Seed Saver Training: Episode 1

Stratification and Germination

As a part of the Southern Ontario Seed Strategy (SOSS), this 6-part video series features seed experts and knowledge keepers as they share some of their best practices for seed saving. 

If you are new to native seed saving, these videos will provide an opportunity for you to hear from experts and become inspired to start connecting with native seed. If you are already familiar with native seed saving, these videos may show you more specific tips and tricks to help your current seed practices thrive.


Episode 1: Stratification and Germination

In this episode, Nina Hunt from Kayanase Ecological Restoration and Native Plant Nursery discusses the stratification and germination requirements of native plants and shares different methods for how you can do this at home to help your native plant seeds grow. 

  • 0:38 – What is Stratification? 
  • 2:02 – Requirements for different native plants (scarification) 
  • 3:19 – Example with Wild Columbine seeds 
  • 4:22 – Moisture requirements for stratification 
  • 5:16 – Paper towel method 
  • 6:11 – Method for using other media (e.g., soil mixes) 
  • 7:15 – Germination after stratification period 


What is seed saving?

Seed saving refers to activities that help scale up the protection and expansion of native seed sources. Many experts and professionals practice seed saving activities, such as tending to seed orchards or collecting native seeds. Seed saving is important because one native plant has the potential to produce hundreds or even thousands of seeds, carrying valuable genes into the future, but millions of plants are needed to support a healthy, resilient landscape. 

Working in partnership with native plants, each of us can help safeguard the seeds that are key to a healthy landscape now and for future generations.


Stay tuned in the coming weeks for the following episodes: 

  • Seed Saver Training Episode 2: Water Conservation 
  • Seed Saver Training Episode 3: Soil Building 
  • Seed Saver Training Episode 4: Grassland Seed Collection at the Alderville Black Oak Savanna 
  • Seed Saver Training Episode 5: Tree and Shrub Seed Collection 
  • Seed Saver Training Episode 6: Restoring Relationships to the Land 

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