o Byron's World Famous Tea Recipe For Starting Seeds (Entire Thread)

Posted by: Byron 4a/5b NH (My Page) on Tue, Feb 26, 02 at 10:36

I use a weak tea formula. Make a cup of tea, anything that you have. Let it steep for 4 min, then dump it.

Make a second cup with the same bag. Let this steep for 4 min.

Add this to water to make 1 qt.

Place seeds between 2 layers of paper towel on a plate. Moisten towel with tea.

Place in fridge over night.

My germination rate is usually in the high 90% range.

Byron, A couple of questions: Is any kind of tea better than others? Green tea? Instant tea OK? Can I add tea to the starting medium rather than use a paper towel? Do the seeds need to be refrigerated? Does continuing to water with the tea during germination help or hinder? I have some already planted ancho/poblano & rocoto seeds that are being stubborn and wonder if I could add the tea to them now? John

Follow-Up Postings:
RE: Byron's tea for seed starting Posted by: Byron 4a/5b NH (My Page) on Fri, Mar 1, 02 at 12:09 Any tea except instant. Objective of 2nd use tea bag is to get tannins from the tea. I think those are removed from instant. Some folks feel chamomile (sp) helps reduce damp-off (??) Objective of seeds in fridge overnight is to help break dormancy cycle. Just overnight 8 to 12 hours is enough. Never tried adding tea to once planted seeds, it might help.. Byron

RE: Byron's tea for seed starting Posted by: becki3 z5 IN (My Page) on Sat, Mar 2, 02 at 21:01 I started using weak chamomile tea to bottom water my seed trays when I saw some fungus starting to form on top of the soil. It not only got rid of the fungus (instantly), but the seedlings were standing up a little straighter a couple hours later. I have been bottom watering with it ever since, and my seedlings have been growing like crazy. I also use one of those Oil-O-Pump sprayers to mist the seedlings with, also using the weak chamomile tea. Works very well for brand-new seedlings, and my African Violet also loves it! You can find these sprayers in the kitchen stuff dept at Wal-Mart, etc. They are supposed to be for putting cooking oil in if you want to spray it like a cooking spray, but I find it works better for my plants. ;) And yes, I also use a very weak chamomile tea to wet my starting mix when planting seeds. Seems to prevent fungus and damp-off before it begins. And I had some seeds sprout in 1 day after planting using this method! Haven't tried any other kind of tea, but I imagine it would have a similar effect. Besides, I had an awful lot of old chamomile tea bags lying around. ;) Hope this helps, Becki :)

RE: Byron's tea for seed starting Posted by: tantaw 7 Tx (My Page) on Sat, Mar 2, 02 at 23:08 I would just like to echo Becki's thoughts on bottom watering with chamomile tea. I raise a lot of tomatoes and peppers from seed and I always bottom water with a weak chamomile tea solution. I have not had a damping off problem since I started using it. It may be all in my head but I think it works.

RE: Byron's tea for seed starting Posted by: John__ShowMe__USA 5 (My Page) on Sun, Mar 3, 02 at 9:21 I've never had a damping off problem that I was aware of. Granted there can be damp-off beneath the surface that I just didn't know about. Some of my peat pots look like fuzzy little moldy Chia pets. Doesn't seem to hurt the growing plant. I did spray my newly planted seeds with 1 part 3% hydrogen peroxide to 19 parts water. And I could do the same to get rid of the mold if I so choose. What I was trying to accomplish with Byron's tea was to break dormancy, not to kill mold. John

