Seed stratification

seed stratification Blog

The word “stratification” literally means “stratification”. In botany, this term is used in relation to seeds that are difficult to germinate and must be prepared before sowing. For germination, they need to create conditions that will be as close to natural as possible. After all, before the seeds sprout in the spring, they hibernate in a cold and humid environment, and with the onset of heat they begin to germinate. This is why stratification is carried out, that is, the seeds are kept in the cold at a certain temperature and humidity, and then placed in heat. This process is simple, you need to be patient and observe all the subtleties.

Stratification of strawberry seeds (strawberries)

Having considerable experience in growing garden strawberries from seeds , I will tell you in detail about stratification using this example. Before planting any seeds, disinfection is recommended. All gardeners do this by soaking the seeds in a solution of manganese. If the seeds are small, as in the case of strawberries, it is necessary to spill the substrate (earth) with this solution. Instead of pots, I use plastic food containers, which I collect specifically for this purpose after cookies, gingerbread, various salads from supermarkets. They are convenient in that they are closed, it is easy to make holes in them to drain excess water. If there is no such container, then you can cover the container with the planted seeds with a plastic bag. It is better to stock up on a substrate for stratification in advance. To do this, you need to take clean sifted river sand and moss, previously washed and dried. You can make a mixture of sand and peat. In extreme cases, ordinary garden soil with sand is suitable.

I sow strawberries in February to get a harvest this summer. Make sure that the soil is not heavy, does not settle after you spill it with potassium permanganate. Let the soil dry out a little, and shake the container before planting to loosen the soil. I simply spread the seeds on the surface, without deepening, otherwise they will not sprout. After that, the covered container should be placed in a cold place with a temperature of up to +5 degrees. Some gardeners cover the ground in a container from above with a layer of snow, seeds are placed on it. The snow will gradually melt and the seeds will fall on the damp ground. You can put snow on top, right on the seeds.

If you live in a private house, you can take the seed containers outside and bury them in the snow. And the easiest way is to place the nursery in the refrigerator, preferably on the top shelf, periodically moistening the soil from the spray gun if necessary. In the cold, the seeds should be kept for at least two weeks, after which the container is transferred to a warm, dark place without opening the lid. And only after the emergence of seedlings, the nursery is placed in the light.

This process is called stratification. In other words, this is the exposure of seeds in moist soil and in the cold. Stratification is necessary to accelerate germination and improve seed germination. For different plants, the period of stratification is different, from 10 days to a year.

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