/p.php?pid=2274378
http://davesgarden.com/forums/p.php?pid=3132693

damping off
http://davesgarden.com/forums/t/677301/
http://davesgarden.com/forums/p.php?pid=3058590

The seed sprouters as used by many in kitchens for producing edible alfalfa and mung sprouts are also very good for MG seeds...

Most of the most common MG species seeds will usually sprout rather easily...watching the results of your germination methods should yield some clues as to how to make some adjustments in the environment(s) that you are applying...

The MG's usually respond very well to bottom heat...

TTY,...

Ron

critterologist
Frederick, MD
(Zone 6b)

March 21, 2007
12:25 PM

Post #3305339

Thanks, Gourd & Ron! That looks like a bunch of good links.. I'll check them out thorougly when I get back this evening.

Ron, I like the idea of using a seed sprouter... I might try that with my mixed MG seeds, just to get them going before I sow them outside.
Syrumani
Whitsett, NC
(Zone 8a)

March 21, 2007
3:33 PM

Post #3305809

Bottom heat might explain why I've gotten such good results so far! This is the first time I've used a heat mat, and my results are (to me) great so far! I've got 5/6 chachamaru seeds sprouted, as well as 2/3 Gypsy Bride seeds. And this is just since Sunday!

I also started a few other "last" seeds I got from trades/eBay that I've never had luck with, and I've gotten sprouts with those, too!

I don't have funds for flourescent lights, so I have my tray set on the front porch, where they mainly get afternoon light.

bluespiral

bluespiral

(Zone 7a)

March 21, 2007
4:39 PM

Post #3306023

What a wonderful thread this one turned out to be, Critter - a Critical Question is never out of place. And thank you all for chiming in - thank goodness for new folks coming in - keeps the rest of us alert (Well, I'll just speak for myself in that department). But there certainly do seem to be quite a few ways to "skin the pod", fortunately for those of us (like me) who need to be creative about how to achieve the wherewithall to pursue an end due to financial limitations. Ron, I'll have to check out your links later, too - thank you.
critterologist
Frederick, MD
(Zone 6b)

March 21, 2007
4:43 PM

Post #3306031

bluespiral, I finally scolled down the forum far enough this morning to find another place where you mentioned the FAQ now in development... I'm glad you know me enough to not feel like I was trying to step on your toes or anything... thanks! :-)

bluespiral

bluespiral

(Zone 7a)

March 21, 2007
4:57 PM

Post #3306078

Girlfriend, we are so in cahoots in our mutual quests for horticultural nirvana that you could never step on my toes even if they are in the Guiness Book for longest toes known in the history if all primates - lol.
fchilders
Clatskanie, OR
(Zone 9b)

March 21, 2007
4:57 PM

Post #3306079

GroJo, you sounded offended. Here is my point. DG recently went international, and this has netted us some new foreign members, as well as lurkers that became active. Unfortunately, they don't bother to go back to the beginning of the forum and read all the posts for the last few years. If they did, they would as fewer redundant questions, and the old timers here wouldn't sit back and sigh because of the constant repetition of the same material. The old timers usually jump in in the first 3 or 4 posts, but they didn't on this question, because it has been posted so many times.

The impression I got from Critterologist, was that a bunch of you came here together looking for the same information. If this is so, then to whom is the question really addressed.

There really is not a conflict between nicking and not nicking. Nicking the seed prior to soaking is a time saving short cut. If you have lots of time and don't want to nick or soak the seeds, thats your business. But here on this thread, you will find that the jmg take three to for months longer to produce ripe seeds for next year. Also, if there is a seed dormancy problem. the problem will remain as long as the seed coat is allowed to maintain the dormancy. Once the seed coat is nicked, the gases that maintain dormancy can escape, like air going out of a baloon, and then the cotyledons can begin to imbibe water, and begin to swell. If you nick the seeds and soak them, no mater how big the nick or how long the soak, you are cutting your losses. Many of us here pay several dollars a seed to get what we want for the comming season, and we wouldn't think of not nicking the seeds and soaking.

This forum has had as many posts in the last year, as in its total of five years before. Reading the whole thing is not that big of a challenge, and when you do that you will learn who is who.

