Has anyone tried this?

mrs.b_in_wy(5a WY)March 21, 2010

I'm thinking of pre-sprouting peas in a few days and ran across this information in the research process:

PEAS AND BEANS: I have a hint for you. I always presprout my peas and beans before planting them. I just found out a nifty trick to really jumpstart your peas, (and it may work for beans as well although I haven't tried it on beans). Soak your peas for 12 to 48 hours in a solution of water with Vitamin C or Folic Acid. Disolve half of a 150 milligram Vitamin C tablet in a quart of water . For folic acid use four 5 milligram tablets. It has been proven that the treated pea seedlings will grow 40% higher. The root length, deeling weight and germination were also greatly enhanced by this method. I got great germination even on really old pea seeds I had given up hope for.

Amishland Heirloom Seeds

A search of this forum didn't turn up "folic acid" or "folic" or "vitamin". Has anyone ever tried soaking pea seeds in folic acid or Vitamin C?

And while I'm asking questions, what is "deeling weight"?


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jimster(z7a MA)

I have read a number of reports of a small amount of nitrate being helpful in "awakening" old seeds, mainly tomato seeds. I would not discount the method you tell about, although I have not heard of it. Various vitamins, B vitamins in particular IIRC, are known to benefit plants.

Could "deeling" be a typo? Don't ask me what for.


    Bookmark   March 21, 2010 at 8:17PM
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I believe that is supposed to say "seedling weight." I am an agronomist and I have yet to hear of "dealing weight". Hormones, or the addition of some acids can induce growth and have varying affects on root length, seedling weight and germination rates.

And now....leaning on the edge of "Plant Geek".....

Vitamin C is needed for plant growth. It helps protect against harmful side affects of light during photosynthesis. It also aids in helping the plant deal with stress.

So, in theory, I suppose this could work. The plant could be suffering from stress as it "wakes up" and all the chemical reactions star to occur and cells are being used that were asleep. Proteins are starting to be made and all those cells that need a "pick me up".

There was a study conducted in 2006 by Burguieres, et al. regarding the Effect of vitamin C and folic acid on seed vigour response and phenolic-linked antioxidant activity. It proved there is a relationship between the growth hormone Folic Acid and use of Vitamin C for seed responses.

Another study conducted in 2005 by Ravanel et al. was centered around Coenzyme Synthesis in Plant Mitochondria. In short, Folic Acid is synthesized by the plant naturally in order to create metabolic activity in the mitochondria cell of the plant. Mainly the creation of Nucelic Acids and Amino Acids as well as photorespiration.

Although the above mentioned study did not conclude any about the effects of adding folic acid, I would have to make an educated guess that the addition of folic acid would aid in faster creation of the amino acids, this would account for the higher growth rate overall, the more proteins, then more growth

I say give the Vitamin C and folic acid a try. BUT, I would try it on a couple seeds first before you lose a whole batch of seeds.

Let us know how it turns out!

    Bookmark   March 21, 2010 at 11:41PM
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Sometimes I fill in and assist in teaching the Crop Physiology class, and right now I am helping to co-write a Crop Physiology course book for the class. In short, it is plant physiology but with additions and modifications as related to agricultural crops.

So.....this got me thinking of how I would explain this to the students when talking about water inbibing, plant hormones and growth regulators. I so have put such a spin on it in the book....but thought.....I am not wording it on here to adults like that. LOL No I do not "Kid it down" but I try to make the book more interesting to keep their attention. I know when you start talking "scientific" sometimes their minds go blank. But it should be an interesting read for them when I am done.

Exerpt: ... Water is to the seed like a hot cup of coffee is to us in the mornings. It wakes the seed up and says "Hey it's time to wake up and get to work! We have some growing to do!"

So, soaking them in water.....great idea...adding the supplements...should be good too.

Sorry....just had to toss that analogy in there. LOL Again, let us know how it turns out!

    Bookmark   March 21, 2010 at 11:57PM
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mrs.b_in_wy(5a WY)

Thank you Jim and Agrigirl. I don't believe I have folic acid, but I know I have Vitamin C.

I think I'll try soaking half the seeds in plain water and half in C-spiked water. Maybe I'll separate the groups with a couple feet of carrots or some such.

Thanks again!

    Bookmark   March 22, 2010 at 11:31PM
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Cool! A science experiment! LOL Good luck! And please let us know how it turns out!

    Bookmark   March 22, 2010 at 11:40PM
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mrs.b_in_wy(5a WY)

Sure thing! It won't be exactly scientific. Maybe if I split them into a few more groups it will help. Since I want to plant a few successions, maybe I'll see if there's a difference between early spring and later spring.

Hmmm. Why is the forum making me change the subject line to post another follow-up message?

    Bookmark   March 22, 2010 at 11:59PM
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anney(Georgia 8)


It does that under mysterious conditions. I've noticed it when I seem to be too close in time to a previous post of mine. If I wait six hours, I don't have to change the message header!

