Good question. I also wonder this. And if you squeeze the berry to get the seeds, do you place each seed in a slightly different spot instead of all in one hole?
My assumption is that placing just the berry in the hole is laziness and will result in a lower chance of success. I've seen guys on the TV shows just put the berry in there, but this kid didn't seem knowledgeable.
I agree on just planting them. Wouldn't there be some nutrients in the berry that will rot in the ground leaving the needed nutrients to boost the seedlings once they do indeed sprout? Or is the berry just a means to attract birds to eat the berry thus spreading the seng's habitat?
Nice to have two per hole anyway in case one don't sprout and if they both sprout one can bet both won't make it to maturity anyway. At least the majority of the time.
You can certainly separate the seeds if you want. I don't think it makes much difference. However, I have heard that the berry itself helps to keep the seeds safe from disease more so than the seeds would be without the berry pulp. On the other hand, the berry pulp decomposes itself and could increase the chances of disease.
However, my experience is that I have incredible germination rates from planting the berries whole.
I prefer to squeeze the seeds from the pulp and plant them in seperate holes. Most berries around here are double seeded, so that method seems to work well for me. I don't like putting more than 1 seed per hole.
Before seed goes into stratification the pulp is removed, so I don't see how it would be biologically any different to squeeze the seeds from the pulp and plant directly in the ground. If you plant 1/2 inch deep the seed should be pretty safe from predation and well protected from other environmental factors.
Sounds like there could be many small variances in how folks are getting the seed in the ground.
I am used to 2 seeds per berry around here as well and sometimes 3 per berry. Anyway, I pop the berries in my mouth. Then I take a stick and make a 1 inch deep grove in the dirt about 3 feet long. Then I spit the seeds out in my hand and plant 1 seed at a time in the grove approx 6 inches apart. I repeat this until all the seeds are planted. Then I cover the seeds with dirt, leaves and sticks, step on it and move on.
On a hot day the juice from the berries is welcome and some say will give you a boost of energy.
On the other hand some say it is good to plant the berry whole as the berry juice/liquid will protect the seed from drying out in years when it is exceptionally dry.
I think the key is to get them 1/2 to 1 inch below the soil surface whichever way the seeds are getting planted.