Welcome to the MG Forum. Frank
ByndeweedBeth
scio, oregon, OR
(Zone 8a)

March 21, 2007
5:09 PM

Post #3306115

I sure don't blame people for asking, I just wonder if I'm an "expert" enough to answer the questions. I have found the search engine on DG rather slow and frustrating. You also have to guess what the thread was named when the topic came up. Users should definitely ask if they can't find reference to their questions. Many times I KNOW a topic was discussed before but just CANNOT find the particular thread where it is.
critterologist
Frederick, MD
(Zone 6b)

March 21, 2007
5:15 PM

Post #3306129

Frank, I came here on my own, although clearly I'm not the only one trying to find the answers to these questions. I don't know how you got any other sort of impression, nor why you seem so bothered by it. I got lost in the middle of your post... To whom is what question really addressed?

I did take some time to scroll back through some old threads, and I tried to use the search engine to find the answers I needed.

I don't think it's realistic or reasonable to think that every newcomer to any forum should "go back to the beginning of the forum and read all the posts for the last few years."

I thought my first post made it obvious that I was aware this question had probably been asked and answered repeatedly -- that's why I was asking for somebody to point me to a good thread on the subject rather than to retype the info. Part of the problem I encountered in looking for the information on my own is that some of the best info might be on threads where the subject title is something quite different, and information on some threads is going to be much more complete than on others.

This is something that's true in every forum -- beginner questions get asked repeatedly. That's why it's so useful to have a resource sticky at the top of the forum with links to favorite threads... It makes the information easy to find, and if somebody posts a question without looking there first, it's easy enough to gently refer them to the links in the sticky.

In forums where I participate regularly that don't yet have links in a resource sticky, I've bookmarked some links that answer often-asked questions... that way I can just post a link rather than retyping the same information repeatedly.

So that's what I was trying to ask for initally -- not for somebody to repeat the same information for the Nth time, but for them to post a link to a thread where they (or others) had posted the information I'd been unable to find.

When nobody came forward to post a link to such a thread, that's when I started thinking that a sticky with a seed starting FAQ would be a really useful way to pull together all the fragments of information we were finding. (I admit, I did miss the thread where bluespiral mentioned that such a thread was in development -- or I'd not have mentioned it.)
critterologist
Frederick, MD
(Zone 6b)

March 21, 2007
5:17 PM

Post #3306136

Beth, you posted while I was still typing... thanks for understanding what I was after!

And anyone who has successfully started MG seeds -- inside or outside -- is certainly expert enough to help MG newbies like me!

:-)

bluespiral

bluespiral

(Zone 7a)

March 21, 2007
5:31 PM

Post #3306179

Life is too short to make assumptions - why can't we just roll out the welcome mat for one and all? I don't think anyone should feel intimidated about asking any question, no matter how dumb it may seem.
Syrumani
Whitsett, NC
(Zone 8a)

March 21, 2007
5:33 PM

Post #3306182

Frank - I talked myself out of posting anything to the earlier message, thinking maybe I was taking it out of context. Now, after reading this latest post, I realized that maybe I was right before . . . As a working full time mother of two, I do NOT have the time to go back and read posts starting from way back when! I search forums for my answers mostly, but when I do see a post - such as this one on seed starting - I may just post a question/comment or two. I was under the impression that Dave's Garden was full of helpful people, to whom you could ask any kind of question. But when I see someone post "Unfortunately, they don't bother to go back to the beginning of the forum and read all the posts for the last few years. If they did, they would as fewer redundant questions, and the old timers here wouldn't sit back and sigh because of the constant repetition of the same material." and consider that to be a "Welcome to the MG Forum.", it almost makes me wonder if I will keep up with the membership. Thanks. I feel so welcome.

At least Beth and critterologist don't seem to share your viewpoint . . .

bluespiral

bluespiral

(Zone 7a)

March 21, 2007
5:39 PM

Post #3306200

Neither do I
critterologist
Frederick, MD
(Zone 6b)

March 21, 2007
6:38 PM

Post #3306368

I think the new sticky and FAQ that Ron, bluespiral, et al. are working on will go a long way toward bridging the gap here. Everybody was a newbie once, and by and large the generous expert gardeners here at DG recognize that fact, so I don't expect it to be an issue in the MG forum or anywhere else on DG.

