I have built myself a simple heated environment to start growing some plants (in the middle of winter). Reading online I was surprised to see that the optimum temperature for germination of nightshades is around 29 degrees c - a lot higher then I had thought (I previously did it at 20 degrees c) - this got me thinking - does anyone have any insights into if temperature fluctuation is beneficial during germination and if so what the ideals are - also, will germinating at cooler temperatures make for a hardier plant - I can't keep them at that temperature once they start growing !)
For specific germination instructions, you'll have to be more specific on plant type.
From the wiki: The family ranges from annual and perennial herbs to vines, lianas, epiphytes, shrubs, and trees, and includes a number of important agricultural crops, medicinal plants, spices, weeds, and ornamentals.
Two pieces of unsolicited advice on starting plants in winter:
- Don't start too early.
- Don't worry too much about root bind (You'll tease the roots (or cut off the bottom half inch) when you plant outside anyway.
As far as making a hardier plant through exposure - generally you don't want to do that to indoor seedlings. As an indoors seedling, the developing root ball is more exposed to the elements than it ever is when the plant sprouts naturally.
Naturally: the soil around the root ball insulates it from temporary, drastic fluctuations in air temperature.
Indoors: the root ball is surrounded by air and has very little insulation.
Grow a strong seedling with ideal conditions, then transplant outside after the last frost. A healthy root ball can weather the weather, and guide the plant to grow to suit conditions.
Depending on the type of Nightshade, there may be some winterizing to do when late autumn comes around. I'm curious as to the species because of the high germination temperature. Is it an edible that germinates through digestion, vine that doesn't sprout until late spring and sleep/creep/leaps - must know.