We have been trying to keep content current on two blogs. One blog is enough work, two, impossible. Recently, we created a new site at www.superfruitseeds.com. It is both a blog and ecommerce store thanks to the versatility of WordPress. I won’t go into the rationale for this new site here but suffice it to say that we will not be updating this blog. We will keep it up but ask that you visit the Super Fruit Seeds site for the most up to date blogs related to gourmet strawberries and nutraceutical berries.
We recently updated the gourmet strawberry Video Germination Guide. Initially the guide embedded YouTube videos that we created to show the steps we use to germinate strawberry seeds here at The Strawberry Store. This guide will help make you more successful for strawberry germination. For some reason the videos didn’t work any more so that was a good reason to get in there and create links to the videos and expand on some aspects of germination.
We mention seed saving, germination aids and other aspects that we are looking at to improve germination. We will update the guide in the future. In the meantime we will provide updates here on this blog.
While researching strawberry germination I ran across references to the effect of far red light on germination. The reference says that far red light inhibits germination of lettuce but enhances strawberry germination. I filed it in the back of my mind. It was in the file named “How can that be possible?”.
In a recent test, I was looking at a variety of germination aids. I do germination trials in petri dishes. All the petri dishes for the trial was placed under the lights we use to grow indoors. It so happens that we are doing a light test at the same time. We are alternating LED lights with single tube T5’s that have 2700k bulbs (these are REALLY far red, around 1073 nm if my calculations are correct).
Normally I don’t even look at the petri dishes for germinating seeds for 6 or 7 days. After years of experience this is the earliest that I’d expect germ. I do check the dishes to make sure they have not dried out though. Low and behold, I started seeing germination on the 3rd day. Not just one seed here and there, but dozens of seeds from most of the selections (varieties). It then dawned on me about the far red lights. The germination tests had accidentally been exposed to conditions that were not planned out.
Since then more online research has uncovered some pretty interesting info. It seems that most references to the far red spectrum mean around 700+ nm. I have some 4100k T5 bulbs that I’m going to try another germ test, this one with fewer surprises, hopefully.
I will also mention that I allowed the germ tests to finish under these lights. It turns out that almost all selections had excellent germination and that germination was complete in 2 weeks. This is about half the time we allow for these tests. There are always straglers. Not only did the lights affect the onset of germination, it accelerated it. One should not jump to conclusions like this after one trial but I now have enough info to warrant more testing.