RE: Byron's tea for seed starting Posted by: becki3 z5 IN (My Page) on Mon, Mar 4, 02 at 12:53 "And yes, I also use a very weak chamomile tea to wet my starting mix when planting seeds. Seems to prevent fungus and damp-off before it begins. And I had some seeds sprout in 1 day after planting using this method!" Sorry John, I should have pointed this out. I had 2 yr old tomato seeds sprout the day after I planted them (with 100% germination), using starting medium that had been wetted up with chamomile tea. And I had parsely come up in 5 days with this method, it has always taken me at least a couple weeks before. And I also had some 11 yr old luffa sponge seeds that had been in a starter medium for about a month that I had pretty much given up on. But I decided to start watering them with the chamomile tea, and a couple of them came up a few days later. That one might have been just blind luck, but I was sure the seeds were too old, so either way it was a nice surprise. I have no idea if it was the chamomile or just tea in general that has given me such great luck this year, but I'm not gonna question it, just enjoy it. And I owe it all to Byron, I started doing this after I saw a post of his earlier this year about the paper towel germination method, and I've been busy ever since. Thanks Byron! ;) I hope this helps to answer some questions for you, good luck with your seeds, Becki :)

RE: Byron's tea for seed starting Posted by: Byron 4a/5b NH (My Page) on Thu, Mar 7, 02 at 13:28 John If you wanted to be real cheap, could have asked for a used tea bag in your local coffee shop.. It only takes one to make a qt.

RE: Byron's tea for seed starting Posted by: John__ShowMe__USA 5 (My Page) on Thu, Mar 7, 02 at 15:51 >>If you wanted to be real cheap, could have asked for a used tea bag in your local coffee shop.. It only takes one to make a qt.<< Byron, My local coffee shop charges about $2 just to smell the brew. LOL I'm still waiting for the tea to produce its miracle. It's been 5 days now for the poblanos and 4 days for the bells. John

RE: Byron's tea for seed starting Posted by: becki3 z5 IN (My Page) on Thu, Mar 7, 02 at 19:39 John, I really hope this works for you. I haven't started any of my peppers yet, probably in the next week or so, so I don't know how they respond. But if they don't sprout up in the next few days, is there any chance the seeds could be old? I just planted some green onions a few weeks ago, and didn't have a single seed germinate out of the whole pack, although all the storage onions I planted at the same time came up within a couple days. And I just bought them a few days prior to the first planting! And they were Burpee! The only thing I can think of is I just got a bad pack of seeds. So I'm getting ready to try again with a couple more packs, from 2 different companies. Could something like this have happened with yours? Good luck, Becki :)

RE: Byron's tea for seed starting Posted by: Cindy_7 z6/7 VA (My Page) on Thu, Mar 7, 02 at 21:30 Becki- I started onion seeds on the Feb. 23rd and most were up by the third of March. I did use the chamomile tea mentioned above. I started Super Star from Pinetree, Valencia from Seeds of Change, Sweet Spanish from Better Homes and Gardens, and Leeks, also from BH & G. Out of 64 seeds, about nine did not germinate. I think the tea helped. I will definately use it again. FWIW Cindy

RE: Byron's tea for seed starting Posted by: Byron 4a/5b NH (My Page) on Thu, Mar 7, 02 at 21:57 Folks maybe having old seeds from Burpee this year, They are in Chapt 11, I wouldn't buy a thing from them..

RE: Byron's tea for seed starting Posted by: John__ShowMe__USA 5 (My Page) on Thu, Mar 7, 02 at 22:16 Becki, I've shared seeds & info with Cindy and she knows more than I do. I would try the chamomile tea with your onion seed. Guess that I will have to go to the store again for some chamomile tea. Used to use it years ago when I was all organic. Wonder if it would work mixed with green tea? Probably so. And refrigerate for a day or so too? And why not add a weak Miracle Gro or Peters solution to the mix? What do you think Byron? John

RE: Byron's tea for seed starting Posted by: Byron 4a/5b NH (My Page) on Thu, Mar 7, 02 at 23:14 I won't use fertilizer on my seedlings, I think you do a salt kill. I can't prove it.. Try some both ways and see what happens.. Onion seeds are known for a lower germination rate, some are as low as 50%.. Byron

