What do I do with my seeds now?

Fleur(z5)November 20, 2003

I collected some hellebore seeds this summer and stored them in plastic baggies in my kitchen. They shriveled. I've been hydrating them in warm water for about 3 days and they're plump...(look like little maggots, if you ask me). What do I do with them now. Expose them to a couple months of warmth, then a couple of months of cold? Do I do this on soil or in baggies? Or should I just plant them outside and hope the turkeys don't find them? Would a peroxide rinse hurt them? The seeds, not the turkeys.

Help! And thanks.

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Fleur(z5)

I forgot to ask how I should store the rehydrated seeds. Any opinions? Thanks, again.

    Bookmark   November 20, 2003 at 12:59AM
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Greenmanplants(UDSA Zone 8)

Get them planted!!
I use 1 litre deep pots 5.5" deep by 5" across with a gritty compost, 1 part each JI no3, peat, and cornish grit, filled nearly to the brim with 20-30 seeds per pot then topped off with quarter-half inch of cornish grit.
I soak this from the base till the grit is wet then stand the pots in a deep tray drilled to leave half an inch of water in the base. (slugs cannot cross the water) They sit in this wet cold environment all winter and usually come up with 95% germination in the spring. I pot them on or plant them out when the first proper leaves have formed, the gritty open compost means that you can shake them out very easily and get a good 4" of root, make sure that the tip of the root is pointing down into your planting hole, (deeper pot 2L deep).
Previous experiments with more than half an inch of water in the tray caused the seedlings to rot off after germination and without the constant moisture I would get only 30-50% germination, which would somethimes get devoured by a slug in a single meal.
As regards open ground, I get quite a few seedlings at the base of their parents where I have not deadheaded, however I believe the mice can see these off once they get the flavour for them....it's worth protecting your seed trays/pots from mice if you can.
I checked mine today and the first of this years 50 pots of seed are already germinating.

Cheers Greenmaplants

    Bookmark   December 7, 2003 at 1:39PM
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Fleur(z5)

Thanks for your response Greenmaplants. I finally gave up waiting for suggestions and just yesterday winter-sowed them all in a flat covered with plastic and put them under a tree to see what would happen. I'll wait til next spring and test this method since I don't really need more of these. Thanks again for your planting suggestions though. I'm waiting for seeds from J. Dudley and I'll use your suggestion for them. Can't wait.

    Bookmark   December 7, 2003 at 1:59PM
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