Tag: cold stratification

Gardening Journal – Cold Stratification Update and Starting Lavender from Seed

Last week I popped these babies out of the fridge to plant them, and was surprised to see that one of the lavender varieties sprouted in the bag and grew over an inch in one week! Time to get them out of plastic and into the oven.

Of the four varieties of seed that I cold stratified, only the Hidcote lavender sprouted, and prolifically so. There were 15 visible sprouts in the bag of sand, 27 in the sand/peat moss mixture and just 4 sprouts in the peat moss.

I carefully transplanted them into this seed starting mix. Because this tray is perforated into smaller six packs, I planted like seeds in each section and am removing sections from the oven as the seeds sprout and their care needs change.

A week later, several of my lavender sprouts withered and died. I have 28 seedlings left. I’m struggling to find the right balance of moisture, light and warmth for these tiny guys. Any lavender experts out there? Help a girl out? If I can get a dozen sturdy lavender plants from this batch, I’ll call it a success. Fingers crossed!

The Munstead lavender and both varieties of milkweed have sprouted and are growing well. It’s too early to tell how they will do, but for now they’re all looking strong.

Pa Kettle thinks I’m crazy for tending milkweed because it’s little more than a roadside weed here in SW Virginia. He mows it in his yard and tills it under in his garden. I’m hoping the milkweed attracts pollinators, especially monarch butterflies to our yard.

That’s what is growing in my oven, on the stove and all over the kitchen! Have you started any seedlings yet?

Disclosure: In addition to occasional sponsored posts, Arthurized Home uses clickable affiliate links. That means that I may receive a small commission from sales at no extra charge to you. As always, my opinion is 100% my own, and I only recommend things that I truly love or use myself. Thank you for patronizing the brands that support Arthurized Home!

Copyright 2019-2020 © Arthurized Home – All Rights Reserved. This post is the original content of Arthurized Home. If you’re reading this on another site, it’s unArthurized.

Gardening Journal – Cold Stratification

With Christmas in the rear-view mirror, I’d just as soon go straight to spring and gardening season. Since that won’t happen, I’ll busy myself with a few garden tasks while the snow flies.

This year I’m planting a few types of seeds that benefit from cold stratification. In a nutshell, stratification is subjecting the seeds to cold, moist conditions in order to mimic winter dormancy. This softens up the hard seed coat and when warm temperatures arrive, it signals the seed to open and grow. Some seeds will not germinate (or will germinate very poorly) without it.

Depending on the seed, it could need anywhere from 1-3 months of stratification; this information will be printed on the seed packet. I’m experimenting with two varieties of lavender because it is a good companion plant for nearly everything else in the garden.

I’m also planting milkweed to draw pollinators to the yard. My father-in-law (affectionately known as Pa Kettle) planted milkweed for my mother-in-law so she could collect monarch caterpillars and watch them transform. Each fall, her front porch and dining room table were filled with butterfly cages. She was the cutest little mad scientist! Her middle school students enjoyed watching the process and learning about the life cycle of monarch butterflies.

This is my first attempt at cold stratification, and I’ve read that you can use either peat moss or sand. Being a more-is-more girl, I decided to try each, plus a 1:1 mixture of peat and sand. The process is the same regardless of the medium.

Some articles suggested sterilizing the planting medium so I placed my peat and sand into the oven on the lowest setting for a few hours.

Prepare plastic bags or other containers by writing the seed name and date for removal from cold stratification on the bag.

Now for the fun part! Mix a little water into the peat or sand until you can form it into a ball. The medium should be thoroughly but only slightly dampened. You should not be able to squeeze water out of the mixture. Excess moisture could cause the seeds to mildew or rot.

Mix the seeds into the medium and place into the prepared bags. Pop the bags into the lowest part of your refrigerator and you’re done!

I’ll check on mine occasionally to make sure they haven’t germinated. If some seeds do sprout, I will transfer them to planting trays and keep them in a warm, sunny spot until I can plant them outside.

Have you had any success with cold stratification? Do you have any tips to share? I’m all ears!

Disclosure: In addition to occasional sponsored posts, Arthurized Home uses clickable affiliate links. That means that I may receive a small commission from sales at no extra charge to you. As always, my opinion is 100% my own, and I only recommend things that I truly love or use myself. Thank you for patronizing the brands that support Arthurized Home!

Copyright 2019-2020 © Arthurized Home – All Rights Reserved. This post is the original content of Arthurized Home. If you’re reading this on another site, it’s unArthurized.