RE: Byron's tea for seed starting Posted by: John__ShowMe__USA 5 (My Page) on Fri, Mar 8, 02 at 8:24 >>I won't use fertilizer on my seedlings, I think you do a salt kill. I can't prove it.. << But just soaking the seeds in MG or Peters should be OK??? Taking the place of salt petre. I don't fertilize sprouts either, but I am using Jiffy-Mix Plus this year and it contains .09/.05/.09 Thats about as close to nothing as you can get. John

RE: Byron's tea for seed starting Posted by: Cindy_7 z6/7 VA (My Page) on Fri, Mar 8, 02 at 8:36 I forgot to mention, I started my seeds indoors in peat pots with a heating pad (and the tea). Cindy

RE: Byron's tea for seed starting Posted by: becki3 z5 IN (My Page) on Fri, Mar 8, 02 at 9:46 Cindy, I started BH&G onion seeds, southport white, and sweet spanish yellow, and also leeks from Ferry Morse, and they were all up in a couple days. I also have some red onion sets that I haven't tried yet, cheap ones from Lowes. I searched everywhere and couldn't find the seeds locally. Next year I'm just gonna order all my new seeds on line I think. I'm glad the tea worked for you. :) Byron, Thanks for the tip about Burpee! Makes me feel better knowing it probably wasn't me. ;) John, I did try the tea on the last couple sowings from that pack of seeds, but it didn't work. When I dug through the soil to see if anything at all happened, I found all the seeds still there but they were soft and kind of crumbly (rotted), just fell apart when I pinched one between my fingers. YUCK! As far as storing the tea, I usually put the first cup into a gallon jug and fill the rest of the way with water, put the cap on, and set it in the corner somewhere to be used for watering seedlings or wetting up new starting medium. Then the second cup I'll let steep for a long time (read: I forget to pull the bag out). I'll add about a quart of water and use it for whatever I'm doing at the moment, soaking seeds, starting seeds, etc. Any excess from this goes into my houseplants. As for prepackaged fertilizer, I've no clue, never tried it on seeds or seedlings. But I do water my seedlings with old water from my fishtanks, I alternate between that and the tea solution in the jug. And most of my tanks have live plants in them which I have to add aquatic plant food to. But I'm pretty sure by the time I take the water back out, the plant food has been all used up. Either way, it seems to work wonders for all my plants, indoors or out. Probably more info than you wanted to know. ;) Think I'll go get a new tea bag and try my new BH&G green onions now, Becki :)

RE: Byron's tea for seed starting Posted by: Byron 4a/5b NH (My Page) on Fri, Mar 8, 02 at 10:14 Not just Burpee, reports are filtering in from the Totally Tomatoes groups. The Burpee group includes the Martha Stewart seeds. BHG Look on the back you can tell where the seeds came from. In the Northeast most of them on the rack were from Ferry Morse, an old reliable Co. NK seeds does some, They have been around for years. My "bet your life" group is Stokes, Vesey's and Johnny's Don't waste your gastric juices in trying to get your money back from Burpee.

RE: Byron's tea for seed starting Posted by: John__ShowMe__USA 5 (My Page) on Fri, Mar 8, 02 at 10:28 >>Either way, it seems to work wonders for all my plants, indoors or out. Probably more info than you wanted to know. ;)<< Becki, My old seed starting place was underneath a 125 gal aquarium & I watered everything with *fish water*. You can pretty much tell the fertility of the water by the algae growth. Takes some experimenting to get a balanced, healthy system. A pH meter is a must. The use of mulm and tank water for fertilizer can make leafy veggies like lettuce taste fishy. Probably more than you wanted to know. LOL John

