This week we introduce our second January Pick-Me-Up for 2023, with a focus on seed germination. We actually did something similar last January, with Petri dishes and Jiffy pots, and the goal here is to notice different conditions that can encourage strong germination, start some early plants indoors, and simply enjoy the magic of observing germination unfold right before your eyes. Plus, a good chance to learn about seed germination testing, which is helpful for that box of seeds we all have from seasons gone by!
I had considered doing a different project for this second Pick Me Up, as I didn't want any repeats for 2023. But, as we have been deep into the germination testing process for our own seeds, I can't help but notice the excitement and positive energy we experience each day as we check on our seeds' progress. I have also been thinking about a lesson from my days in a psychology program, in particular from a course called Verbal Psychotherapy. One significant theme in this class was a humanistic perspective on psychology and the teachings of Carl Rogers, who described something called the actualizing tendency. The actualizing tendency is the innate force that compels all organisms toward growth and was famously first described by Rogers using the analogy of a potato that will sprout and grow regardless of having ideal conditions. According to this theory, all organisms naturally move towards "actualizing" (reaching their full potential) but obviously struggle less when the environment is well-aligned with their needs (i.e. once the potato makes it to a nice sunny, summery garden bed).
So, the excitement we've been feeling from our own seed testing process overlapping with my reflections on the actualizing tendency (which is so obviously present in the germinating seeds) align well with the idea of January Pick Me Ups... and the general sense that plants are good therapy. Conditions in January may not be perfect for plant people, but we are nonetheless doing our best and moving in the right direction.
What's included with this Pick-Me-Up?
Two reusable Petri Dishes
Two filter papers to hold moisture round seeds in the Petri dishes
Two 3.5" wood-fibre starter pots
Organic soil for the starter pots
Four kinds of seeds to experiment with (Arugula, Peas, Pink Popcorn & Wheatgrass)
Two wooden plant markers to label seeds started in the pots
No lights or special equipment are required for the observational part of this project and it takes up hardly any space. If you do want to grow plants beyond sprouting size, a bright location is helpful.
Find out more about this January Pick Me Up and see full instructions, here.
The cost for materials is $6.99, which can be ordered here for pickup this Saturday, or Thursday - Saturday of next week.
PS. Feel free to leave a comment on our instructions page for this project... we'd love to hear what you observe!