August 26, 2019

Planting Seeds – Reaping the Most from What You Sow

SeedsWhen you are purchasing seeds from a seed house or manufacturer, there is a risk that some of the seeds, although appearing healthy enough to produce a hardy plant, may in essence not contain enough power and vitality to grow into a strong fertile specimen.

If you save seeds from your own plants, you are able to choose carefully. There are a number of things you must consider when choosing the right seeds that will produce the best plants.

For example, if you were to save the seeds from an aster plant, what things would you look for before deciding? What blossoms should you go with? Remember though that even if a flower does have a fine blossom, it could still be from a weak, straggly plant. You want to look for a plant that is strong, vibrant and healthy. More often than not, what the parent plant looks like, will be how the new seeds will grow as well.

Look for a seed that is sturdy, strong, well shaped and symmetrical. Then if the blossoms are numerous and vibrant, this will be a good choice for a seed. If you find the time, you may want to visit a plant grower or farmer who has expertise in this field. Normally, he will tie a string or ribbon around the plants he is using for the seeds. Inspect the plant carefully, taking note of the points of which he based his decision upon.

In seed selection, choosing not only the largest but the fullest seed is one of the key points in choosing a viable seed that will produce the best plants. Under just the right conditions, these seeds will blossom into healthy strong plants producing more seeds in which you can use for the next batch you grow.

Each little plant must depend for its early growth on the nourishment stored up in the two halves of the seed. The larger the seed you choose, the more nourishment and food will be available for the little plant to feed on as it grows. Once the plants roots have grown to be able to supply food on its on for the rest of the growing plant, the seed must provide enough nourishment for the plants growth. Too small of a seed could result in a plant starving to death and wilting away. The name of the food this seed will provide is called the cotyledon. Most seeds have one or two cotyledons however some plants such as the pines, have several cotyledons.

Another thing to watch out for when buying seeds, is impurity. Seeds are sometimes mixed with other seeds so like them in appearance that it is impossible to detect which ones are which.  Any foreign matter that is mixed with the seeds can cause the seed to become contaminated and lose it’s vitality and ability to grow strong.

The third thing to look out for when choosing seeds, is the viability. We know that seeds which look to the eye to be all right still may not develop at all. Some of the reasons for this are that the seeds may have been picked before they were ripe or mature;  or they may have been frozen, or they may be too old.  Seeds retain their viability or germ developing power, a certain number of years and then are useless. Although, the viability limit varies for different seeds. Learning to harvest and grow your own seeds will enable you to choose only the best and most viable to grow.

The germination percentage of seeds is also a factor to consider when planting. Not only must you know the perfect type of ground to sow your seeds, you must also know how far apart to allow each seed before it will not have the space to grow, and at what times of the year are best for each plant.

You must be prepared that not every seed you plant will grow, even if you have taken all things into consideration. But as time goes by, you will soon find the seeds that have the most viability and strength to make it through and produce strong, healthy plants you can be proud of.

Happy Growing!

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