RE: Byron's tea for seed starting Posted by: becki3 z5 IN (My Page) on Fri, Mar 8, 02 at 11:05 Byron, Thanks again! I didn't know that about the back of the seed packs. Yup, mine all say Ferry Morse. Cool! And I will make a note of your recomendations for next year. :) John, 125 gal aquarium ! I'm so jealous I'm drooling! My largest one is a 75. But I've got 7 other smaller ones scattered throughout my house. (Went a little overboard!) And boy, I know what you mean about that algae! Got a serious outbreak of hair algae in the big tank that I can't seem to get rid of! Got a whole series of test kits, but can't seem to get a good balance. Waiting now to see if it will break down in the compost pile. LOL

I didn't know that about the leafy veggies, this is my first year as a serious effort growing lettuce, broccolli, etc. I will stop using it on those seedlings. But I sure got some great tomatoes and peppers last year with it! And the Romas and Cayennes both produced so many I couldn't keep up with them. My dad would come to visit and take home "fish water" in empty milk jugs to water his 4 roma tomato plants with. He was harvesting a 3-gallon bucket full every other day from those 4 plants, and begging all the neighbors to take the tomatoes! LOL Becki :)

RE: Byron's tea for seed starting Posted by: Byron 4a/5b NH (My Page) on Fri, Mar 8, 02 at 13:39 Becki If you want to get really cool, There is a Comstock Ferre seed/plant co in Old Weathesfield Conn. Been selling seeds since 1826. Plants since the 1770's Plant leafy veggies as soon as you can work the soil.

RE: Byron's tea for seed starting Posted by: becki3 z5 IN (My Page) on Fri, Mar 8, 02 at 16:29 1770'S......WOW! I figured you could buy seeds back then, the farmers had to start somewhere. But plants? I would have thought everybody would have still had no choice but to start their own. Makes you really appreciate the reliability of a good seed company. I've been hardening off all my leafy stuff all week. And removing the winter mulch from my beds, the soil was 54 degrees this morning, and nice and crumbly as I turned over the top. Problem being, we are supposed to get some pretty nasty thunderstorms over the next couple days so I think I'm gonna cover my beds with plastic and wait till next week. I've also been digging a new bed, and I can tell I've been very lazy all winter, cause boy am I sore! Don't remember being this bad last spring! LOL Wish I would have thought to do an IBM or something last fall, but my garden has grown considerably as I've been cooped up inside all winter. ;) Now, where did I put that Advil? Becki :)

RE: Byron's tea for seed starting Posted by: Shelly_and_Roy z9b Houston TX (My Page) on Sat, Mar 9, 02 at 15:49 So you're saying that fishy water from aquariums is great for plants? How about fishy water from a small backyard pond? Would I need to test it for anything before using it on our tomatoes & such? A bog garden acts as our biological filter, so I know it hasn't been toxic to plants, plus the water lilies went nuts last year so I figure it can't be too bad. I can just see it now: I'm at the pond with a gallon jug and all the fish are begging me to feed them, not understanding that I'm taking some "fertilized" water. :)

RE: Byron's tea for seed starting Posted by: Scribz z5 OH (My Page) on Sat, Mar 9, 02 at 17:59 I've used aquarium water, water from my backyard pond(let), and water from my turtle tank to nourish my plants for a long time. Works great. It seems to contain many micro-nutrients that stimulate good growth in plants. Just don't use aquaria water that has added salt (NaCl). I'm a little skittish about using he turtle tank water on anything I might consume because turtles carry salmonella... by the way, anybody want a couple of fat lazy turtles ??("Frankie"and "Lola") Scribz

RE: Byron's tea for seed starting Posted by: becki3 z5 IN (My Page) on Sat, Mar 9, 02 at 20:18 Yes, by all means. Pond water is great for plants too, and probably contains a little extra nutrients because of stuff falling to the bottom just as it does in nature, like leaves, etc. Kind of like water composting. ;) (Okay, maybe I'm reaching a little there!) The things to watch for with pond or aquarium water is salt as Scribz mentioned, or any kind of water-conditioning chemical. Although I wouldn't worry too much about a dechlorinator, I use a simple one that doesn't do anything else except take out the chlorine and chloramines, no extra additives, and don't think twice about putting this water on my food crops. Also, never use water that has been medicated for sick fish. That stuff can travel! And I'd be a little leary about water from sick fish in general, even un-medicated ones - e Becki :)

