It’s Mrs and Mr Lorax’s anniversary! This year we decided to celebrate by doing something special to mark the occasion, planting medicine. I love the idea of making this a part of our anniversary tradition, so that each year, we can look back and see how we have all grown.
Thank you medicine for your presence in our lives. Help us grow together to create a healthy future for our families.
Sharing our home with medicine is a living adventure. We regularly collect seeds from our mother plants and then sow them whenever a quantity accumulates. The result is that we have several successive rounds of plantings growing under observation. It’s a good way to notice results as they differ from one planting to another. Slight changes in conditions can end up making significant differences in growth. Experimenting with alterations to soil mixes and light intensity can add to our understanding of how to best care for seedlings.
It can take a little time and patience to separate and clean seeds by hand. Usually there are seeds hiding in the fruits that aren’t readily noticeable. Fully deconstructing each dried fruit pod with your fingers pays off in revealing many seeds that might otherwise be discarded.
The actual planting of the seeds is a very straightforward process of simply scattering them across the moistened soil surface. More planting information available here.
Next, a thin layer of crushed quartz or clear sand is sprinkled over the seeds. This allows light to stimulate germination while also providing a mulch layer for moisture retention and seedling stability.
We were surprised this year at the rapid growth of a recent seed planting. These seedlings unexpectedly grew at several times the rate of some of our previous plantings, nearly equaling the size of other 9 month old seedlings in just 9 weeks! What made the difference?
We are still in the process of determining which factors contributed to their rapid growth, but it appears that the additions of fine vermiculite and a balanced organic fertilizer to the soil mix played a major role. This, along with optimization of light exposure using small plant lights to supplement ambient natural sunlight seems to have increased the rate of seedling growth. Our goal is not necessarily to speed up growth rates, but primarily to increase overall health and vitality of seedlings in their most delicate stage. One advantage of this optimum growth is that the young seedlings are ready for transferring from germination trays to individual containers much sooner. Once planted into fresh soil, they rapidly stabilize which make them less susceptible to loss from mold and soil pathogens.
Once seedlings are transplanted from germination trays to individual containers they stabilize rapidly and are on track for steady growth. Basically, the quicker this transplant can take place, the higher the overall success rate will be.
Observing medicine growing is visually, spiritually, and educationally rewarding. I will post updates on our anniversary garden progress in the future.
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