Table of contents:
- When, how and what to sow? Part 1
- Why don't the seeds sprout?
- Are the seeds dry, wet, or sprouted?
- How to best soak and germinate seeds
When, how and what to sow? Part 1
- Why don't the seeds sprout?
Are the seeds dry, wet, or sprouted?
- Dry seeds
- Soaked or sprouted seeds
How to best soak and germinate seeds
- Seed soaking
- Germinating seeds
- Which seeds should not be soaked and germinated?
Why don't the seeds sprout?
Every year I hear from neighbors in the garden that carrots, beets, dill or some other vegetables did not grow well - apparently, the seeds were bad …
Alas, when buying seeds from us, you really cannot be sure that they will be viable, even if you buy them in specialized stores. But nevertheless, this most often concerns imported flower seeds, which are often sold with an expired shelf life, and seeds of the most expensive and some exotic imported vegetable hybrids.
In the overwhelming majority of cases, this does not apply to the seeds of popular popular varieties and hybrids of vegetables for a completely banal reason: they are completely sold out every season, and therefore it is unlikely to buy old (and therefore not viable for many crops) seeds in a specialized store next year.
But there is a whole range of other reasons that lead to the lack of seedlings. Moreover, there are often paradoxes: seed germination is high, but there are no seedlings. And the blame in this case will fall entirely on you. The result will turn out to be very deplorable: you will not get the harvest, because all sowing dates will be missed or you will get it by re-sowing, but with a solid delay, which also does not inspire heroic deeds. I myself have found myself in a similar situation many times, and now I try to avoid the slightest factors that can have a destructive effect on the seeds.
It is especially difficult to get good shoots from seeds that are difficult to germinate or seeds that germinate well only when certain conditions are met. There is no need to look far for examples: carrots and parsley come out worst of all. There may be problems with onion seed germination, because the nigella has an increased need for moisture. Beets grow poorly, because most gardeners sow it with dry seeds, and they differ in that they secrete substances that prevent the emergence of seedlings. And therefore they need to lie in the water, and then they need to be washed well, and the seeds will sprout quickly and amicably. Honestly, the list can be continued for a long time, but I named the main crops that usually do not grow well.
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Are the seeds dry, wet, or sprouted?
Any seed can be planted in three ways: dry, wet or germinated. It's hard to say which way is better. Each has its own advantages and disadvantages, and as a result, the decision about which option to choose will depend on your particular circumstances.
Although for some of the plants, it can be said unequivocally which option is more convenient and profitable in terms of harvesting and saving our time with you. For example, the seeds of plants that sprout very quickly (turnip, radish, radish) do not make much sense to soak. The same applies to very small, dusty seeds. They are always sown dry. It is extremely problematic to soak the seeds of plants that form mucus when soaked, such as basil.
At the same time, slowly germinating seeds (carrots, parsley), seeds that require a lot of moisture (onions, legumes) or have some special specific properties (beets) are best sown wet or germinated. For example, the seeds of an ordinary onion with a lack of moisture can sprout up to a month or not at all, and when soaked, they will hatch on the 3-4th day. Beet seeds, soaked for only 24 hours, and then washed, will sprout in 10 days.
At the same time, in addition to the points listed above, each gardener-gardener may have their own, associated with some personal factors. For example, with a serious problem of thinning carrots. Those who, due to specific circumstances, cannot afford the luxury of thinning carrots in the usual way, are forced to resort to sowing with granular seeds or seeds on paper strips. Both of these options involve sowing only dry seeds. Naturally, there may be some other factors.
Now let's dwell on the advantages and disadvantages of different seed sowing options.
When sowing with dry seeds, the time from sowing to emergence is the longest, because the seeds still need to swell. Therefore, carrots or parsley sown with dry seeds can germinate within a month.
Theoretically (according to agronomists' data) dry seeds can be sown without watering (perhaps in some regions this approach takes place), because dry seeds, even in dry soil, can lie quietly until the first rain. As a matter of fact, this is the only plus (besides convenience) of sowing with dry seeds. But practically in the Urals, this option is completely unrealistic, because Strong spring winds instantly dry the soil, and there is absolutely no hope for rain at this time of year. We can wait for the first normal rain for a month - half the summer will pass. Therefore, sowing with dry seeds is reasonable only for crops that sprout quickly enough. The soil in our conditions must be necessarily moist, both during planting and the entire subsequent period.
Soaked or sprouted seeds
Sowing with wet and germinated seeds always requires watering, both before planting and on all subsequent days. It is imperative to keep the soil moist after sowing, because at the slightest drying out, the germinated seeds die. Naturally, with this method, the seeds germinate faster. This is especially true for germinated seeds. Let's take, for example, all the same carrots. Everyone knows that it is not always possible to get good shoots of carrots with dry sowing. Carrot seeds germinate slowly and often sprout shoots. Planting already germinated seeds gives much better results.