RE: Byron's tea for seed starting Posted by: John__ShowMe__USA 5 (My Page) on Sun, Mar 10, 02 at 11:50 Planted a bunch of old Ancho 101 seeds on 2/14. So far none have sprouted. They were slow to germinate last year, but at least some showed up. Soaked a bunch of the same seeds in tea and in the fridge for 12 hours and planted them on 3/02. Many popped up this morning. I'm impressed! Don't know if it was the cold, the tea, or a combination. But, something worked. Both batches were kept at 85F. John

RE: Byron's tea for seed starting Posted by: Byron 4a/5b NH (My Page) on Sun, Mar 10, 02 at 13:33 John Did you try some with MG? IMHO Its the combination, Think about this. In our zone may flower seeds fall to the ground, They do not start growing until the following spring. Sample of cold dormancy to protect the seed.

RE: Byron's tea for seed starting Posted by: becki3 z5 IN (My Page) on Mon, Mar 11, 02 at 8:11 Congrats John! I think Byron's right, probably the combo. Glad it worked! Becki :)

RE: Byron's tea for seed starting Posted by: John__ShowMe__USA 5 (My Page) on Mon, Mar 11, 02 at 8:54 >>Did you try some with MG?<< Byron, Only the Rocoto seeds, not the ancho's. Not sure if I have enough of those old Ancho 101s left to do a proper experiment. Looks like at least 30. The Rocoto seeds were so bad that even though some started a root, only 2 were strong enough to sprout. Although its been over a month the possibility that more may sprout exists. I did the seeds in two batches. One was soaked in MG and refrigerated overnight. There was no significant difference in the 2 batches as far as starting a root. 1 seed in each batch sprouted. The planting dates, rooting dates & sprouting dates were all charted. Since then I've soaked everything in tea so expect any further data is skewed. >>Congrats John!<< Thank you, Becki. John

RE: Byron's tea for seed starting Posted by: Padron4km 8/9 (My Page) on Sat, Mar 16, 02 at 1:16 I'm testing it right now... a little more than a dozen Chilitepin seeds in the fridge, moistened with the only tea we have left in the house (after a particularly bad cold and flu season) Lemon Zinger! :) I'll put some seeds in peat pellets tomorrow, sans tea, and see what happens.... I'll report back j

RE: Byron's tea for seed starting Posted by: Cindy_7 z6/7 VA (My Page) on Sat, Mar 16, 02 at 9:36 I watered the seeds after the soaking with the tea. Really don't know if it helped or hurt, but many came up. I did not keep percentages and probably should have. Any thoughts on this? Cindy

RE: Byron's tea for seed starting Posted by: armadillo Berlin, Germany (My Page) on Wed, Mar 20, 02 at 7:08 Byron, First I would like to thank both you and John for posting/reposting this recipe. I used it on my second batch of seeds I started and it made a tremendous difference in germination time and ratio. Some of the replies to this thread made me wonder about some things so I did a bit of research and would like to report what I found. The antifungal properties of chamomile are very well documented by both clinical and toxicological studies. I was unable to find out how tea promotes germination (I only have phytopharmaceutical literature to search not agricultural) but if it is flavonoids that do it then green tea should be a bit more effective as it has more of these at higher concentrations. If it is the tannins then black tea should be better as they seem to be concentrated by the fermentation process that turns green tea into black. Has anyone ever done a comparison test to see which works better? If the Lemon Zinger that Padron is trying is really effective then this indicates it is the flavinoids as it has no tannins but then it does contain citric acid which may very well soften the seed coat and speed germination by another mechanism. Scribz Are you getting rid of Frankie and Lola because of the salmonella danger or because they are fat and lazy? I have never seen a trim, energetic turtle. :oD Thanks, Armadillo

RE: Byron's tea for seed starting Posted by: Byron 4a/5b NH (My Page) on Thu, Mar 21, 02 at 8:12 Armadillo Best I can tell you is that the tannins help soften the seed coat.. Chamomile would not work in this function.

