Seed Germination - The Deno Method
Developed by Dr. Norman Deno, this method
advocates putting seeds between folded paper towels
moistened with a solution of gibberellins (MegaGro)
as a means of germinating difficult seeds. The paper
towels are put into plastic bags and kept at temperatures
of 40 degrees F or 70 degrees F, or alternating cycles
of twelve weeks at these temperatures until the seeds
germinated. For full details you can consult Deno's
The exact steps of the Deno method
of seed germination are as follows:
Take a paper towel, any kind will do,
and folded in half 3 times to make a pad about 2 inches
by 4 inches. Open the folded paper towel and cut a 3x3"
piece of polyethylene from a plastic bag. Place the
plastic inside the folded paper towel. Next make a 2
inch by 2 inch piece of paper towel and fold into a
pad 1/2 x 1". Place this second pad, and this is placed
on the polyethylene. The seeds are placed on this inner
pad and the inner pad is moistened with a 1000 ppm solution
of MegaGro. (To Learn How To Make various Seed
Germination Solutions, SEE BELOW) The outer
pad is placed in a plastic bag and provides the humidity
to prevent the inner pad from drying out. The amount
of MegaGro can be varied as well as the time of exposure.
The seeds can be germinated directly on the pad and
removed as soon as they sprout to avoid overexposure.
If that seems overly complex, try something
simpler. Moisten a paper towel with a 1000 ppm solution
of MegaGro. Make sure it's moist, but not wet. Fold
the paper towel in half and then half again. Place seeds
inside the folded paper towel and place in a plastic
baggie. Set aside in a cool dark place. Seed
Germination is that simple!
Seed Germination - Mixing Special Concentrations
The MegaGro concentrate will create a
10 ppm solution for each capful that is added to 32
oz of water. To create a stronger solution, simply add
more capfuls to the same amount of water or reduce the
amount of water.
The table below outlines some basic
values for seed germination.
Many people use 1000ppm for everything,
but this may be too strong for many seeds. Experts report
that 500ppm is a good general solution for most species,
and may limit excessive elongation of seedlings. If
you don't see the results you want with 500 ppm, you
can then try, 1000ppm, 750ppm or 375ppm solutions. The
trick is to experiment to find the solution that will
give the healthiest seedlings per lot with your particular
Seed Germination - Other Seed Germination
Humic acid can also help improve seed
germination. SoilSyrup is a 12% humic acid solution and can help boost
seed germination. You can add SoilSyrup to the solutions
used for seed germination using any of the methods mentioned
To use SoilSyrup as part of your seed germination solution,
simply mix 1 capful of SoilSyrup with 16 oz. of water.
Or for a truly simple way to sprout seeds,
try SpeedSprout. It's a great educational tool and kids can
actually observe the seeds sprouting.
MegaGro Quick-Start Seed Germination
MegaGro is incredibly easy to use. If
you want to get started right away, you can simply follow
these seed germination instructions.
Buy MegaGro Concentrate
Soak seeds overnight in a solution
Plant like any other seeds, and watch
them grow. Easy!
To make the 500 ppm solution, simply add
6 capfuls to 4 oz. of water. You don't need much of
the solution to soak your seeds -- just enough for the
seeds to fully swell. You can soak you seeds in anything
from a plastic baggies to a pill bottle or paper cup.
For very small seeds, fold them in a piece of page.
This will make handling them much easier.
Seed Germination - Is MegaGro Natural
Gibberellins, the active ingredient in
MegaGro, are naturally occurring growth hormones. All
plants produce gibberellins during key growth periods
of their life cycle, sprouting from seed, producing
flower buds and producing fruit.
The term "organic" has recently been specifically
defined by the FDA and EPA under the NOP Standards Program,
largely, in part, to clearly identify consumers' foods
grown without the use of pesticides.
This program prohibits the use of the
word organic in any labeling of products, which are
not produced in accordance with The National Organic
Program Act. Under definitions in the act, a substance
is deemed "synthetic" if the "substance is formulated
or manufactured by a chemical process or by a process
that chemically changes a substance extracted from naturally
occurring plant, animal, or mineral sources."
Seed Germination - Resources
One of the best sources of information
on using MegaGro to stimulate seed germination is
Seed Germination, Theory and Practice, available
for $20.00 postpaid worldwide from the author: Dr. Norman
C. Deno, 139 Lenor Dr., State College, PA 16801 USA.
The book is available for $20.00 directly from the author.
It contains a wealth of information on thousands of
species and is a great resource.