However, wet and germinated seeds are more difficult to sow than dry ones. Simply wetted seeds can, if necessary, quickly dry to flow, and then sow. Sprouted plants have to be sown either by hand, if they are large enough (for example, melons or onions), or (carrots, parsley), placed in a jelly mass. If the seeds are sown to obtain green products, then in some cases (when a certain density of crops is quite acceptable), for example, when sowing dill, lettuce, spinach on early greens, it is more convenient to germinate the seeds in wet sawdust. And then these seeds must be sown directly with sawdust, after slightly mixing them in order to ensure some sowing uniformity. It turns out very quickly, conveniently and efficiently. With such a planting, dill rises in 5-7 days, and this is especially important for early spring crops.
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How to best soak and germinate seeds
The seeds are soaked in ordinary settled or better in melted snow water for about a day and kept at room temperature. If you take snow water, then the snow should be clean, preferably freshly fallen. But in no case should it be melt water from a puddle in a city courtyard (God only knows what can be picked up with such water).
During soaking, the shell of the seed swells, the embryo awakens, it begins to breathe vigorously, its cells divide rapidly, it grows. Here he needs warmth and a lot of air, otherwise he will chill and (or) suffocate from lack of air. Therefore, you need to soak not in a glass, pouring the seeds with a decent amount of water (so the seeds will suffocate and die), but in a wide and flat container, simply placing them in a wet cloth. However, in an apartment, there is a great danger of rapid drying of seeds in the fabric (remember the dry air of our apartments).
Therefore, it is safer and more convenient to place a cloth with seeds on a layer of wet sawdust (or other material that retains water well - cotton wool, synthetic winterizer, etc.), and then set the containers with seeds in a wide plastic bag. The package must be left open. In this case, you do not have to periodically check the degree of their moisture. This means that you will save your time and will not risk seeds, which, at every opportunity, "strive" to die from a variety of reasons. The temperature should be maintained in the region of 20-25 ° С, otherwise the seeds will not bite and germinate for a long time.
It is also safer to germinate seeds in wide, flat containers filled with damp sawdust. There are options here, depending on how you will subsequently sow the seeds:
- or they are scattered directly onto a layer of sawdust and then again covered with a thin layer of wet sawdust; this option is possible if, for example, a sufficiently dense and uneven sowing together with sawdust, or the seeds are large enough and it will not be difficult to remove them from the sawdust before sowing;
- or a layer of fabric is laid on wet sawdust, and seeds are already placed on it; from above, they are covered with another layer of fabric, and preferably not even one; this option is used when the seeds are small and it will be difficult to extract them from the sawdust afterwards.
In any case, these containers are placed in an ajar plastic bag.
You can, of course, germinate simply in the tissue, but then the seeds dry out faster. In addition, when germinating only in cloth bags, the seeds will need to be thoroughly washed every day (directly in the cloth) by placing them under running water.
A very good result is obtained by spraying the seeds with the Epin growth stimulator. And do not forget about the temperature that must be maintained within 20-25 ° C, otherwise the seeds will not bite for a long time and will not germinate.
As soon as the seeds germinate together, you can start planting. If for some reason it is still impossible to do this (meaning carrots, parsley, dill), that's okay, you just need to place the containers with seeds on the bottom shelf of the refrigerator right in a plastic bag (the package should have a small hole). If the seeds are prepared for sowing, and the latter is delayed for any reason, then the germinated seeds are stored in the refrigerator in a wet state in a plastic bag at a temperature of plus 1-4 ° C, preventing them from freezing and drying out. According to foreign scientists, such hardening of germinated seeds not only does not worsen their quality, but contributes to an increase in field germination.
As a rule, germination is carried out until the rootlets of 0.5 cm in length appear in the bulk of the germinated seeds. Single seeds can have roots up to 1.5 cm long.
There is another way of germinating seeds - in aerated water. It is simple and convenient. The seeds are placed in water through which air is passed using an aquarium microcompressor during the entire germination period. The seeds should be well mixed with a stream of air. Preliminary soaking of seeds can be omitted, but water is replaced 10-12 hours after the start of aeration. In aerated water, seed germination is more amicable.
Which seeds should not be soaked and germinated?
Never soak pelleted (granular) seeds, that is, those covered with special artificial casings. In addition, it is not recommended to soak and germinate seeds covered with thin colored shells. In both cases, when such seeds are soaked or germinated, the shell is partially or completely destroyed and all the useful properties of its application are lost.
But due to the fact that a significant part of the seeds I buy is produced only in Holland, and there you practically cannot find seeds without a shell, you have to compromise and still soak or germinate the seeds of a number of crops. The reason is that we have a very short growing season, and it is completely unreasonable to waste a lot of time to get seedlings in the Urals. Therefore, despite the presence of a protective shell, I always soak beet seeds, for example, and germinate carrot and onion seeds. But I definitely soak and germinate them in sawdust. Therefore, it is not required to wash the seeds, and therefore the colored shell is practically not destroyed. I don’t buy granulated seeds of such crops.