Welcome to Word of the Week! Stay tuned for a new word each Friday to amp up your nature vocabulary!
Germinate [JUR-muh-neyt] (verb): When a seed or spore begins to grow and put out shoots after a period of dormancy.
Seeds need the right conditions to germinate and they might have to wait for a pretty long time before those conditions are right. For many plants, spring is a time when much of these ideal conditions start to happen; the showery weather gives them the water they need, and the longer days means there is more daylight and warmth to raise the temperature of both the air and soil.
With that in mind, we are starting to say goodbye to our pinecone birdfeeders and hello to another one of our favourite stewardship activities: seed balls! All that is needed to make this activity come to life is a mixture of soil and clay, some seeds, and a human that cares a lot about nature!
The seeds get carefully wrapped up in the soil and clay mixture, which as been formed into a ball. In doing this, the seeds are essentially 'pre- planted' and are ready to be sown anywhere that is suitable for the species that you are planting. They will remain safe and protected in this mixture until proper conditions for germination are met and the seeds will be ready to sprout.
This activity really embodies the idea that a little can go a long way. Over the years, many rare and sensitive Black Oak Savannah plants have successfully gone up in numbers in certain designated areas of the park thanks to the many participants of this activity and our partnership with the city.