Seeds are funny. I often find that the propagation information included with seeds is a bit confusing. Sometimes information is included with the packet and sometimes not. Some of the information is conflicting or vague and I always like to cross check on the internet and in books. In this case the store that sold me these seeds provided excellent information. If you haven't before, I would recommend buying seeds from Twining Vine. I've met the proprietress personally and she's someone who knows a lot about her seed and is very careful regarding collection and storage. Her website also provides some great information about seed saving.
To begin I soaked the seeds for a day and then planted them up in a combination of peat moss and sand.
Large and small peat pots were used as well as plastic containers. I grabbed whatever I had on hand and filled them up. Once filled with the sand and peat combination the soaked seeds were placed on top and pushed just slightly below the surface. The red currant seeds had an extra step of scarification. They were rubbed in my hands with a bit of sand before planting them into the soil.
Along with the currants I also found Beauty Berry seed - Callicarpa bodineri. I checked a few sources on this plant and some texts suggest it will only grow to zone 6 and others state zone 5. After much tooing and frooing between books and websites I finally decided I might as well give it a go. There isn't much seed there anyway so I might as well experiment. I don't actually know what conditions are necessary for germinating Callicarpa so I did the same as the currants. Soaked the seed 24 hours and then tossed them on the growing medium. Working with seeds is a bit art and a bit science and some luck thrown in. We'll see if these seeds have any magic in them.
Both sets of currant seeds require a cold period of stratification for growth. Most sources seem to recommend bagging the seeds and refrigerating them for stratification. However in the past when I've tried this I didn't find the refrigerator cold enough and there wasn't enough air flow. Mold ensued. Recently I noticed Melanie at Northern Gardener putting her seeds outside for the winter and liked that idea. Instead of a plastic bag the seeds have now been set to rest outside on the front porch. Hidden behind a yew the wind hopefully will not blow them away but they'll be chilled to the bone for the next 3 months. Sometime in say April I'll pull them out and set them to warm on a heating mat and see if they germinate.
|Seeds hiding on the front porch|