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Time wasting experiment soaking snap pea seeds vs. not soaking.

 
Posts: 410
Location: St. George, UT. Zone 8a Dry/arid. 8" of rain in a good year.
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So I soaked a bunch of sugar snap pea seed I saved from last year for three days (about 72 hours).  It was accidental, I meant to soak it for one day, but I got lazy....

Anyway, I planted out a 72 module tray with 30 of the modules with the soaked seed, and the other 42 modules with the bone dry seed.  3 seeds per module.

I thought the soaked seed wouldn't germinate because it had sat in (regular chlorinated tap water) too long.  I didn't see any signs of them sprouting when I put them in the tray.  

I laid the soaked seed on top of the seed starting mix with no covering of mix.  The dry seed I covered with a very thin layer of mix.  I put another tray of seeds on top of the peas so they would have something to push against to send the tap root down.  I gently pulled the peas out (some of the tips broke off the longer ones, but most of them came out pretty easily and undamaged.


I've been watching a lot of Charles Dowding's videos on youtube lately, and he is ridiculously rough with his transplants (pricking them out as he says).  He transplants peas, and beets, and seems to get great results.  I've never seen him prick peas out, but these are at such an early stage I figure why not try.  I've got the time right now.  Only problem is we're supposed to be in the mid 20'sF this next week, so maybe they'll die off.  I'm going to plant a bunch of them in a asparagus bed with a rock wall behind them that soaks up the sun all day.  

A waste of a few hours if nothing else.

Also, although the soaked peas are ahead of the non soaked by a bit.  I'm not quite sure its worth soaking them at this point.  It almost seems like the unsoaked seed would be further ahead if I had planted them when I started soaking the others.

After four days in the tray at about 60F this is what they look like.  The soaked on the left, and the not soaked on the right.

IMG_20200205_085513166.jpg
Day one. Soaked on left, not soaked on right.
Day one. Soaked on left, not soaked on right.
IMG_20200209_094640058.jpg
Day 4, today. Keep in mind, I covered the not soaked with a thin layer of potting mix.
Day 4, today. Keep in mind, I covered the not soaked with a thin layer of potting mix.
IMG_20200209_100514910.jpg
An average growth comparison between the two, with a lot of variations on both sides.
An average growth comparison between the two, with a lot of variations on both sides.
 
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Done that. left seeds in the sprouting jar too long. To take advantage of the roots use a pencil or other dibble tool and make a hole to put the root down in. You can take advantage of the dishes of sprouts you have by using that method to transplant them into larger pots until the weather warms a little.
 
Joshua Bertram
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Location: St. George, UT. Zone 8a Dry/arid. 8" of rain in a good year.
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Hans,

I said screw it, and dumped them all out in a shallow (grave) ditch that was covered very lightly with some potting soil  

Tonight is forecast for mid 30'sF, so they should be okay, but it's forecast for the mid 20's later in the week.

You're right.  I am just being lazy, and it's just an experiment.  

I did plant a dozen or so in a raised bed using a piece of 1/2" threaded rod as a hole poker (same as a pencil but twice/three times the diameterish.

Here's how I "planted" the rest of them.  Basically, I raked a portion of wood chips and leaves away from the rocks, and sprinkled the peas on it.  Then I did cover it with a very shallow (maybe 1/4" max) amount of potting soil.  I did not put the roots into the ground.  

I do not expect them to root, but I hope I am wrong.  :)

Just for fun, and to waste some time.  

I will post pictures of what happens if it's worth while.

Thanks for commenting.
IMG_20200209_110404568.jpg
[Thumbnail for IMG_20200209_110404568.jpg]
Peas just sprinkled on the ground, then covered with a thin layer of used potting mix.
 
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I also love watching Downing's videos....

I often soak seeds, just overnight, before planting. I think with peas you end up with the potential problem of having roots in the air if you let them go too long. But out in my garden the seeds might not get enough moisture over that first day or two, and I like to make sure they'll have enough to go.
 
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I had horrible problems with early pea sowings, I would get perhaps 5% emergence. Then I discovered soaking them, I soak for 12-24hrs and then plant as normal and now I get at least 95% emergence. My only issue is when soaked the peas are too large for my planter, which means I have to sow them by hand. I do around 600ft of peas so that takes quite a while at 1 pea per inch!
 
Joshua Bertram
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Tereza,

Yeah, Charles is awesome.  Very informative videos.  He's a good teacher.



I too almost always soak seeds overnight, but this year I haven't been and and I'm not really seeing much of a difference in the speed of germination.  Everything I'm starting is indoors right now under very controlled settings, and with very good seed starting mix.  Outdoors, where there are more variables, especially moisture, or lack there of, soaking might make a big difference.

I'd really like to see the difference between transplants vs. direct seeded on my tomatoes.  I should try that to see how it goes.  


Happy growing.

 
Joshua Bertram
Posts: 410
Location: St. George, UT. Zone 8a Dry/arid. 8" of rain in a good year.
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So, after a couple of weeks, this is what's happened.

I took my time and planted out a dozen or so of the peas in a raised bed, carefully placing the tap root in a hole and being gentle while handling each one.  They are sprouting up and look healthy.

The others I threw on the ground and buried with a shovel full of old potting soil.  No care was taken with them, and their tap roots were horizontal with the surface of the soil.

Of the two, the one's that were thrown on the ground are bigger, and look healthier!  lol.  It's probably the big "heat sink" rocks behind them that are helping them do better?  Just kind of amusing.

IMG_20200225_171055664_HDR.jpg
Carefully planted peas in organic rich compost.
Carefully planted peas in organic rich compost.
IMG_20200225_171141310_HDR.jpg
Peas thrown on the ground and buried with no care.
Peas thrown on the ground and buried with no care.
 
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