Ask a Question forum: which end down when planting Marigold seeds?

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Name: Carl
Topanga Canyon CA 90290 I can
just retired to 1/2 acre in Topanga
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cgrooms
Mar 13, 2016 7:22 PM CST
i would guess the pointy dark colored end? is that right?
Name: Daisy
Reno, Nv (Zone 6b)
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DaisyI
Mar 13, 2016 8:45 PM CST
Its a seed. When the seed falls out of the seed capsule, no end is weighter than the other. Sprinkle - I think the seed will sort it out.
Name: Elaine
South Sarasota, Florida (Zone 9b)
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dyzzypyxxy
Mar 13, 2016 8:56 PM CST
I agree Marigolds pretty much self-sow in my experience, which means the seeds fall on the ground horizontally and manage to germinate anyway. So it really doesn't matter, Carl.
Elaine

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Name: Sandy B.
Ford River, Michigan UP (Zone 4b)
(Zone 4b-maybe 5a)
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Weedwhacker
Mar 14, 2016 7:38 AM CST
I always just lay them down flat... I don't think it makes any difference either. Smiling
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Name: Eric
North Georgia, USA (Zone 7b)
Region: Georgia Garden Ideas: Level 1
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CommonCents
Mar 14, 2016 12:46 PM CST
You're over thinking this.

Direct sow: Drop on soil, cover with about 1/4 inch of soil.

Sow in seed starter trays: Fill tray with "seed starter mix" to within 1/4 to 1/2 inch of top of cells, water mix, drop seed(s) in cells, cover with another 1/4 inch of seed starter mix, lightly water after covering seed.
Name: Rick Corey
Everett WA 98204 (Zone 8a)
Sunset Zone 5. Koppen Csb. Eco 2f
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RickCorey
Mar 14, 2016 5:33 PM CST
I agree with "it doesn't matter" ... unless you only have a FEW marigold seeds, or if you (like me) love to obsess over details. Sowing orientation matters with bulbs, but hardly at all with seeds. (Most seeds?)

I forget which end the baby marigold root emerges from (the radicle).

But that isn't the whole answer, because the radicle in many seeds seems to be pre-programmed to make an 180 degree turn after it emerges.

I'd suggest putting 5-10 seeds into a folded coffee filter inside a baggie. Spritz a little water, then fold the baggie to be partly or mostly closed to hold some humidity.

Wait 5-10 days, until the radicle emerges. Now you know which end of the seed the root comes out of.

But wait another day or two to see what curlicue, if any, the radicle makes before figuring out which way is DOWN.

Now you know how to position a marigold seed so that the seed's baby root is ALREADY pointed down when it finishes whatever twist was programmed into it.

But it still doesn't matter much. It might even prefer the horizontal orientation because then the root is always 90 degrees away from "DOWN", and maybe it "expects" to have to hunt a little bit to find "DOWN".




Name: Sally
central Maryland
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sallyg
Mar 14, 2016 9:35 PM CST
lol RIcCorey, now you're overthinking. Smiling I sprinkle em and press on some soil, a la Weedwhacker.
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Name: Daisy
Reno, Nv (Zone 6b)
Not all who wander are lost
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DaisyI
Mar 14, 2016 11:17 PM CST
Rick, its amazing you ever get anything planted. Rolling on the floor laughing
Name: Sandy B.
Ford River, Michigan UP (Zone 4b)
(Zone 4b-maybe 5a)
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Weedwhacker
Mar 15, 2016 7:49 AM CST
I agree

Rick, I didn't think even you could make planting marigolds sound complicated... they are about the easiest thing in the world to grow! Rolling on the floor laughing nodding
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Name: Eric
North Georgia, USA (Zone 7b)
Region: Georgia Garden Ideas: Level 1
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CommonCents
Mar 15, 2016 9:37 AM CST
RickCorey said:I agree with "it doesn't matter" ... unless you only have a FEW marigold seeds, or if you (like me) love to obsess over details. Sowing orientation matters with bulbs, but hardly at all with seeds. (Most seeds?)

I forget which end the baby marigold root emerges from (the radicle).

But that isn't the whole answer, because the radicle in many seeds seems to be pre-programmed to make an 180 degree turn after it emerges.


Actually, Rick, I'm pretty sure that most seeds have a "survival instinct" for the radical to turn down always, no matter what angle they have to grow through to get to down.

In honor of Pi day yesterday, and because I have some extra marigold seeds, and perhaps too much thyme on my hands, I've started this experiment in the interest of science, and to provide a "final answer" to this perplexing question:

Thumb of 2016-03-15/CommonCents/e0e500

I'll check back in a few days with pictures of the experimental results.
Name: Rick Corey
Everett WA 98204 (Zone 8a)
Sunset Zone 5. Koppen Csb. Eco 2f
I helped beta test the first seed swap Plant and/or Seed Trader Seed Starter Region: Pacific Northwest Photo Contest Winner: 2014 Vegetable Grower
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RickCorey
Mar 15, 2016 12:10 PM CST
Hurray! Hurray! Hurray! Hurray! Thank You! Thank You! Hurray! Hurray! Hurray! Hurray!

Applause to Eric! The scientific method run amok!

And I agree with:
>> Actually, Rick, I'm pretty sure that most seeds have a "survival instinct" for the radical to turn down always, no matter what angle they have to grow through to get to down.

They sure do, because roots (of most plants) always wind up down there in the soil, not climbing up the stems towards the sky. I'm not sure what function the pre-progammed "twist" serves, but I often see a tight U-turn in a radical, even before it turned again to aim down.

