- Write the number of the seed with a permanent ink so you don't get your seeds mixed up when planting
- Lightly file the edge of your seed with some sand paper until you just start to see a light brown color coming through. Sanding the seed will help the plant get out of the shell and get it growing sooner. Atlantic Giant seeds can sometimes have tough shells so this helps get the seed off to a good start.
- Soak the seed for 1 hour in warm water with a small drop of liquid seaweed in the water. The soaking will help start the germinating process faster and the cytokinin in the seaweed helps increase germination rates and may help early plant growth.
- Many growers at this point will wrap the seed in a wet paper towel and then watch for the root to come out and then plant in their growing medium but I prefer to plant at this point right away so I don't have to worry about damaging the root. I am using 60% ProMix BX soil less medium for my seed starting mix combined with 40% earthworm castings from my worm bins. Studies have shown that new seedlings thrive in a 40-50% mixture of earthworm castings. This soil has been warmed to 80 degrees for the last 8 hours and then moistened with water so the soil is damp but not wet.
- I then plant the seed into the medium that is in a 9 inch peat pot (wasn't easy to find these nice big pots but I got them at a local garden center) with the pointy part of the seed down 3/4 inch below the surface.
- The peat pots are then placed in a small closet with a thermostatically controlled space heater at 80 degrees (about 84 degrees would be considered perfect but the thermostat on the heater only goes up to 80 degrees).
Saturday, April 18, 2009
Pumpkin Seed Planting
Giant pumpkin growers are always searching for great genetics to grow from. Winter time is filled with seed trades and research for which seeds to grow the next season. The most coveted seeds like the 1068 Wallace can go for $750 or more in auction per seed. When you have a good seed you want to make sure it germinates and grows into a nice pumpkin plant. Investing into a seed that doesn't germinate can be very disappointing and potentially costly. To try to mitigate the risk this is what I do when planting Atlantic Giant pumpkin seeds: