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Video: Rules For Preparing For Sowing Seeds Of Vegetable And Green Crops
2023 Author: Sebastian Paterson | [email protected]. Last modified: 2023-05-24 11:24
How I prepare seeds for sowing
During storage, the seeds rest. In them, metabolic processes are slowed down, and in this form they can be for a long time without losing their sowing qualities. This is the so-called shelf life of seeds. Seeds during this period are able to withstand many adverse conditions. The storage period is influenced by the weather and biological conditions of growing seeds, in what phase of maturity they are harvested, how the drying and ripening took place. And, of course, storage conditions also affect.
Usually, the seeds you buy are marked with the expiration date. However, if the bag was opened, and the seeds remained in it from last year, and besides, you do not know how fresh they were, then you will have to check their germination before using for sowing. At the same time, their storage periods may differ from the reference ones, because much here depends on the storage conditions. For example, the standard shelf life of lobelia seeds is 2-3 years, but for me they remained viable for 5 years. It was the same with root celery seeds. These seeds were kept in the refrigerator.
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About the sowing qualities of seeds
They are determined by such indicators as germination and germination energy. Seed germination shows their ability to produce normal seedlings for a certain period of time established for each crop under optimal growing conditions. Germination is defined as the percentage of seeds germinated during this period. Germination energy shows the goodness of seed germination for a certain period - also as a percentage in relation to the number of soaked seeds.
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Determination of seed germination at home
To determine the germination capacity, 50 or 100 seeds are used. Typically, gardeners put damp paper or a cloth on a glass plate and sprinkle the test seeds on it. All this is stuffed into a plastic bag, put in a warm place - 20 … 25 ° С, and for seeds of modern varieties of pepper - 25 … 30 ° С and even more. And wait for the seeds to hatch. Gardeners in most cases are satisfied with the very fact of seed spitting. And in vain, because hatched specimens often do not have enough energy to grow further. Therefore, you need to wait a few more days to ensure that the seeds have sufficient germination energy.
For example, the State Standard establishes the following terms for determining germination and germination energy. Dates are indicated in days, the number of days for determining the germination energy is indicated in brackets.
Cucumbers, pumpkins, rutabagas, turnips - 7 (3);
radish - 6 (3);
cabbage - 8 (3);
zucchini, squash, beans - 10 (3);
peas - 8 (4);
salad - 10 (4);
beets, carrots, tomatoes - 10 (5);
onion - 12 (5);
parsley, eggplant, rhubarb, spinach, dill, parsnip - 14 (7);
pepper - 15 (7);
celery - 18 (8);
asparagus - 21 (10).
At home, it is often necessary to use a smaller number of seeds to determine the germination rate, and the seeds of hybrids are generally available in single quantities. Therefore, to determine the germination rate, you have to randomly sow a few seeds in the ground for germination. If they germinate, then the seeds are viable. Seeds of expensive hybrids are sown to determine germination in advance, a few days before the expected date of sowing a given culture for seedlings, in order to have time to buy new seeds if the sown did not sprout. If they sprout, they grow them further for seedlings.
It is not necessary to determine the germination capacity of newly purchased seeds; the company from which we bought these seeds did it for us.
For germinating seeds, it is better to purchase a special glass container in the store - a Petri dish.
The seeds of many plants contain essential oils in their shell, which inhibit the germination of these plants. These are the seeds of carrots, celery, parsley, fennel, parsnips and others. In this way, these plants have adapted to life in nature. Let's say a seed lies in the ground and is waiting for it to start germinating. It was warm all around, it was raining. It was delighted and released a sprout. But there is no more rain. Everything around has dried up, the seed has died. But with a seed that has been protected by essential oils, such a nuisance will not happen, because it will germinate only when moisture enters the soil for a rather long time, and it flushes the seed from these substances. This will serve as a signal for the seed to start germination.
Usually, gardeners free these seeds from these essential oils before sowing by rinsing them for two to three days in running water. I fill the seeds with very hot water - 60oС, let it brew, drain it after a few hours, pour it again with cooler water - 40oС - and so 3-4 times a day. Then I dry them and sow them. The washed seeds in the beds sprout faster. This is done with the seeds of vegetable crops: carrots, parsley, coriander, fennel, caraway seeds, dill, lofant, parsnips and others.
I slightly automated the rinsing process by setting up a "home system": I pour warm water into a three-liter jar. I put the jar in a basin or other spacious dish. I dip the wick from the bandage into the water in the jar. Outside the jar, I tie a bag with washed seeds to the wick. Water flows down the wick from the jar into the bowl, simultaneously washing the seeds in the bag. The drainage rate can be adjusted by the thickness of the wick. One drop in 10-15 seconds is enough. So that the rinsing process does not stop, you need to add water to the jar as you use it, and hang the bag lower so that the water level is always above the level of the hanging bag. And, of course, you need to drain excess water from the basin so that it does not overflow.
Washing lasts for two days, after which the seeds can be dried to a loose state. That's all. They can already be sown.
Sometimes I also use other seed preparation tactics. I put all the processed seeds in bags made of a double layer of gauze, waffle towels or other permeable fabric, put labels with the name of the variety in them. I bury the bags in the snow in the garden in a place where it does not melt for a long time. When the snow melts, I open the bags, dry the seeds from them a little and sow. At this time, the soil in the beds is already ready for sowing.
About other methods of seed treatment
Before planting, many gardeners treat the seeds with microelements, soaking them in various nutrient solutions and growth stimulants. I've tried it all too. I came to the conclusion that the effect on a small number of plants that I grow is quite ghostly. And these treatments take a lot of time. Therefore, I abandoned all these manipulations with seeds. And everything is growing beautifully.
In the event that the germination energy of valuable seeds has decreased as a result of storage, they can be soaked in solutions of Energen or Zircon and Gumi - according to the instructions for these preparations. Soaking these preparations in solutions accelerates the germination of seeds, which germinate for too long under normal conditions.
About the depth of planting seeds in the soil
It depends on the size of the seeds. Usually the depth is three to four diameters of the seed. If the seeds are buried more, then the seedlings will be rare and weak. If sown smaller, they will suffer from a lack of moisture on the surface. The smallest seeds are not covered with soil at all. They are simply sprayed from a spray bottle, covered with glass or film. In addition, many seeds germinate in the light, such as celery, lobelia, and strawberries. The seeds should be left in the soil as they naturally lay. For example, some gardeners put flat seeds of squash, pumpkin and other crops on the edge. It is believed that this way they will rise faster. Perhaps, they will rise a day earlier, but at the same time they will not shed their "caps", which, having dried in the air, will prevent the plants from developing further. It is better to sow a day earlier.