A Gardener's Trick
Did you know there are two different types of plants that will produce seeds?
One type of plant produces their seeds on the outside where they are exposed, like strawberries. We call these gymnosperms. The other type of plant produces their seeds on the inside and protects them within their fruits, like an apple. We call these angiosperms. When it comes to planting these seeds I always find it fascinating that they know just when it’s their season to start germinating. If you plant to early, they will wait to germinate. If the weather is too hot or cold, the seed will wait.
How does it know? Simply put, God created it that way.
God naturally created seeds to take on harsh weather and conditions. They were first created in the wild where they could even be eaten by an animal and had to survive the acid filled digestive system. He created them in a way that they would naturally know when to start their germination process. Moisture and temperature are the two biggest factors that tell a seed when it is time to germinate. However, all seeds are different. Some seeds have what is called a germination inhibitor that is designed to prevent a seed from starting its germination process. Therefore, this inhibitor needs to be broken down.
How you might ask? By an old gardener’s trick of soaking or lightly scratching the seed.
Some of the things we plant here at the ranch need a little extra help so that we have a better percentage of seed germination. By soaking or scratching our seeds, we break down the natural defenses it has for protection. When we soak the seeds, we are signaling that it is safe to start growing (This also speeds the process of growth). Scratching our seed simply helps the water to penetrate its hard wall that protects the inside.
Next month I will post a lesson on how to soak seeds along with a sprouting activity which is fun to do with kids.