Sweet Cicely Seed Germination
Answered by: Ginny Cotterill
Question from: Tamara
Posted on: November 24, 2010

Hello, this is a question about starting sweet cicely. I would like to put the seeds in soil in an egg carton (a seed per cup) and then in a plastic bag, and then in the freezer, versus the fridge, which would simulate a winter season. Then in spring I would plant the cups in the garden when it is warm enough. I want to make sure this approach would be successful. I assume it would be because one of your suggestions is to the put the seeds in a special bed in the autumn, outdoors. I don’t want to take this approach because we have been experiencing freeze-thaw cycles these last few winters.

Starting your Sweet Cicely seeds as you stated has its advantages. You can safely carry out the procedure in a freezer without fear of damaging the seeds during stratification, as they are cold hardy to zone 3a ( -40 to -34 degrees Celsius, -40 to -30 degrees Fahrenheit). Using the egg cartons is an excellent way to recycle and reuse them for a wonderful purpose. When you plant the egg carton cups just make sure that the tops are not above ground. They may act as a wick and draw moisture away from the soil within it. Another concern is the timeframe for the egg carton to disintegrate. Hopefully the new plant that emerges will be able to penetrate this barrier with its roots in good time. I would suggest that you use a knife and make a few slits in the bottoms of the cups in order to assist the process. Once planted, keeping the soil moist is vital for seed germination. Monitor the new Sweet Cicely seedlings for water requirements until well established. Good luck with your endeavour!

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