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Guidance…How to improve seed germination rate?

Guidance…How to improve seed germination rate?

Starting seeds at home can be an extremely exciting and enjoyable part of your gardening experience. Growing your own food from seed is quite an amazing process!

Among the most critical stages in the growth of garden vegetables is seed germination. Germination is the process in which a seed grows into a new plant. There are a lot of variables that can come into play during seed germination, and in turn, a lot of things that can go wrong. There are a few simple tricks you can incorporate into your seed starting process that will help you increase your success rate and avoid seed starting disappointments.

Pre-Soak Your Seeds Before Planting:

Plants lie dormant until the seeds detect enough regular moisture to be able to grow. That is why many seeds take a long time to germinate. You can "trick" the seed into opening faster by pre-soaking them in water. Generally most of the seeds presoak in water for 12 hours.

Get the timing right:

The goal with seed starting is to have your seedlings ready to go outside when the weather is favorable. Specifically, it is best to sow seeds or plant saplings at sundown, maybe between 4 to 6 p.m. in the evening. This gives time for the seed or sapling to acclimatize itself before experiencing the heat of the day. Correct timing of both indoor seed sowing and outdoor seeding and transplanting is a crucial part of growing healthy plants. Start seeds too early indoors and your seedlings may be leggy and pot bound by the time outdoor planting time arrives; too late and your harvest will be delayed.

Right containers:

You can start transplant seedlings in almost any type of container, as long as it's at least 2-3" deep and has some drainage holes. Other seeds sow in planter according to the mature growth of plant.

Seed germination is the growth of a plant from seed. Seeds start to germinate when the right factors are achieved.  It gives the dormant seed a sign to start its metabolic activity, resulting in radical (root) and plumule (shoot) to grow.

The process for seed germination as follows:

  1. Sow and water the seeds. The seeds will absorb water and swell up.
  2. Under the right soil temperature, the water activates the seed’s enzymes that stimulate plant growth.
  3. The roots start growing out to access underground water.
  4. Shoots start growing to access the sunlight.
  5. Leaves start growing, and photo morphogenesis starts.

 Factors that play an important role in Seed Germination:

Temperature: For a seed to germinate, it requires a moderate temperature of around 25-30°C. Quite obviously different seeds require different optimum temperatures. There are some seeds which require special requirements either lower or higher temperature between 5 to 40°C. For example, for summer sowing seeds required comparatively low temperature while winter sowing seeds required comparatively high temperature for germination.

Moisture:  Soil Moisture plays an important role in seed germination. It is extremely necessary for the germination of seeds. Some seeds are extremely dry and need to take a considerable amount of water, relative to the dry weight of the seed. So, keep your soil uniformly moist at all germination period.

Air: Aeration of the soil is absolutely necessary for the germination of the seed because oxygen is necessary for the aerobic respiration by which the seeds get the requisite energy for the growth of the embryo. Reduced aeration decrease the germination rate seeds.

Soil: The perfect seed starting mix mustn’t be too high in nutrients, which could harm delicate seedlings. A simple potting mix of compost, coir and perlite gives seeds an excellent start in life. The mix should also hold onto moisture without becoming soggy. Overly wet conditions can rot seeds and encourage fungal diseases such as damping off.

Depth of Sowing: Sow the seeds at a depth of not more than twice or thrice the diameter of the seed itself. Don’t press the seed in too deep. 

Pro tips for successful seeds germination:

  1. Store your seeds in an airtight container in a cool, dry, and dark place.
  2. To further improve the chances of germinating and reduce the time span of the cycle, soak your seeds in water overnight before planting.
  3. Germinate you seeds in a moist potting mix. Moist but not soggy.
  4. Don’t let the soil stay dry for long time keep wetting the topsoil in a controlled manner.
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