As stated in a previous post, tree seeds typically require stratification (held in cold moist conditions for a few months to simulate winter) and scarification (chemical, mechanical or other method to penetrate the protective layer of seed simulating an animals digestive tract).
Detailed in this post is the finding and collecting of persimmon seeds in animal scat at the end of winter. Therefor neither stratification or scarification need simulated!
Here is the experiment. If 5 gardeners are asked what the perfect seed starting mixture is, there will likely be at least 6 answers. All of them may be valid. In terms of starting tree seeds, some resources give basic recipes consisting of various proportions compost, organic matter, peat, soil, vermiculite, perlite etc. Some have even mentioned to place the seed at its recommended depth than to cover it in pure vermiculite or perlite. So all are being used.
Seed starter soil recipe:
The basic recipes are:
Control: 4 parts aged manure/wood shavings compost, 1 part worm castings and 2 parts plain soil.
Group 1: Control recipe plus 2 parts perlite included
Group 2: Group 1 recipe but top layer is entirely perlite
Seed starting trays with 72 cells acquired from walmart for <$6 are the container in which the seeds are planted. All persimmons (Diospyros virginiana) seeds were planted in pairs at a depth of .5 inches.
Control seed cells being filled:
Seeds being covered with .5″ of control soil
Groups 1 and 2 being planted:
Group 1 covered in perlite soil mix while group 2 is covered in pure perlite. The complete tray:
And here is the finished tray:
Little difference in germination rate is desired as the perlite does not occur on the farm. Soil recipes using only what is available on the farm would be ideal from a sustainable perspective.
Tree seeds generally contain enough energy to sprout their first leaves but then rely on photosynthesis to sustain growth for the rest of their life. As soon as anything germinates, the sprouts will move to the seedling tent under intense light then repotted into deep root containers.
Updates will be provided!