RE: Byron's tea for seed starting Posted by: armadillo Berlin, Germany (My Page) on Fri, Mar 22, 02 at 1:44 Byron, Yep. That is just what I found by still researching. I was able to confirm that chamomile shold help against damping off but I couldn't find anything in it that would effect seed starting. Thanks, Armadillo

RE: Byron's tea for seed starting Posted by: John__ShowMe__USA 5 (My Page) on Fri, Mar 22, 02 at 11:43

I'm continuing to have success with bad seeds using green tea and refrigerating the seeds first. Am using green tea and steeping a bag in a boiling cup of water. Discarding the brewed tea & making a second cup with the same tea bag. This cup I add water to make one quart weak tea. Store in refrigerator. Cindy, (a couple of posts up) soaked her seeds in tea and continued to spray them if I understand correctly. She reports success too. I'm convinced that the tea helps. Just not sure how much the refrigeration contributes to the success if it does at all. When my seed starting frenzy is over I plan to try an experiment with some seeds that have low or no germination. Am thinking about the following: All seeds to germinate at a controlled 85 Will include: A. seeds soaked in distilled water at room temp for 24 hours B. seeds soaked in distilled water while refrigerated for 24 hours B. seeds soaked in tea while refrigerated for 24 hours C. seeds soaked in tea at room temp for 24 hours Anyone see see something that should be added to this test? Or changed? Only have 15 credits of organic chem & am no whizz at setting up experiments. Would appreciate any help here. John -------------------<

RE: Byron's tea for seed starting Posted by: Byron 4a/5b NH (My Page) on Fri, Mar 22, 02 at 14:09 0 credits in chem.. Instead of distilled water, try potassium nitrate. or in addition. This has been suggested by many.

RE: Byron's tea for seed starting Posted by: armadillo Berlin, Germany (My Page) on Mon, Mar 25, 02 at 8:40 John, You should start some unsoaked seeds as well as the others for control. Be very carefull to treat all the seeds just the same except for what you want to test. Armadillo

RE: Byron's tea for seed starting Posted by: armadillo Berlin, Germany (My Page) on Mon, Mar 25, 02 at 8:41 John, You should start some unsoaked seeds as well as the others for control. Be very carefull to treat all the seeds just the same except for what you want to test. Armadillo

RE: Byron's tea for seed starting Posted by: John__ShowMe__USA 5 (My Page) on Mon, Mar 25, 02 at 11:45 Armadillo writes: >>You should start some unsoaked seeds as well as the others for control. Be very carefull to treat all the seeds just the same except for what you want to test.<< Thanks Armadillo. My list now looks like this: A. seeds soaked in distilled water at room temp for 24 hours B. seeds soaked in distilled water while refrigerated for 24 hours B. seeds soaked in tea while refrigerated for 24 hours C. seeds soaked in tea at room temp for 24 hours D. unsoaked seeds John

