Oct. 22nd, 2017
Growing 11/11 Golden Nugget seeds from Greenpoint Seeds. Some interesting shit with these seeds. A bit of knowledge I picked up last year came in handy today. First, the pics of then ten Golden Nugget rockin' it. This is their growth by day five, counted since the seeds first touched water (Oct. 17th).
Under 8-bulb T5 flourescent, all 6500k @ 5" since sowing.
Ran approx. 72 hours straight (until all 11 had emerged
& received a full day's light together), then switched to 16/8.
I ordered 10 seeds and received 11. Cool. Above are 10 of them, all thriving. Well the 11th is in a struggle for life because of a mix up on the way out of the seed, even though every seed was planted the same way together...
Story Time: Point Down, Crater Up
Seeds which fell with pointy ends were better able and more likely to penetrate soil and nestle into the earth safely all winter; the rounder ones that stayed closer to the surface with less insulation died off to the elements. The crater on the opposite end of the seed is like a rainwater cachement system; seeds with this characteristic were better able to take on water in the spring time and begin life. Therefore, the seeds with a genetic disposition to be shaped pointy on one end and have a crater on the other side were more likely to survive, begin life, and ultimately reproduce. This why modern Cannabis seeds and many other seeds look this way, and why they should be planted pointy-end down, crater-end up. So the story goes.
...the poor thing got confused; up was down; down was up, air was earth; earth was air, light was water; water was light. I came upon the little one with its taproot about 3mm above the soil surface, germinated completely upside down out the wrong side of the seed. At first I thought a cutworm or a snail or slug or some little asshole had chopped its head off before I even got a peak. But none of those insects are anywhere near my gardens (knock sound on e-wood), so that idea fleeted in about a half-second. Looking closely, I could see a white, slight crescent tip emerging from the soil, the top 5-10% of that tip was browning from the overhead lights and air, and I immediately recognized it as a taproot. Dramatic music began. I pulled it out from under the light. My heart throbbed--buh-dum---buh-DUM----BUH-DUM! I reached for my spray bottle and applied an emergency local anesthetic light misting, then yelled for a couple of shishkabob skewers, which my nurse promptly handed me. Then I began work like the fully medicated ER surgeon I was in that moment.
So yeah, I turned it over. Planted it taproot-down, seed (still enclosed in casing) up. A few hours later it shed the shell and I could clearly see two cotyledons. I was relieved. I went on with my life. Tides came and went. Moons passed. Naps and snacks were had.
When I returned, the cotyledons were still closed. Why had they not opened? By now they should have opened and began photosynthesis. Hmm. I considered getting a razor blade or a pin and trying to manually open the still-stuck-together cotyledons. But gardening principle number one is LITFA. So I waited. I observed.
The next day it had still not developed. The cotyledons were still stuck together, only the underside of one visible, completely level with the soil surface and unmoved in over 24 hours. More worrisome was the fact that the very tip of the underside of the one cotyledon which was visible, was beginning to turn brown. I observed and re-evaluated. In quiet, a fact I learned years ago came to my mind:
A seed contains all the energy required to begin life as a seedling. The seed is what supplies this energy. Once the seedling emerges and has light, it has it's own energy source and drops the seed casing. Actually, it's more accurate to say that the seed casing automatically drops after a certain period of time, and that during this period of time it is crucial for the seedling to find light. Because without a source of energy, there is no growth.
So I realized what had happened. Or at least, I formed a narrative which explained all combined observations I had made into one coherent context: The seedling tried to come out the wrong side of the seed casing. When this happened, it severed it's own connection to its seed casing by breaking the tissues connecting it. The timing worked out so that it broke itself right before its cotyledons could open, and with not even a speck of light reaching a single chloroplast of those sealed-away cotyledons, no photosynthesis had occurred in the first 24 hours of life, and thus no growth. The seedling was simply sitting there like a harvested plant, what life it had slowly dwindling away.
So I did something I hate to do. I touched a seedling. I gently touched it and it fell over on its side. It wasn't even in the soil. The entire thing was just two small, immature, stuck-together cotyledons, and one bent, 2cm tap root. It looked like a walking cane, the handle of which were two stuck-together cotyledons. It hadn't moved at all. It was just sitting there, surrounded by moisture, being preserved in a slow death like a clam on ice.
I got a razor blade and a pin. I used the razor blade to make a small, 1mm incision on the side of the cotyledons, just big enough for a pin to enter. I gently inserted the pin, slowly massaging it from right above the meristem, out toward to the leaf tips, slowly prying the cotyledons apart. Now physically forced open, the two leaves were still stuck together in that twisted shape, clinging to each other in a morbid mutual smothering of one another, only now with a very tiny, practically imperceptible air gap between them. I used my fingertips to gently pry the leaves open about 30°, and held them open like that under the light for a couple minutes. Then I let them go, and they curled back into their closed position. But I knew they had received some light energy in that short time, so I just covered the laying-sideways, dried and withered and twisted taproot with a bit of soil, like tucking it in under a blanket, and moistened.
Here it is two days later, very slowly figuring shit out after a traumatic start to life: