Friday, December 4, 2015

eastern gamagrass

it's been a couple of years since i had a stand of eatsern gammagrass ( the last was in the now defunct pgp on campus ) so i purchased one hundred seeds...they don't look like anything so much as little chunks of wood and they behave that way sometimes as well...the package says they will have a germination rate of 18%...experience tells me to expect 10% at best...i took thirty-five of them and placed them in pots of soil/compost mix and watered them the morning i will be putting these pots outside for the duration of the winter to let the cold out there work on breaking the dormancy of these low viability seeds...half of the rest i will stratify in sphagnum moss in the vegetable crisper ( along with the grape seeds already there ) and the rest i will save until spring when i will try to break dormancy with a method mary eubanks from duke university emailed me about a few years ago...i will soak them in a 3% solution of hydrogen peroxide...just like teosinte...except instead of the twenty minute exposure the teosinte gets these stubborn seeds will soak for two hours...then into damp paper towels and into baggies in a dark place to see what ( if anything ) sprouts...they are tough to germinate and start but once established they spread..slowly but relentlessly...they are a perennial, and like all perennials they are colonizers...there really isn't much of any sort of perennial that isn't invasive if you allow it...we'll see what happens as the winter changes to spring...another time consuming project comprised mostly of waiting..stratification tomorrow along with a garden maintenance run.
here's a shot of some gamagrass in all its glory at the pgp in 2014.

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