Teas, Elixirs, & Tonics?
Ever struggled getting those tough germinating varieties to sprout? There has been a lot of discussion and antidotes about concoctions people use. Results?? Well, count all the different methods, multiply by two and you have the amount of results.
One method that seems to get good recommendations is “Byron’s World Famous Tea”. It is actually quite simple, and perhaps that is why people like to use it. If it was a bit more complicated, would people still be using it? Who knows!
- To make your tea, steep a tea bag in a cup of hot water for 4 minutes. Remove the tea bag and discard the tea. Steep the same tea bag in a second cup of hot water for another 4 minutes. Remove the tea bag and dilute the tea with water to make a quart of solution.
- Place seeds on a plate between two paper towels and moisten with the weak tea solution.
- Place plate in the refrigerator overnight.
- Plant seeds as you normally would.
Now all your questions??
- What type of tea bag? Well, as usual, there is no one clear choice. Some say it doesn’t matter, some like black tea, some like chamomile tea. One theory is that the tannin in the tea helps soften the seed coat, in which case black tea would provide the most tannin. However, others have claimed that the chamomile tea help prevent fungus and damp-off, and suggest bottom watering the seedlings with this solution as well.
- Why the refrigerator? This is to break the dormancy stage. The transition from the cold fridge to a nice warm seed starting medium make the seeds think, “hey, winter is over”.
- Does it really work? There is obviously no clear answer to this, but some top notch gardeners claim they get a germination rate in the high 90% for their hard starters.
- What should I do? That’s entirely up to you, man has flourished on this planet for many years by just dropping the seed into the ground, but if you would like to better your odds of seed propagation, you might want to consider giving the tea a shot.