Seeds 2008
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  • 1. The Joy of Seed Collecting and Starting Presented by Sheryl Williams Delta Montrose Technical College
  • 2. Miracle of growing a whole plant from a tiny seed
    • Learn to collect, germinate and start seedlings
    • Expand your palette of plant material
    • Just plain fun
  • 3. Agenda
    • Plant Sex
      • Flower and Seed Anatomy
    • Harvesting, cleaning, storage
    • Germination information
      • Dormancy
    • Paper Towel technique
    • Outdoors for Winter technique
    • Timing
  • 4. Vocabulary
    • Scarification
      • Scratch, nick, chip or notch a seed coat to allow water to penetrate more quickly and speed up germination
    • Stratify
      • Artificial cold period to break dormancy
    • Dormant
      • Alive but in a state of suspended animation until all conditions are right for growth
  • 5. Vocabulary
    • Germination
      • The moment when a plant’s embryo breaks its dormancy and begins to grow
    • Hardening Off
      • Gradually toughen up plant for transition to the garden
    • Damping off
      • Fungal disease that rots seeds as they germinate or seedlings once they emerge from the soil
  • 6. Flower Anatomy
  • 7. Viva la difference!
    • Male – Stamen Female - Pistil
  • 8. Stamen - Anther and Filament
    • Stamen - make pollen available
    • Two parts – anther and filament
    • On top of the filament is the anther
    • Sack containing pollen
  • 9. Filaments can force contact
  • 10. Pollen Grains
    • Each plant’s pollen has a distinct shape and chemical make up
    • Wrong pollen is not accepted
    • Pollen contains protein, necessary for bee larvae
    • Bee larvae is fed pollen and saliva ‘bee bread’
  • 11. Pollen Grains
    • Sunflower Basil Chicory
    Dandelion, Eucalyptus Sunflower petal & pollen
  • 12. Pistil - Stigma, Style, Ovary
    • Physical and chemical characteristics of pollen MUST match the female plant
    • Pollen grain grows a pollen tube
    • Down to the ovary
    • Fertilization of the ovule
    • One pollen grain to one ovule
    • Unfertilized ovules will not make seeds
  • 13. Stigmas
  • 14.
    • Changes shape during the reproductive cycle
    • Stigma catches pollen grains
    • Often hairy or sticky
  • 15. Pollen Tube
    • Pollen match Pollen tube grows down the style to the ovary
    • Fertilization takes place
  • 16. Sunflower – Multiple flowers
  • 17. Snapdragon Flower
  • 18. Lab 1 – Explore Flowers
    • Cut open flowers and find the ovaries, pistil and stamen
  • 19. What’s in a Seed
    • Starch storage
    • Seed Leaves (Cotyledon)
    • Embryonic plant - embryo
    • Embryonic Root
  • 20. Corn Seed
    • Starch storage -energy source for the germinating seed and seedling
    • Seed Leaf
    • Embryonic root – first to emerge
    • Embryonic plant
  • 21. Bean Seed Epicotyl becomes stem leaves and flowers Radicle becomes the root Hypocotyl becomes the portion between the root and stem
  • 22. Lab 2 – Seed Germination Stages
    • Soaked corn and bean seeds
    • Cut or pry each in half and find root, shoot, seed leaf (leaves) and starch storage.
    • Carefully dab with Iodine
    • Iodine will blacken the starch areas.
  • 23. Harvesting, Cleaning, Storage
    • Harvest when dry
    • Place on a newspaper for a week
    • Put upside down in a paper bag until the seeds release
    • Use a sieve to separate the seeds from the chaff
    • Store in sealed and labeled paper packets
    • Keep 35 - 50 degrees
  • 24. Lab 3 – Cleaning seeds
    • Take bag of flower stalks
    • Clean seed from chaff
    • Place in seed envelopes
  • 25. Lab 4 - Finding Germination Information
    • Look up Latin name
    • Take Seed catalogue or database and look up your seed
    • Read codes to see how to germinate
    • Add germination information to your seed packages
  • 26. Where to find Germination Information
    • Catalogues
      • Park, Stokes
      • Thompson & Morgan
      • J.L. Hudson
    • Books
      • Seed Germination Theory and Practice by Norman Deno
    • Internet Databases
  • 27. Breaking Seed Dormancy
    • Dormancy is nature’s way of preventing germination until conditions are favorable for survival
      • Temperature
      • Water
      • Oxygen
      • Light
    • Internal or External
      • Internal chemical or external hard coat
  • 28. Breaking Seed Dormancy
    • Scarification
      • Hard seed coat won’t let in water or gases
      • Any breaking, scratching, nicking will open the hard seed coat
      • In nature seed out in fall and winter freeze and thaw will break down the seed coat
  • 29. Scarification Techniques
    • Sand paper
    • Boiling water – soak until water is room temperature
    • Metal file
    • Nick with nail clippers
      • Don’t damage the embryo
      • Sow immediately, won’t store
  • 30. Lab 5 -Scarification
    • Use a nail file to file some of the seed coat away.
