To germinate your seeds successfully it is important to know that what is seed germination and what are the factors that affect seed germination
Seed germination is the process where seed can develops and grow into a new plant, as the growth of the embryo from seed to a seedling under the favourable environmental condition is known as seed germination.
Factors affecting germination
- Water: Water starts imbibition and helps to activates enzymes that digest the complex reserve foods of the seed to be used by the embryo. It gives signals to seed to start growing
- Temperature: Temperature affect the germination rate of seed, it is fail to germinate at a very high and low temperature. The ideal temperature for seed germination is 20℃ to 30℃.
- Oxygen: Oxygen is required for every animal and plant cell, once imbibition starts then seed requires oxygen for germination which is called aerobic respiration where the embryo gets energy from food store. Most of the seeds germinate well in air containing oxygen.
- Light: Many seeds respond to light and these seeds are called photoblastic. Some seeds do not require light to initiate germination, but as they develop further, light serves as an essential requirement for the growth of the plant.
- Soil condition: Soil conditions such as water holding capacity, mineral composition and aeration play an important role in seed germination. Soil with sufficient moisture content and important nutrients enhances the rate of germination as well as the further growth of a plant.
- Vitality: Ability of a seed to germinate when provided optimum condition is vitality of the seeds. It is the most important aspects of the seed quality. It is dependent upon its size, stored food and health, etc.
- Viability: Each seed has a period of time within which it can show germination or renewal of growth, with the passage of time a seed looses it power to germinate. Most of the seeds lose their viability within 2-5 years
- Dormancy: The condition of seed in which it is unable to germinate even under the favourable environmental conditions. The main reason behind these conditions is that seed require a period of rest before being capable of germination.
Start growing vegetables and flowers from seeds
Growing plants from seed is a great way to start gardening. With simple equipment and requirements it is easy to grow from seed to harvest. Because each plant has unique seed-starting requirements which are external and internal factors, Seeds such as tomatoes, pepper and marigolds are easy to start indoors and some types of vegetables like beans and squash, are best started outdoors
Steps to Start from Seed to Garden
1. Sowing time
2. Seed container
Almost any type of container is used for seed germination but make sure it is at least 2-3″ deep and have drainage holes. Seed tray is best option for seed germination, To use it, all you need to do is simply fill the tray’s cups with seed starting mix and then plant seeds in it. Seed tray ensures better moisture and nutrient availability for each seed and eliminates the need for multiple plantings.
3. Potting Mix
Do not use soil from your garden or houseplants. Start your seed with potting mix that’s made for growing seedlings which ensure healthy, disease-free seedlings. Before filling moisten the planting mix, fill the containers or seed tray with moist soil and then plant seeds.
4. Planting Seeds
Plant two seeds per single container (seed tray cell) if both germinate snip one and let other to grow, first check the seed packet to see how deep you should plant your seeds because some of large seed need to buried and small seeds can be sprinkled on the soil surface “Sow seeds no deeper than twice their width”. Moisten the newly planted seed with mister and cover with plastic wrap to helps keep moist before germination. After a few days seed will start germination, if you see the first signs of green then remove the plastic wrap.
5. Feed the Seedling
A few days after seed will germinate and form seedling which require nutrients to feed, so feed them regularly with liquid fertilizers (mixed at the rate recommended on the package) until transplant them into the garden.
6. Transplant seedlings into Garden
The first leaf emerge from seed is cotyledon which provide stored food to seedling for a short period of time. The true leaves grow shortly after the cotyledons and helps to feed plant for the rest of life. General rules of thumb are that when seedling has three to four true leaves so it is enough to transplant it into garden.