RE: Byron's tea for seed starting Posted by: armadillo Berlin, Germany (My Page) on Tue, Mar 26, 02 at 6:51 John, You may want to add another two catagories by trying both green and black tea. A few basics for an accurate test would be (you probably know all this already): All seeds identical (same plant, year, storage, etc.) Each group should have the same number of seeds and the more the better for more accuracy (at least 10 per group, 50 would be better, 100 per group would be great not only to have a more accurate result but it would make the math much easier to figure the results) All other factors a identical as possible (light, temp, substrate, etc.) Always have a control group as well. Keep a detailed record of progress broken down into equal time periods (hourly, daily, weekly or whatever) Actually seeds should be easy to test as they won't fail to show up for examinations, won't get freaked by media reports and drop out of the study, all the factors are objective not subjective and they won't cheat or lie about livestyle questions. Would you please post your results in reasonable detail as I amvery interested. I wanted to do the same test but I could not find enough old seeds. If you are doing it I will print out your results and use for a compairison control if/when I get around to doing the same test. (It is standard test procedure to repeat tests in various location to verify the results.) If you would like any help evaluating the results for statistical significance I will be glad to help. I hope this helps some, Armadillo, who has 0 university level science credits but has spent the last few years translating clinical and pharm/tox studies and expert reports for new drug registrations. P.S. Could someone tell me why my above post appeared twice but this one didn't appear when I first posted it?

RE: Byron's tea for seed starting Posted by: Byron 4a/5b NH (My Page) on Tue, Mar 26, 02 at 11:17 John To stay with some growers of today.. Can you give me a report tomorrow? ;-,)

RE: Byron's tea for seed starting Posted by: Raye 7NC (My Page) on Sat, Apr 20, 02 at 7:14 Does this work only for vegetable seeds or will it work for any type of seed? I am expecting some cacti seed I ordered and I wonder if that would work for them?

RE: Byron's tea for seed starting Posted by: arabesque z10FL (My Page) on Sun, Apr 28, 02 at 0:49 I have been reading the tips for starting seeds using chamomile, green tea, and refrigeration. I am in south Florida and wonder if refrigeration applies in this climate. That is, the plants we grow down here would not be accustomed to chilling out in the winter. Does this make sense to you? I just started 5 seeds for a rare cultivar of a tropical plant. I am told the germination rate is usually 2 plants out of 5 seeds. I naturally would like a higher rate so am going to try the chamomile tea for future moistenings. They normally take 6-8 weeks to germinate. I want to alternate chamomile with green tea waterings. Do any of you see any reason not to use it on tropical plants? If it is the tannins that help dissolve the seedcoat, I can't see that it would be any different but I don't want to jump to an unreasoned conclusion and discover an exception to the rule through trial and error. These were expensive seeds so I am naturally proceeding with caution. Thanks for your thoughts about this! Arabesque in Florida

RE: Byron's tea for seed starting Posted by: zoliene15 z5/6 PA (My Page) on Sun, Apr 28, 02 at 3:33 Arabesque, I'm not certain but I don't think chamomile has the tannins of regular tea since it is an herbal tea. Bryon,and Armadillo, wanted to give an in progress report on a tea/frige treatment applied to some Jamacian Hot Chocolate seeds. One group started on april 12 no treatment. So far 8 popping out of the soil. Treatment group started april 15, so far 1. I wasn't going to compare but I had such crappy germenation with my first patch 5 for 30 seeds!!! (this was using the potassium nitrate soak prior to sowing. Did not soak seeds over night.) As I said hadn't started as an experiment. But I wanted some extra plants (G). All seeds were from the same company but since received at different times could have been from different suppliers in theory. If you like could keep you informed,so you can cut some of the variables. John you forgot a variable- E. unsoaked seeds refrigerated for 24 hours zoliene

RE: Byron's tea for seed starting Posted by: Byron 4a/5b NH (My Page) on Sun, Apr 28, 02 at 10:55 Arabesque, The way I undestand it, it's the tannins in green tea that do the job, Herbal tea's would not have tannins. The frig is to break dormancy cycle. This is part of the life of the seeds. Zoilene If you do 1 night in the fridge and keep the seeds damp in a paper towel, you can see new tomato roots in 48 hours.