    • Be sure to file until you can see the white starch in the seed.
    • Use a nail clipper to chip a bit of the seed coat away.
    • Clip the starch not the embryo.
    • Look for the embryo
  • 31. Stratification
    • Need a period of moist-pre chilling or moist-warm periods
    • Cold stratification (moist pre chilling) mix seeds with a volume of a moist medium
      • Sand or perlite
      • Closed container
      • Store in refrigerator 40 degrees
      • Check for moist but not wet
      • Amount of time varies
  • 32. Stratification – Moist warm
    • Similar to “moist – pre chill” except temperatures are kept at 68 to 86 degrees
    • Depends on the species
    • A few species even need to be scarified and pre chilled
  • 33. Paper Towel Germination Technique Lab 6
    • Cheap paper towels
    • Small plastic bags
    • Water
    • Labels
    • Basil seeds
  • 34. Germination Lab – Paper Towel Technique
    • Paper towel folded in half three times
    1 3 2
  • 35. Soak Paper Towel
    • Soak paper towel and squeeze out the excess water
    1 2
  • 36. Place Seeds
    • If “Light” is required place the seeds on top of the still folded towel
    • If “Light” is not required, open the towel once and place the seeds inside
    • If you are not sure, put a few inside and a few outside
  • 37. Bag
    • Place label with seed name and date on the plastic bag
    • Place towel with seeds into the bag
    • Lightly close plastic bag – do not seal
  • 38. Germination Lab At Home
    • Basil should germinate 3-7 days at 70 degrees with light or dark
    • Nicked seeds should germinate 7-14 days at 70 degrees
    • Add a small amount of water if towel is dry
    • Open bag to ventilate if moisture inside
    • If you need to pre chill or stratify, put in the refrigerator
  • 39. Tools and Equipment – Seedlings
    • Heating cable
    • Sand
    • Containers
    • Sterile potting soil
    • Plant labels
    • Watering can with a fine rose
    • Overhead lighting
  • 40. When Seeds Germinate
    • Plant in soil when seeds leaves are visible
    • Be careful not to break off the root when taking the seedling out of the paper towel
  • 41. Plant into Soil
    • Be sure the crown is at the soil surface
  • 42. Overhead light
    • Give the seedlings 12 – 16 hours of artificial light
    • 4-6 inches above the seedlings
  • 43. Seed Starting Rack http://davesgarden.com/community/blogs/t/j29/8750/
  • 44. Winter Sow Outdoors Technique – Trudi Davidoff
    • Good candidates – look for these terms
      • Pre chilling
      • Stratification
      • Self Sows
      • Sow outdoors in Early Autumn
      • Sow outdoors in early Spring
      • Hardy seeds
      • Can be direct sown early
  • 45. Winter Sow Outdoors Technique
    • Make slits in the top and bottom of the container for air and drainage
  • 46. Add Soil
    • Fill with soil to about half inch from the top
    • Secure the lid
    • Water well and let drain
  • 47. Sow seeds and pat them down
    • If “light” is not required, add soil to get the correct germination depth
  • 48. Label
    • Put a label on the bottom so the label won’t bleach out from the sun
      • Freezer tape
      • Laundry marker or sharpie
  • 49. Winter Sow Outdoors
    • Put the flat out somewhere safe
    • The freeze and thawing helps break dormancy
    • In early spring when the seedlings emerge, check the moisture in the flats
    • As they grow widen the slits in the covers getting bigger and bigger
    • Transplant to the garden and they are hardened off
  • 50. Timing
    • Seeds will take different amounts of time to germinate and to grow to a size to plant out
    • Our last spring frost are in early May
    • Don’t start too soon or your plants
      • will be leggy
      • Take up too much room in the house or greenhouse
      • Take a lot of babysitting time in the winter/early spring
  • 51. Where to Get More Information
    • Seed Sowing and Saving
      • Carole B. Turner 1998
    • American Horticultural Society Plant Propagation
      • Alan Toogood Editor in Chief
    • The Seed Site – great pictures of seeds and cotyledons
    • http://www.theseedsite.co.uk/index.html
  • 52. Where to Get More Information
    • A Basic Guide to Savings Seeds for Home Gardeners –
    • http://www.virtualseeds.com/seedsaving.html
    • Collecting seeds from Oregon State:
    • http://extension.oregonstate.edu/catalog/html/fs/fs220/
  • 53. Internet Seed Germination Databases
    • Tom Clothier – intense databases http://tomclothier.hort.net/
    • Thompson and Morgan –genus only http://www.backyardgardener.com/tm.html
    • General Gardening info: http://davesgarden.com/
  • 54. Internet Seed Exchanges
    • North American Rock Garden Society
      • http://www.nargs.org/seed/exchange.html
    • Gardenweb.com
      • http://forums.gardenweb.com/forums/exchind /
    • International Seed Saving Institute
      • http://www.seedsave.org
  • 55. Summary
    • Observe your flowers
    • Look for seeds
    • Share with friends
    • Pay attention to the timing to know when to start new plants from seed
    • Have fun