Soaking seeds?

Discussion in 'Countryside Families' started by MWG, Dec 30, 2006.

  1. MWG

    MWG Well-Known Member

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    In another thread someone mentioned soaking corn seeds. What exactly is this?

    (This might be the answer to why only about half the corn sprouted last year...) :grump:
     
  2. culpeper

    culpeper Well-Known Member

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    It's called 'scarification'. It's one method of softening the hard shells around certain seeds so that they will germinate more easily. Usually, you pour boiling water over the seeds, then leave them overnight, to plant the next day. With some seeds, it's best to scarify them literally (ie. cause scars on them). You can do this by rubbing larger ones together, or by rubbing them lightly over sandpaper. Other plants need to scarified by heat, even fire, before they'll germinate.

    Stratification, on the other hand, is when you put seeds in the fridge or freezer for a time to simulate winter. You need to do this if you live in a warm climate and want to grow cold-climate plants eg tulips.

    This site has some information which you might find helpful:

    http://www.backyardgardener.com/tm.html

    This is a good site, too.

    http://www.theseedsite.co.uk/
     

  3. MWG

    MWG Well-Known Member

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    Thanks!

    But I didn't see anything about corn.

    I got everything else to grow well except the corn. Do you soak the corn for a couple days in water before planting? Or do you plant and water them every day after planting?
     
  4. culpeper

    culpeper Well-Known Member

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    Try this site.

    http://www.ces.ncsu.edu/depts/hort/hil/hil-50.html

    Or, for the home gardener, this might be helpful:

    Seed is viable for up to 2 years. Begin sowing in summer and make successive plantings every 2 weeks. Sow seed 2cm deep and plant out about 60cm apart. Sow seeds individually in peat pots. Seeds take 5-14 days to germinate and 2-3 months to maturity. Needs light. Ideal temperature is 15-30°C. Should be planted closely together in blocks rather than rows to insure good pollination. Prefers hot or warm, frost-free conditions, full sun and protection from wind. Needs deep, well-drained, fertile soil, pH 6.0-6.8 and consistent, plentiful moisture. Water generously at ground level. Needs a rich, well-drained, moist soil. Plant successive crops in either hills or drills, in rows at least 1 metre apart. Harvest when the ears are completely filled out; a kernel will show milky white liquid when pierced with the fingernail. Corn is at its very sweetest the moment it is picked. Corn plants have many roots close to the surface, so cultivate around them with care. It is not necessary to remove suckers (side sprouts growing from the base of the plant). Studies show that removing them may actually reduce yields. Corn is a heavy feeder - particularly of nitrogen - and may require several side-dressings of fertiliser for best yields. Purple-tinged leaves are a sign of phosphorus deficiency. Pale green leaves are a sign of nitrogen deficiency.

    I'm wondering if you had a poor germination rate because the soil temp was too low.

    Because I'm growing only enough to feed one person, and I have an itty-bitty garden, I cheat and buy seedlings!
     
  5. patnewmex

    patnewmex Jane of all trades

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    Culpepper, thanks for the sites, I've bookmarked them.

    THIS kind of information is very valuable and helpful.

    Pat