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Trying a low-tech form of stratification

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Trying a low-tech form of stratification

Post by Admin on 9th April 2011, 10:30

You might have noticed I've not been around much lately. Work has been crazy busy as we hosted the Tasmanian Science Teacher's Association Conference last weekend and I've been putting in 10-12 hours days getting ready for it and am now on the Association's Council... in addition to this my new science centre is ready to move into so I've been setting up my aquaculture system and marine aquarium and moving into the new digs (will take photos and post soon... it's very impressive!!!) so am a little time poor at the moment.

It usually takes ages to prepare all the seed for stratification and I just don't have the time at the moment to mess around with them. When I shell the hips I usually store the seeds in labelled envelopes until they are all collected. I shell them as I harevst them to spread the work load. I usually either put the seeds between sheets of moist paper towel and put them into individually labelled ziplock bags or I put them into individually labelled ziplock bags with moist peat. It takes hours to get them all done. This year all I did was leave the seeds in their envelopes, dunk them in a container of water, let them drain and put them all into a large ziplock bag and straight into the fridge. I did about 100 envelopes of seed this morning in 5 minutes and they are all safely in the fridge going to sleep for a while. I still have crosses still on bushes that aren't quite ready to pick yet but I'll just add the to the bag when they are ready.

I'm going to try and save even more time when they are ready to plant out by making a long wide raised bed to plant all the seed into once they are ready so I don't need to fuss with individual pots etc. The beds will be about a metre off the ground made like a wooden tray, with a slatted bottom, with sides about 20cm high raised slightly at one end to allow water to drain through to one end and lined with black plastic filled with potting mix with drain holes in the low end. A sprinkler mounted over it attached to my timer will keep them watered every day from above (I have a 6 program digital timer that I use already to water pots for an hour every second day), and a layer of perlite across the top will help prevent damping off and also act like a mulch to stop it drying out. It's outside so they get all the nasties I want them to get to evaluate them and the overhead watering should help in this regard. The seedlings will start out quite thick but as they get culled space will open up between them and I don't have to disturb the roots at all. They can stay in there the whole year to grow unimpeded. Should be relatively cheap and easy to build too.

Time to do things smarter rather than bigger!!!


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Location : Mudgee
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