Here you can download the sowing instruction as PDF-file
Only use cleaned sowing containers and fill them with suitable substrate up to the edge, press briefly so that the soil settles a little and press all around the edges with your thumb. The substrate is now evenly flat. Now the seeds are distributed evenly, with the larger seeds being given more space. Carefully pour the fine seeds out of the bag with a loose swing so that they don't all end up in one place. General sowing instructions Make sure that the seeds are not too deep, as it can take too much effort for the seedlings to reach the surface of the soil. This would result in the seeds dying or renewed dormancy. Although almost all seeds germinate in the dark, the sowing containers should be placed as brightly as possible so that the seedlings realize that there is sufficient light for their growth when they reach the surface of the soil and show their first green color. Keep the substrate evenly moist, never wet. A brief drying out of the substrate can also result in the seedlings dying. Add a small amount of insecticide against fungus gnat larvae and a fungicidal agent to protect against mold to the water. Chinosol (available in every pharmacy) can be used against fungus gnats and other pests when sowing seeds.
For sowing are pot plates and indoor greenhouses suitable with a cover, which is available in different sizes and designs with or without ventilation flaps. However, other containers can also be used, such as yogurt cups, fruit and vegetable peels, etc. It is important that only well-cleaned and disinfected containers are used and that drainage holes are made in the bottom and then covered with glass, cling film or other transparent plastic material to prevent the earth's surface from drying out. A warming plate or a germination box with an adjustable temperature is also helpful. For unheated greenhouses, the temperature can be reached on the heater.
Tip: If the temperature on the heater becomes so high that the soil underneath the container dries out too quickly and the surface of the soil is still moist, we recommend placing a thin Styrofoam plate under the sowing container.
An important factor is the right substrate. When sowing, it should be at room temperature, loose, airy and permeable and have a very low nutrient content. Never use normal potting soil as it contains fertilizer salts and this will damage the tender roots of the seedlings. It should be noted that you should only sow when the substrate has reached temperature. Commercial sowing soil is available from specialist retailers, but with 1/3 sand, perlite or vermiculite should be mixed to achieve good permeability; cactus soil is also suitable. Coconut fiber substrate is also very good for sowing. This substrate is made from the dried fibers of the coconut and is offered in pressed form as briquettes. With the addition of water, one briquette produces a finished amount of substrate of approx. 8 liters. The high structural and fiber strength has excellent water holding capacity and a high air content, which has a positive effect on strong and healthy root growth. Is free of weed seeds and does not shrink when dried out. It can be used as a sole substrate or as an admixture.
Pre-treatments and pre-germination of various species before sowing
In the plant world, fruits that contain seeds have a wide variety of colors, shapes and structures in order to spread them. Many of them have a distinctive hard-shelled and waterproof shell for protection. Germination can only occur if the seeds come into contact with moist elements and heat and/or cold (depending on the genus and species). In order to initiate germination, appropriate pretreatment is necessary to make the seed coat porous and permeable so that moisture can penetrate the surface.
The most common method is to file or roughen with coarse sandpaper or carefully score with a utility knife, being careful not to over- cutis deeply filed or cut. Then pour hot water over it and let it soak for approx. 12-48 hours. A constant temperature can be achieved, for example, over the heater or in a thermos flask. The water should be changed at least once a day. If the seeds are swollen, they must be sown immediately. These seeds must be dried briefly before sowing!
Tip: The larger the seeds, the longer they may have to be soaked
You can also make a solution with potassium nitrate, which can also soften the seed coat. Soak the seeds in it for at least 24 hours. After this procedure, the seeds should be sown immediately. Multiple types of seeds can be soaked at the same time in the same solution, divided into smaller containers. The sowing containers should be prepared at the end of the soaking period. Potassium nitrate causes faster germination in various genera and species when used at 0.2%. To do this, the seeds are soaked for no longer than 24 hours and then rinsed well and sowed immediately.
Tip: The remaining solution can be used to water the sowing substrate!!!
- You take a 3% hydrogen peroxide solution. The seeds are disinfected in this solution for about 20 minutes. The seed coat may change slightly. Then dilute the solution in half with water and soak the seeds in it for another 24 hours. Rinse well before sowing. The solution does not require any temperature. Here too, seeds should be sown immediately.
- Various species of Australian and South African flora (Acacia, Hibbertia, Banksia, Leucospermum, Protea and many others) are dormant and require more specific conditions to stimulate germination. In the natural location, forest and bush fires occur regularly. This effect can be easily reproduced with ' Kirstenbosch Instant Seed Primer' . The Seed Primer solution contains a combination of natural substances that overcome this dormant state and thus stimulate seed germination. A short-term scalding with boiling water or grill ash (1 tablespoon of burnt wood ash from the grill in 100ml of water) also simulates the aforementioned effect.
- The plastic bag method
Take damp sphagnum moss, coarse peat moss or cocohum and squeeze out most of the water. Place a handful or two in the zip-top plastic bag containing the seeds and seal it. If you have previously damaged and soaked the seeds, they should first be dried with a cloth, otherwise they will easily become moldy. The plastic makes it easier to check whether mold or germination has occurred. Never leave the plastic bag in direct sunlight because the temperature inside can become too hot. This method is ideal for pre-germinating, but you can also wait until the roots and stems have developed and then plant in small pots. It works great and saves space!!!
- Large and/or hard-shelled seeds such as Adansonia, Cassia, Erythrina, Strelitzia, Heliconia, bananas and many others always require pre-treatment
- medium to large seeds, such as Adansonia, some Erythrina's, Melia, germinate well if they are not placed deeper than they are thick. For most seeds this is approx. 1-2 cm.
