erianthus ravennae from seed?

hoosierdoc(5 IN)December 5, 2008

I purchased some seed online and am about to plant. The only instructions given were 68-75F for germination temperatures. I'm going to get a warming mat to put under the pots.

My question... how many seeds per pot? Does one seed equal one leaf? Do I need 5, 10, 20 per pot? I bought 1000 seeds and want to cover about 150' in distance with a hedgerow in a few years.

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kicker(z4 MN)

At some point you'll have to isolate each seedling. One plant will become many stalks with plumes. At maturity it'll be about 4 feet in diameter with a dead center. That's not to say you couldn't plant a row ..say one foot apart. It could really look nice. good luck

    Bookmark   December 5, 2008 at 4:00PM
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I've winter-sowed Ravenna Grass successfully, and it couldn't be easier.

Get some 1-gallon milk/water jugs. Cut the jug 3/4 of the way around, just below the handle. Cut drainage slits in the bottom and fill to 1/2" below the 3/4 cut with good quality potting mix. Soak the mix well, and allow to drain.

Sprinkle at least a dozen seeds onto the surface of the potting mix, in 4 distinct groupings. That's a dozen seeds in each grouping. You want to grow clumps, and not individual plants.

Sprinkle a very light dusting of potting mix over the seeds, and mist to moisten.

Close the top half of the jug, with the top slightly inside the bottom. Secure with a piece of duct tape. Leave the cap off the jug.

Place the jugs outside, in a sunny spot but protected from wind. It helps to secure them by tying the handles together, to form a larger footprint against wind.

You can do this whenever you like, from now until mid-Spring. The seeds will germinate when they're ready. If there isn't enough water from snow or rain, provide some. You can tell by looking for condensation on the inside of the jug.

When each jug has 4 little clumps of grass, cut the top completely off the jug, and plant out each clump, as is.

You can find far more information on the Winter Sowing Forum. Tell them Donn sent you.;>)

    Bookmark   December 22, 2008 at 7:26AM
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hoosierdoc(5 IN)

Wow, so I guess I need more seeds? If you're wanting 48 seeds per gallon bottle, and I want to cover 150' or so, that's a lot. I figure I'd give 36" between each clumping. That'd give roughly 50 jugs, needing 2400 seeds. Thanks for the advice. Will they germinate in the winter? The online info suggests 66-72F as a soil temp, or will you get that with solar radiation? Also, is this method preferable to indoor planting with a heat blanket?

anyone have thoughts on something to put between each clump? I've seen some nice barriers alternating a few different plants between the ornamental grasses, but I still want it rather tight.

    Bookmark   December 22, 2008 at 7:57AM
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They'll germinate when the soil temperature, sun levels and all the other conditions suit them, no matter when you put them out.

I prefer to start seeds outdoors, because I have more room to do it there. I also find my seedlings are much hardier and do not require the traditional hardening-off routine needed by seedlings started indoors.

I'd grow annual grasses and flowers between the young clumps, because the available space will diminish pretty quickly as the clumps fill out. If you plant perennials in between, you'll be moving them fairly soon.

Something to keep in mind with this grass...don't give them too much moisture or fertility. If the soil is too rich, and too moist, the towering flower stalks will collapse. Since they are easily twice as tall as the blades of the grass, it looks awful when this happens. Plant them in lean and very well-draining soil, and in full sun.

    Bookmark   December 22, 2008 at 8:25AM
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