Picture Snob

April 20, 2010

Cawtaba Corn Seeds are carefully planted to preserve an old variety

I was given some seeds by a friend several years ago which had been last harvested in 1979. The story told me was that they were Cawtaba Indian Corn which had been grown separately in the gardens of a homesteading family since the late 1800's. I gave them to the expert gardener here in town hoping the seeds were still viable and that this was an hierloom variety which could be saved. They are dark blue with chauky white to pale yellow markings.IMG_1311.JPG

The first thing was to soak the seed overnight so that the seed swells. Then it's easy to disgard the seeds that are not viable.

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Once the seeds have been sorted through, we took them to the greenhouse for planting. She bought a good quality potting soil for them.

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She planted the seeds by two different methods. In one flat she poked a hole in the soil with a stick and dropped a seed in each hole.

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The other method was to scatter the seeds on top of the soil and then cover them with more planting soil.

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This flat was left in the greenhouse while the first flat was taken to the house and put on a heating mat in a sunny window.

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So I'm keeping my fingers crossed that these 40 year old seeds will sprout and bear more seeds so that a potential heirloom variety can be saved. At least we have given them the best possible chance.

At Hydrofarm Seedling Heat Mat

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Posted by Marilyn Renaker at April 20, 2010 2:35 AM
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