I think questions are always welcome -- and if people post a link to information or say, "please check the sticky" rather than typing out a response, I hope those looking for answers will understand that those posts aren't unfriendly or unwelcoming. At least, that's what I hope when I post a link to my thread on clump transplanting every time somebody asks for a good way to start basils from seed! :-)
gardener2005
Baton Rouge area, LA
(Zone 8b)

March 21, 2007
7:11 PM

Post #3306518

I soak the seeds first while keeping an eye on them. I check after about 6 hours because sometimes oversoaking can ruin the seed. The swollen ones are ready to plant...no need to nick those. The ones that look like nothing happend during the soaking get a tiny nick to remove a bit of seed coat. If I have time another hour or two will usually cause the previously unresponsive and then nicked seeds to swell(but I remove the swollen ones and plant them right away to avoid overdoing it). If I`m short of time and half the seeds are ready and half need nicking then I will plant them and nick the ones that need it and place them all in the clean planting medium and water them good. That usually takes care of them. It is normal to occasionally have a "dud" or inviable seed that will not sprout.



This message was edited Mar 22, 2007 7:51 AM
Grow_Jo
Calgary, AB
(Zone 3a)

March 21, 2007
7:59 PM

Post #3306631

Ha! My reluctant morning glory has sprouted, one of the five seeds any way. Perhaps it somehow sensed I was coming home to dig up the seeds for a re-soak! I shall wait patiently to see if the rest of them come along. I have 4 more types of MG's to try; I'm going to experiment with variations of soaking & nicking and see how the results differ.

Ok, and I maybe over-analyzing this, but I'm wondering if softening of the seed coat through soaking also helps the MG's to shed them? I noticed the Flying Saucer MG's that I only soaked for six hours seemed to have a hard time losing their seed coat.


Joanne

luvsgrtdanes

luvsgrtdanes
(Ronnie), PA
(Zone 6b)

March 21, 2007
8:40 PM

Post #3306774

Joanne,
Ron says if you spritz the seed coat it will soften and come off easier.

As a side note I am far from a beginner and certainly no expert and I just learned that the other day!! LOL

There can never be to many questions from beginner to expert.

Welcome to the best addiction and forum around!!

bluespiral

bluespiral

(Zone 7a)

March 21, 2007
8:42 PM

Post #3306789

If I've correctly interpreted the first link under category, seedcoat, in Ron's post, there has been some illumination as to how soaking may help the MG to shed its seedcoat as well as to possibly germinate, but only after the fashion of answering one set of questions with another in order to accommodate new unknowns discovered in the process of trying to answer the first questions. So, we can observe that soaking and shedding the seedcoat occur in proximity, but it doesn't look like we've nailed the exact causal sequence and all its sub-causal sequences down well enough to say:

yes

There are so many mysteries unfolding during the pursuit of yes-or-no that the day we arrive at yes-or-no will be a sad day for curious minds. Reading Ron's link on the seedcoat is as good as reading Mary Wollencraft's Frankenstein - the crackling electricity across the landscape of the germinating seed while the seedcoat turns into a Mucous Monster as it absorbs water and subsides into the maws of Jaws-like gobbling anaerobic microorganisms - to escape my purple prose and find out what really goes on, I strongly recommend reading Ron's links on this subject.

bluespiral

bluespiral

(Zone 7a)

March 21, 2007
8:46 PM

Post #3306806

luvsgrtdanes, maybe you should spritz me, too

luvsgrtdanes

luvsgrtdanes
(Ronnie), PA
(Zone 6b)

March 21, 2007
8:49 PM

Post #3306822

LOL!!!
Grow_Jo
Calgary, AB
(Zone 3a)

March 21, 2007
8:58 PM

Post #3306864

ummm, bluespiral, did you by chance eat a few MG seeds? I don't think you should...they may make you silly. LOL (totally, totally kidding).

Thanks for the kind welcome luvgrtdanes! This is, indeed, an awesome forum.
Heading off to spritz MG's...

Joanne
rjuddharrison
Houston, TX
(Zone 9a)

March 21, 2007
9:07 PM

Post #3306919

I find by answering questions I re-visit things I forget or need to be reminded of, and since the thread was created specifically and by itself to solicit information on a subject we all have the ability to pass over the thread, read it or not read it , answer or not answer.

and I agree...information from Ron is worth it's weight in gold, thanks Ron., I look forward to the sticky. I found the seed coat intersting as well, since I had discovered that scandens cup and saucer vine growing this year from a direct sow from last year.
gardener2005
Baton Rouge area, LA
(Zone 8b)

March 21, 2007
10:38 PM

Post #3307214

For Japanese morning glories or ipomoea nils you check them and see if they are swollen after so many hours 6-8 hours is about right. If they look like nothing is happening then nick them and wait 2-3 more hours and when they look swollen then it is time to plant. Just don`t wait too long or it will ruin the seed...then it will not ever sprout.