- Light germinators and dust-fine seeds such as Arbutus unedo, Callistemon, Eucalyputus, Melaleuca, etc. are not covered with substrate, but are only lightly pressed and watered from below. To do this, place the sowing container on another surface filled with water and wait until the sowing container is moistened to the surface.
- Flat and winged seeds such as Gyrostemon, Gelsemium, Tabebuia, Tecoma, Tecomaria and many others require no pretreatment and only need to be lightly covered with substrate or just vermiculite. Vermiculite is very translucent and retains moisture longer. In addition, the substrate does not become crusty so easily if it needs to be re-moistened.
- Seeds from fruiting plants with pulp still attached should be thoroughly removed and cleaned. It then makes sense to carry out a brief disinfection with the 3% hydrogen peroxide solution before sowing. Seeds that have already germinated should be excluded.
Tip: Seeds from fruit plants can be pre-germinated very well in a plastic bag with sawdust, vermiculite or coconut fibre. Good results were achieved with Artocarpus, Theobroma, Melicoccus bijuga and many others. But pay attention to the moisture content of the substrate. Melicoccus, for example, requires a moister substrate than Theobroma.
Most tropical and subtropical seeds can cope with a germination temperature of 20-25ºC. Warm house plants such as some types of Palm trees, Heliconias and Nelumbo seeds require higher temperatures to germinate.
These species include woody seeds such as Asimina, Magnolias, Perennials and Climbing plants such as Clematis and require stratification before sowing. Without this stratification, i.e. the seeds require a cold-wet treatment, germination success will be very low or total. Depending on the genus and species, the optimal temperature is between 0 and 5°C and can be outdoors, under glass (cold house) in autumn/winter or in the refrigerator, regardless of the season. The duration of stratification depends on the genus/species and depth of seed dormancy. It is always important to ensure that the substrate never dries out!
Outdoor and greenhouse variant
To do this, the seeds are sown in trays with moistened substrate (coconut fiber or peat-sand mixture or sowing substrate and sand), with large seeds placed in individual pots. When stratifying in the open field, milder winters must be taken into account, as the germination rate may not be very high. Don't lose patience, because germination can take anywhere from 2 weeks to 1-2 years, depending on the genus and species.
Tip: Cover sowings outdoors and in the greenhouse with a layer of vermiculite, small pebbles that are also used in aquariums, for example, to prevent mold, various mosses, etc. from forming a crusty surface.
Large Seeds - To do this, the seeds are sown in trays with moistened substrate (coconut fiber or peat-sand mixture or sowing substrate and sand) and covered with cling film or place the seeds with moistened substrate in freezer bags and close well.
Small and dusty seeds - Fold a paper towel or a piece of kitchen roll and moisten it. Place this dampened cloth in a plastic bag; cut a small rectangle from a dry piece of paper towel; If possible, try to use an untreated cloth. Place the seeds on the rectangle and fold them in half. Place the folded piece on top of the moistened piece inside the bag and seal tightly. At the first sign of germination, remove the sprouted seeds from the bag, place them (carefully pick them up with a toothpick or needle) on top of the moist soil in the prepared sowing container and place them in a warmer, bright place. Cover with translucent material for a day or two, spray those that have no moisture with a fungicide.
Don't forget! It is always important to ensure that the substrate never dries out! During stratification, the trays, containers or freezer bags should be checked at regular intervals. If the first roots appear, they should be sown immediately in prepared cultivation containers and continued to be cultivated in a bright, warmer place.
press the seeds lightly with a flat board or palm. Then water thoroughly with a hand sprayer until everything is moistened. The substrate may only be moderately, but evenly, moist. Re-moistening is actually hardly necessary, but in an emergency only use a hand sprayer. The seeds are then connected to the substrate and begin to swell.
Don't forget: Each variety has a label with name and date. Now the sowing is covered with a cover made of (glass, plastic or transparent film). The shell remains protected from drying out until the seeds emerge. Now place the bowl in its designated place, usually near a heater or on a heating mat. Uniform humidity and temperature are important. Even a brief drying out is enough to damage sensitive seeds. Substrate that is too moist or wet causes the seeds to rot and rot.
A notice: If only a light mist has formed under the cover, the microclimate created is ideal. However, if thick drops have formed under the cover, the humidity is too high and should be ventilated more often, as the substrate can become too wet due to drops falling onto the sowing containers.
Immediately after the first cotyledons appear, uncover the seed containers for a little longer each day, leaving them uncovered at last. Also indoor greenhouses From now on, open the ventilation flaps regularly over a longer period of time and remove the cover after a few days. It only takes a few days and the small plants develop vigorous growth. You should actually keep them 4-5ºC cooler now than when they germinated. Otherwise they will rot and become too long, because compact and stocky plants make the work of pricking out easier.
After 3-5 pairs of leaves appear, separate into small pots. The pots are filled with a lightly fertilized substrate and pricking soil (TKS 2) or the same substrate used for cultivation, filled and a cone-shaped hole pierced in the substrate. Carefully lift out the small plants and place them in the planting hole. The roots should not be curved. Roots that are too long are shortened slightly, which causes them to form more roots. The seedlings should be approx. 1-2 cm above the surface of the soil, this is the distance between the cotyledons and the substrate. Seedlings planted too deep can rot, and those potted too high fall over easily. They are then thoroughly watered with a fine spray and placed in a bright, sunny place. Blazing sun can cause burns. Young plants should be stocky and strong. A too early sowing date in January or early February is not so favorable without additional lighting, as the seedlings often grow too long. When sowing from March, the days are already so bright that all the plants grow happily. So don't sow too early, nature will easily make up for the delay. The plants should also be hardened off little by little with fresh air or with a window slightly open at times. Here too, make sure that there are no drafts and that they are not in direct sunlight. Many plants need to be repotted after a few weeks, but only when the container is well rooted.
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