I'm new at gardening, but I'm interested in capturing seeds to
trees/bushes/plants that I like and trying to grow them. So, after
doing some initial research, I have collected some seeds to a Crepe
Myrtle and a couple evergreen trees, placed them in a bag, put them in
my freezer for 21 days (simulating a winter). This is where I currently
stand. The germinating process follows, and from my reading, I came
across information that warns of harmful bacteria or insects in the
soil used to plant the seeds. It recommended boiling the soil to
protect the seed from disease. Can anyone give me more information on
this? Or, is this something I should skip? If so, what type of soil
should I use to plant?
Boiling the soil. Are you serious? I have solarized soil and baked it in an
oven but never boiled to rid it of disease like blight. I really think all
you need to do is buy a bag of seed starter or potting soil and not worry
about treating your soil. Seed germinate in nature with all the normal
bacteria, mold and fungi etc. present. Relax and go for it.
I agree with Jim. And if you decide to bake it in the oven, I warn yo
that the smell will have you eating out that night! Here's some site
that should be helpful. Oh, and not all seeds need to be chille
Buy a bag of commercial potting soil. It has been sterilized to free it
from weed seeds. In the sterilization process, the soil microorganisms
are killed, both harmful and beneficial. However, this won't affect
germination. It's much easier to buy a bag of potting soil than it is to
try to make your own.
The most common harmful microorganism encountered in starting seeds is a
fungus that causes "damping off". This is a condition in which the stem
of the newly emerged plant dies right at the soil line. The fungus
attacks the plant right there. Keeping the humidity down at the air-soil
interface will reduce damping off significantly. A fan in the room where
you are starting the seedlings will circulate air and keep the water
that evaporates from the soil from building up humidity in the area.
PS: scarification is the process of breaking a hard seed coat, not
chilling. You're thinking of vernalization.
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