Carl's question was "which end up?", not "does it matter much?". Any excuse to get technical is enough for me, and the practical answer had already been given four times. I did research it online for a while, because I recalled someone once answering, like "the root comes out of the non-pointed end but then it turns ..."
Name: Daisy
Reno, Nv (Zone 6b)
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DaisyI
Mar 15, 2016 12:21 PM CST
Roots go down. Stems go up. Its gravity.
Name: Carl
Topanga Canyon CA 90290 I can
just retired to 1/2 acre in Topanga
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cgrooms
Mar 15, 2016 11:05 PM CST
that will be interesting. i know that plants will twist and turn so the roots grow down and the tops grow up. something to do with the pull of gravity maybe? my question was ideal situation for planting individual seeds in a planting tray.

is your picture a top view. with the baggie flat on a table? or with the bag suspended vertically so the seeds are in different orientations to down?
Name: Daisy
Reno, Nv (Zone 6b)
Not all who wander are lost
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DaisyI
Mar 15, 2016 11:18 PM CST
Hmmm.... Good question.

Eric, you're up.
Name: Rick Corey
Everett WA 98204 (Zone 8a)
Sunset Zone 5. Koppen Csb. Eco 2f
I helped beta test the first seed swap Plant and/or Seed Trader Seed Starter Region: Pacific Northwest Photo Contest Winner: 2014 Vegetable Grower
Avid Green Pages Reviewer Garden Ideas: Master Level Garden Sages I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! I helped plan and beta test the plant database. Charter ATP Member
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RickCorey
Mar 16, 2016 11:41 AM CST
Good question, Carl! I was thinking of repeating the experiment with a "pachinko-style" coffee filter, propped up vertically.

Next we have to try this in zero-gravity.

And maybe in a Tilt-a-Whirl. Seriously, what DOroots and shoots do if gravity rotates 90 or 180 degrees after both have picked their direction to grow? My guess is that they twist around to find the new "up" and "down". Gravitropism.

Hmm, and just HOW MUCH gravity do plants need to know up from down? That would matter in a space colony on the Moon or Mars. My guess is that asteroids DON'T produce enough gravity, maybe not even Ceres.

We need to test gravitropism in artificial gravity produced by rotation before we can design a space station with a garden or farm. I know that rotating frames of reference really mess up humans' inner ears, but i;'m guessing that plants gravity-trackers are simpler and less likely to be confused by merry-go-round-style gravity.

"Which end down when planting Marigold seeds on Mars?"



I'm glad you brought this up early enough for us to get government funding!
Name: Deborah Pryor
Orangeburg, SC Zone 8a (Zone 8a)
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Deebie
Mar 16, 2016 11:52 AM CST
Hilarious! Rolling on the floor laughing Rolling on the floor laughing Rick, you are a riot. Government funding. You'll have us all spinning in space. Blinking
Name: Rick Corey
Everett WA 98204 (Zone 8a)
Sunset Zone 5. Koppen Csb. Eco 2f
I helped beta test the first seed swap Plant and/or Seed Trader Seed Starter Region: Pacific Northwest Photo Contest Winner: 2014 Vegetable Grower
Avid Green Pages Reviewer Garden Ideas: Master Level Garden Sages I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! I helped plan and beta test the plant database. Charter ATP Member
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RickCorey
Mar 16, 2016 12:00 PM CST
Thank you, and, I wish! When I was young, I really wanted to be able to move to a space colony for retirement.

And "space farms" were a serious interest, spun off from the L5 movement. They came up with an accelerated way to compost organic wastes, involving high pressure, steam and an iron catalyst. I think the rationale for "Why not just a compost heap?" was that they felt they had to move the nutrients as rapidly as possible from "waste" to "fertilizer".

Maybe if they re-designed it toady, they would focus on organic methods, and just optimize those for rapid turn-around.

(Each pound of biomass dedicated to supporting in-orbit agriculture would be hugely expensive if lifted from Earth. The idea of letting tons of waste "just rot slowly" would have tied up enough biomass to feed many people, if it could be rapidly turned back into plant food. But now it's widely thought that productive, organic soil produces better crops, perhaps faster, than hydroponics.)

Name: Eric
North Georgia, USA (Zone 7b)
Region: Georgia Garden Ideas: Level 1
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CommonCents
Mar 16, 2016 5:25 PM CST
DaisyI said:Hmmm.... Good question.

Eric, you're up.


I'm posting from my small tablet, so multiple quotes and cut and paste aren't an option.

My test bag is taped to a wall, so the seeds are at various angles from horizontal or vertical.

Rick, the opening question was, "which end down when planting?" So answers like "doesn't matter" are valid. You're the one who made it about radicles and roots.

Cgrooms, the only way I've never planted a marigold seed is to stick it in the ground like a dart. I just lay them on the sides, the way they land when you drop them on a table or shelf. They grow fine for me that way, even in starter tray cells.
[Last edited by CommonCents - Mar 16, 2016 5:26 PM (+)]
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Name: Rick Corey
Everett WA 98204 (Zone 8a)
Sunset Zone 5. Koppen Csb. Eco 2f
I helped beta test the first seed swap Plant and/or Seed Trader Seed Starter Region: Pacific Northwest Photo Contest Winner: 2014 Vegetable Grower
Avid Green Pages Reviewer Garden Ideas: Master Level Garden Sages I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! I helped plan and beta test the plant database. Charter ATP Member
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RickCorey
Mar 16, 2016 5:57 PM CST
OK.
Name: Daisy
Reno, Nv (Zone 6b)
Not all who wander are lost
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DaisyI
Mar 16, 2016 6:03 PM CST
I have planted them point down - such a handy handle on their back sides. They also grow fine.

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