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Choosing and planting the right seeds

Posted on Sep 13, 2006

It’s is difficult to choose a right seed. A seed may appear perfect from outside but may not be able to produce a plant. So you have to be careful while choosing seeds for your garden. Things can be easier if you save seeds from you own plants. However suppose you are saving aster plant seeds. You should take into account the entire plant and not only the flower. A weak plant may be just able to produce a single bloom. You may think that you will have a number of such plants. But the seeds may not produce the remaining plants.

So that’s the importance of considering the entire plant when selecting seeds. The plant should be strong, sturdy. It should be symmetrical and well shaped. Make sure that it has number of beautiful blossoms. These things should be checked before selecting the seed.

You may see a blossom with a string tied around it in a seedsman’s garden. These blossoms are chosen for seeds. Take a look at the entire plant. This will help you in knowing as why the gardener chose those blossoms.

Size should be also considered when deciding upon the seed. Some seeds are large, some are plump. You should go for the fullest and largest seed. You can see a little plant when you break open a bean or a peanut. This little plant is capable of growing into a big plant in suitable conditions. That’s the reason that you should go for such seeds!

For its nourishment and growth, the little plant initially depends upon the 2 sides of the bean seed. The food is stored for this purpose. Beans are full of goodness and food for the little baby plant. It feeds on the food available in the bean seed. A big seed means a greater amount of food for the plantlet. The little plant will feed on this stored food until its root becomes capable of performing its own work. The little plant may die out if the seed is small and enough food is not available.

This food pantry is known as the cotyledon. It is known as a cotyledon when there’s a single portion and its called cotyledons when there are two. This helps in classifying plants. Some plants like pines have a number of cotyledons. But usually the plants have either one or two cotyledons. Large seeds give rise to strong plantlets. So it’s advisable to go for the large seed.

Impurity is another problem that you may face in selecting the seed. Seeds that appear similar are mixed together. It becomes difficult to differentiate the pure variety from the impure one. Seeds may not be clean. They are mixed with foreign material from which large seeds can be easily discovered. You can pick the seed and clean it. The foreign material is removed. However it’s not the same case with small seeds. It’s difficult to separate and clean them.

Viability of the seed must always be considered. Seeds which look good may not develop into a plant. This is because some seeds are picked before they were mature or ripe. They may be too old or frozen. Seeds remain viable for a number of years and then become useless. The viability period is different for different seeds.

By testing the seeds, we can obtain the germination percentage of seeds. Don’t choose the seed if it’s germination percentage is low. However you can plant such a seed if it is small. The reason for this is that small seeds when planted are sown in drills. An amateur would drop the seeds thickly.  This leads to a large number of seeds being planted. This finally results in close planting due to germination of a large number of seeds. Quantity makes up for the quality.

But let’s take an example of a large seed like corn. Corn seeds are planted far away from each other. In such a case the germination percentage becomes important.

Small seeds with a germination percentage of fifty can be used though it is also a low percentage. The percentage for large seeds like beans is seventy. Low vitality seeds however may not be able to meet the requirements. But you can go ahead with planting the lettuce seeds!

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