October 29, 2012

Improving Germination Rates

We just got a report back from Ezra's Organics, an grafted tomato producer in Portland, Oregon. Tomato seedlings treated with John and Bob's had a 60% higher germination rate than those without! Ezra's Organics is the only organic grafted tomato currently on the market. They produce strong, vigorous heirloom, hybrid and open-pollinated varieties with incredible root systems and bountiful, tasty tomatoes. They are applying John and Bob's to their tomato seedlings this year, to see how they perform.

The initial test for 2012 involved adding John and Bob's to the soil mix upon planting. They added Optimize, Maximize and Penetrate to some soil mix, which was then added to either trays or made into soil blocks. They then added some exotic heirlooms, which traditionally have a lower germination rate. Other heirloom seeds were planted in their standard organic potting soil, for comparison. All other conditions in their growing facility were the same: same amount of water and light, same temperature, same attention. When the seeds started to come up, the Ezra's team immediately noticed the difference and, when they did the numbers, they realized that the seeds grown in potting soil with John and Bob's added had a 60% higher germination rate than the ones without! Incredible!


These are fantastic results! The combination of Optimize, Maximize and Penetrate, when applied to the soil, not only improves growth but improves germination! Successful growth from the very beginning! What is it about John and Bob's that helps seeds to germinate?   The beginning of a plant's life is a fragile, tumultuous thing. Every seed carries a small amount of nutrition within its seed coat, usually in the form of carbohydrates (this is what we eat, when we eat seeds like beans). However, this is a very short supply; it's just enough to get the first shoot and root pushed out into the soil. Then the seed must begin getting its food from its environment. Once it has green leaves stretched out above the surface of the soil, it begins to take some of its energy from the soil. But, in that space between sprouting and growing leaves, the plant needs energy from somewhere.   The answer, of course, lies in the soil. The soil feeds the germinated seed so that it can grow its roots down further and its shoot up to the surface, to bring forth leaves into the sunshine. The soil provides the nutrients that begin this most essential life process, where all our food commences. Healthy soil is the key to seed germination. John and Bob's Maximize provides necessary minerals as well as live microbes that increase nutrient availability. Penetrate adds beneficial bacteria that work to keep soil loamy and to release nitrogen into the soil. Optimize conditions the soil and provides nutrition both for the seedling and the beneficial bacteria, so life can be sustained. The complex combination of these products sets seedlings up for a healthy life. John and Bob's will continue to work to build and repair the soil throughout the season, as well, giving a tomato seedling a full season of vital nutrients so that they can grow, flower and produce delicious, flavorful organic tomatoes for your table.