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Achenes… to seedlings!

Spring is here! The birds have returned and some plants are finally starting to poke up after a (seemingly) very long winter. Of course, you know what that means! It’s time to get planting!

While many people will take this opportunity to begin growing their garden, here at the Echinacea Project we’re taking the opportunity to… well, grow more echinacea!

We’ve taken this opportunity to do a small experiment on the shelf life of echinacea achenes. We’re germinating 54 heads total, exactly half of which are from 2016, and half from 2017. If their germination rates differ, we’ll being to get an understanding of how long these seeds are viable for. If they don’t differ, well then I guess echinacea achenes last a pretty long time.

For right now, the achenes are going to spend two weeks in the refrigerator in low light to simulate their “winter.” I’m sure many people would also enjoy a 2-week, 40 degree winter.

Expect updates on the growth of these seeds in about two weeks when we pull them out of the fridge and they begin to sprout! It will very exciting!

Suzanne giving some water (and a bit plant hormones) to the seeds

Stayed tuned in to the flog this week for some exciting plugs for this weeks Unearth Festival!

Michael

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