The Q&A Archives: salal seed soil

Question: Hi, I have a packet of salal(gaultheria shallon) seeds and need info on how to germinate them. do they need to have any sort of stratification? and what type of soil do I use to start these in, all peat? or peat and sand mix? what amount of sand to peat? and what month is a good month to start these seeds in western washington? thank you

Answer: Gaultheria seeds can be sown in the fall or in the spring. Fall is preferred because the cold weather will break the seed coat and hasten germination; spring sowing is next best. If you can sow the seeds outdoors now, there may still be enough cold weather to hasten germination in the early spring. Sow on the surface of peatmoss and press the seeds down to ensure good soil/seed contact. Keep the seedstarting mix moist but not soggy wet. You can simply place the trays, pots or flats outdoors in a bright but shady spot and check periodically to make sure the soil never dries out. I start my salal seeds in pots beneath hemlock trees. This keeps rainfall from floating the seeds out of the pots, yet allows some moisture and bright light to reach the seeds. Best wishes with your salal!

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