RE: Byron's tea for seed starting Posted by: John__ShowMe__USA 5 (My Page) on Sun, Apr 28, 02 at 11:44 >>That is, the plants we grow down here would not be accustomed to chilling out in the winter. Does this make sense to you?<< Arabesque, Yes, that makes sense to me. Don't know why it works, just that it does for some plant species. >>John you forgot a variable- E. unsoaked seeds refrigerated for 24 hours zoliene I wasn't doing an experiment, I was desperate. Out of maybe 60+ Rocoto seeds only one germinated (red). Tried the tea/refrigerator and the few remaining seeds I had sprouted at 6/10 yellow Rocoto and 1/6 orange Rocoto. I think the seeds were old to start with. The orange Rocoto seeds were crumbling at the slightest touch. I ended up with 1 red, 1 orange and 6 yellow out of about 80 seeds. Here's the way I see it... if the seeds are good to start with they don't need any help germinating at all. If they are bad you have a chance with refrigerating and soaking in tea. I had excellent germination with over 30 varieties using no special treatment. A few varieties benefited from special treatment. JohnT

RE: Byron's tea for seed starting Posted by: arabesque z10FL (My Page) on Sun, Apr 28, 02 at 20:56 When I mentioned tannins, was in relation to alternating chamomile with green tea which has tannins. I have also used Pau d'Arco tea, also called Purple LaPacho, for drinking. It is particularly known for its antifungal, antibacterial properties. Has anyone heard of using it on seeds? Is nothing known about chamomile's effect on seeds? I am going to check in some of my herbal literature whether it is considered antifungal, etc. Arabesque

RE: Byron's tea for seed starting Posted by: Byron 4a/5b NH (My Page) on Sun, Apr 28, 02 at 22:06 chamomile tea is touted by some as a method of controling damping off. I don't have a way of testing it, Byron

RE: Byron's tea for seed starting Posted by: arabesque z10FL (My Page) on Thu, May 9, 02 at 0:12 On the mystery of chamomile - Chamomile is used frequently in Chinese traditional medicine nutrition for healing. In Chinese medicine, as you may know, the focus is on restoring energetic balance in the body to treat the constitution, rather than on treating disease per se. From Paul Pitchford's reference book, Healing With Whole Foods, I learned, among other effects chamomile has in the body that, in Chinese medicine nutrition, it is used to dry damp conditions. It is also used to bring energy up and out of stagnancy. That suggests that it could well have some quality that can jump-start a seed. Strangely enough, in another situation, it is used to moisten dryness! This suggests to me that it may work to create balance, or the ideal condition. I felt pleased to learn this about chamomile. It probably doesn't kill fungus, it rather creates a dry condition where fungus can't grow. (This is typical of the way chinese medicine works.) That its effect on a seed is the same, well similar, to the effect in the human body re drying dampness, makes me wonder if its ability to bring energy up and out of stagnancy in the body correlates to seeds coming out of dormancy quickly. There is clearly more to chamomile than meets the eye, more to learn. From several seed pods that I harvested today, I must have a few hundred amaryllis seeds. I am afraid I won't be able to keep up with the maintenance on this quantity of plants but of course the vision of a mass of blooms does work its seduction on me. How long will they be viable? They are in the refrigerator now just in a plastic storage dish, not in tea-soaked paper towels. This seems like a major gardening project! Arabesque

RE: Byron's tea for seed starting, a P.S.
Posted by: arabesque z10FL (My Page) on Thu, May 9, 02 at 0:18 By the way, bottom watering seeds has been mentioned a few times in this thread. How important is bottom watering? Are seed pots left in a tray of water constantly, or simply soaked for a few minutes? Thanks, Arabesque :-)

RE: Byron's tea for seed starting Posted by: Byron 4a/5b NH (My Page) on Thu, May 9, 02 at 10:57 Bottom watering I think is very important from planting to germination so that the seeds will not float away. After the plant is started I don't think it makes a difference.

RE: Byron's tea for seed starting Posted by: NorthEast_ChileMan 6a MA (My Page) on Wed, Jul 17, 02 at 21:41 I'm Replying to this tread so it's not deleted. I think the entire thread be condensed & posted in FAQ's site.

Entered by dwalls

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