This message was edited Mar 21, 2007 9:41 PM
critterologist
Frederick, MD
(Zone 6b)

March 21, 2007
11:39 PM

Post #3307377

I did just that... my remaining ones were nicked a little more than 2 hours ago, but they still have not swollen like the others! I'm getting sleepy... I may just plant them and water in well, or I may transfer them to baggies with moist paper towel... we'll see! LOL, after worrying these JMG seeds half to death all day, I'm now developing a rather "come what may" attitude! I'm sure that at least some of them will germinate. :-)
Grow_Jo
Calgary, AB
(Zone 3a)

March 23, 2007
9:45 AM

Post #3311392

Second sprout coming up in the reluctant MG cup. They're my 'Cameo Elegance'. How cool that even the little cotelydons are varigated.

Joanne
critterologist
Frederick, MD
(Zone 6b)

March 23, 2007
9:52 AM

Post #3311415

I had a few seeds of one I. purpurea I was starting with the rest that didn't look like they'd swollen, instead of just potting them up anyway I popped them into a baggie with a moist bit of paper towel... by the next morning, they had little "tails!" Hopefully the ones I potted up have little roots now also... :-)
Grow_Jo
Calgary, AB
(Zone 3a)

March 23, 2007
10:14 AM

Post #3311482

Good tip Critter. I must admit that I planted several seeds that weren't exactly swollen after soaking for six hours. Was before I happened upon this most excellent thread. :o)

-Joanne
Grow_Jo
Calgary, AB
(Zone 3a)

March 23, 2007
9:19 PM

Post #3313626

Third sprout from the reluctant Cameo Elegance! Yea!
Ok, I'll stop posting about this now, I can see you rolling your eyes. Will never never plant MG seeds again that haven't been soaked properly.
pamsue
Gresham, OR
(Zone 8a)

March 24, 2007
12:37 AM

Post #3314436

hi jill:) welcome!
if you need any more seeds that didnt sprout let me know!

pamsue
critterologist
Frederick, MD
(Zone 6b)

March 24, 2007
8:25 AM

Post #3314821

LOL, Pam, I don't need any more nonsprouting seeds! (sorry, couldn't resist.) I'm just about to go downstairs and compulsively check again on my flat of MGs... last night, several cups had a sprout showing, but I don't think the ones you sent were among them... but your seeds swelled up quickly and were planted promptly, so I'm sure they'll do fine! Thanks for sharing them with me!
critterologist
Frederick, MD
(Zone 6b)

March 26, 2007
1:42 PM

Post #3322148

I just wanted to thank everyone for their patience and their advice! I've got a dozen different MGs started (two 9 oz cups for some varieties), and every single cup has at least one sprout up! What fun!!!

starting2luvz4
Monticello, IA

March 3, 2008
3:33 AM

Post #4614985

Hi Jill,

I know you started this a year ago but I thought you might like this method of sowing MG seeds. According to her book,Tasha Tudor often will put seeds in little plant pots and put them right out in the snow without cover. She does this for many plants including primroses and MG's. She brings them into her cold "non-frozen" basement for a week and then throws her "babies" back out in the cold when they get a " a little presumptuous" lol. When she is actually ready for them to grow, she brings them into her greenhouse (gorgeous and about the size of my farmhouse!) and off they go, healthy and strong. thought this might give you a giggle.

The reason I was looking up your name was because I was trying to find your post on how to make those homemade plant stands! Where did you hide it please? lol

The MG's come up quick enough for me. As soon as it snows here, I break apart the seed pods and caste them right on top of the snow. they are always one of the first things to come up and grow to cover my fence by May.
critterologist
Frederick, MD
(Zone 6b)

March 3, 2008
5:27 AM

Post #4615455

Thanks for that info! I've tried winter sowing them in covered containers with mixed success... they do better for me direct sowed in winter or very early spring. They've been self-sowing along my neighbor's fence, also. :-)

There's some info on plant stands and a link to a DIY plan with PVC pipe in my article on light shelves: http://davesgarden.com/guides/articles/view/464/

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