As I touched on over the weekend, I’ve started trying to grow plants from seed and I completed the first round of the process this morning before heading off on my bike.
Dwarf wattle seeds that I soaked in boiling water last night were the final group of seeds that can be planted in the winter.
I managed to spread the seeds over a tray and put them in the humidity pod.
Most of the work was finished yesterday after the ride.
The process so far started in September and October of last year (2022) when I collected Australian native plant seeds, mostly from Bunnings.
Managing to get the seeds through Customs in Oz and Japan, the next toughest step was stopping myself from getting over eager and trying to plant them before they were ready.
I did start preparing, mostly by buying plant starter kits, which are lit and heated humidifier pods. They came equipped with diggers, cards and a scoop, all of which I’ve put to use.
Just before Christmas, I put some waratah seeds in the fridge and kept them there for the subsequent six weeks, as advised by the growing instructions.
Some study revealed that I was on the back foot.
Australian native plants often need to be smoked or exposed to boiled water to replicate natural conditions before they germinate.
I didn’t study that until now, so I missed the opportunity to get starter granules or smoke water, either of which aids in the process, and I couldn’t find them for sale in Japan.
But I did learn about pearlite and vermiculite, so I purchased a bag of both and got to work.
First, I sorted the seeds, setting aside those that could be planted in the winter.
In addition to the waratah, the seeds were the dwarf wattle, Australian Christmas tree, red cap gum, honeysuckle banksia, orange banksia, everlastings and one of the two sets of kangaroo paw seeds that I have. I had kangaroo paw growing in Kangaeroo Corner from the outset, but I killed them through overwatering, so I am particularly keen to make a better fist of growing them this time around. Another set will go on a tray of their own in another month or so.
I took turns sowing each of the seeds in a blend of potting mix, pearlite and peat moss, then covered them with vermiculite.
Each time the seed was sown it got a card with the planting date added so I will be able to tell how long it takes to germinate: if they do, indeed, begin to sprout.
They were then laid out in the humidity pods in the spare room.
The humidity pods are exposed to daylight (albeit north-facing), but get pumped up with artificial light overnight.
I’ve never grown anything like this, but am having fun.
In the meantime, I’ll keep checking and updating.