I may try the vitamin C thing, too. I have folic acid which I take for my arthritis but it's surprisingly expensive and the instructions require 20 milligrams. The vitamin C thing requires only half of a 150 milligram tablet. Mine are 1000 milligrams, but I've a pill splitter, or one of them could just be crushed and divided.


Would the treatment work on all plants as a growth enhancer used as an occasional root drench, I wonder?

    Bookmark   March 23, 2010 at 3:00AM
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Since vitamin C is needed for defense of a plant against toxins in addition to being needed for growth during germination and elongation periods, then I see no reason why an occasional drenching would hurt at all.

Daniel Gallie (A professor at the University of California) in 2005 (after extensive research) even noted that plants with a higher Vitamin C content in its leaves was able to detoxify harmful chemicals of the ozone which would account for the overall higher yields, increased flowering and less stunted growth.

Hope this helps to answer your question!

    Bookmark   March 23, 2010 at 3:55AM
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anney(Georgia 8)


Yes, it helps to know that it won't likely kill the plants and may or may not benefit them!!!!!

    Bookmark   March 23, 2010 at 7:06AM
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I'm new to gardening and also new to this forum, but I read this post and I really made some since. I have taken some biology classes inculding microbiology. So everything that has said, with my limited knowledge, sounded like it could be really nice. So I read the post to my wife who is a RN, and she brought up a good point that I thought I would share. She said that while Vitamin C does have vitamin C in it, it also has other ingredients in it.

So I went and looked at a bottle of Vitamin C I had and here is a list of ingredients that are listed: Sugar, Sodium Ascorbate, Asorbic Acid, Stearic Acid, Microcrystalline Cellulose, FD&C Yellow #6 Lake, Natural Flavor, Magnesium Stearate, and Lactose. Now if the seeds soaked in water with a crushed Vitamin C tablet will soak up the Vitamin C, won't it also soak in the other ingredients as well? And if it does what could those other ingredients do, not so much the acids and sodium Ascorbate, but the Cellulose and the FD&C Yellow and the magnesium or the lactose?

Like I said earlier I'm new to gardening and I have just enough knowledge to be dangerous. LoL. Just thought I would share, my thoughts.

    Bookmark   March 24, 2010 at 12:01AM
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What a wonderful question! I think you will be pleasantly surprised by my answer. LOL

FIRST: Let's take a look at cellulose. Cellulose is the most abundant organic compound on earth. It is manufactured by plants and is what creates the cell walls of a plant. Cut open a stem of any plant and cellulose is what has made the stem walls. It is being looked at as an alternative fuel source from various plants. So, addition of the cellulose in the tablet would be a trace amount and would be used by the plant to create the cell walls anyway. So, can't say that would do any harm to the plant.

SECOND: FD&C Yellow. It is a dye. A very trace amount of this dye is used to give Vitamin C tablets their color. Food coloring is non toxic to plants and will not affect the overall growth of the plant. Use too much food coloring and you can possibly alter the appearance of the plants. For example: a tinging of yellow in the leaves or flowers. But, I do not believe there is enough of a quantity of the yellow to do any harm in that manner anyway. You are dissolving a small amount of the vitamin into the water so it should be safe.

THIRD: Magnesium Stearate is naturally manufactured in plants. That is why beans are a good source of magnesium. Magnesium is one of the trace minerals that a plant needs anyway for overall plant health. It is taken up in higher rates at a low pH of between 5 and 6. But at a normal rate of 7 it is taken up in a much lower amount. In fact, a deficiency of Mg in a plant can be seen almost immediately. Mg deficiency will cause an interveinal chlorosis (yellowing) in older leaves. Leaves can turn yellow or white and fall off the plant if Mg is deficient. So, this will also not harm the plant.

FINALLY: Lactose is a complex sugar made up of glucose and galactose. Now, in its complex form it will not be taken up by the plant and given that it is mixed with the water, the overall content of the lactose would be so small that it would most likely be evaported from the soil. It is soluble in water at a level of 21.6g/100ml but with the small tablet size of the Vitamin C there would not be enough mass of lactose to be soluble enough to break it down into its simple sugar forms. And like I said though, there is such a minute amount of this in the tablet that it should have no overall effect on the plant.

I hope this helps answer your question!

    Bookmark   March 24, 2010 at 9:33AM
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mrs.b_in_wy(5a WY)

Thank you for the information on the forum quirks Anney. It was a new one on me.

Agrigirl - Thank you, too, for sharing your great information! I'm glad to know the extras in the Vitamin C pill won't bother the peas.

I'm getting ready to put some pea seeds into their vitamin-enhanced soak. My Vitamin C tablets are 1,000 mg, too. By the time I got done cutting a tablet 8 different ways...well, let's just hope no one starts asking questions about that white powdery substance I left in the pill cutter :)

    Bookmark   March 25, 2010 at 10:51PM
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LOL Mrs. B! I hear you there! That is just too funny! Good luck!

    Bookmark   March 26, 2010 at 12:18AM
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