The nursery is hard at work getting seedlings ready for planting with the first rains - Fall is the big planting season for California natives which are mostly dormant during the warmer Summer months in the wild. Often the first step before sowing carefully collected seeds is some form of pretreatment which mimics conditions in nature that tell the seeds when to germinate.
Light, water, oxygen, and temperature are normally required for germination - and each species has different requirements based on their different adaptations for survival.
Scarification is any method of disrupting a hard seedcoat so that water and oxygen can enter and trigger germination. Faithful Mission Blue Nursery volunteers, Freidel and Alicia, are sanding lupine seeds to let moisture into the seeds' hard coating - something that can be naturally accomplished by fire.
— Iris Clearwater, Stewardship Coordinator