Preliminary preparation of seeds for sowing improves their germination, increases plant resistance to diseases, and also reduces the number of barren flowers. But only if you do it right.
Immediately it should be noted that much depends on what kind of seeds you are going to sow.
If you plant your own seeds, keep in mind that after harvesting, washing and drying, the future planting material maintains good germination when stored in a dry, well-ventilated room with a constant temperature of 1-16 ° C. Just keep in mind that for 1.5-2 months before planting, the seeds should be heated.
Cucumber, zucchini, pumpkin, melon and watermelon seeds can be stored for 5-7 years; cabbage, tomatoes, radishes, turnips - 4-5 years, parsley, dill, sorrel - 2-3 years, celery - up to 2 years.
Now on sale you can find seeds, painted in bright colors. Such seeds are more expensive, but the manufacturer guarantees that they have passed all the stages of preplant preparation. This article is not about them. But if you have collected the seeds yourself or bought them, but the manufacturer does not mention that he prepared them for planting, then do not apply the recommendations below.
Method 1. Warming up
It should be immediately noted that there is no definitive answer to the question about the need for pre-sowing of seeds. After all, many cultures lose their germination during warming up or its deviation from the temperature framework.
When warming up is recommended:
- if you are preparing for planting your own collected seeds;
- if the seeds that you plant were collected in temperate regions;
- when sowing seeds of heat-loving plants (zucchini, cucumbers, pumpkins, squash, beets, tomatoes, etc.), especially if they were kept in the cold;
- if the seeds are "young" (collected in the previous season).
Warming up can be dry and hydrothermal.
Long dry warming seed starts 1.5-2 months before sowing. Seeds are poured into fabric bags, folded into an open cardboard box with a tight bottom and placed in a warm place with a temperature of 20-30 ° C (for example, on a battery). Periodically, bags of seeds need to be turned and shaken. At the same time, monitor the humidity in the room. If it is very dry there, the seeds can lose too much moisture, and their germination will deteriorate.
Dry warming maybe short term (from several hours to several days). Such processing is carried out a few weeks before sowing in an oven or drying cabinet, but it should accurately observe the time and temperature. The seeds of zucchini, cucumbers, squash, pumpkins are kept for 2 hours at a temperature of 60 ° С, and the seeds of tomatoes are kept for a day at a temperature of 80 ° С. stirring occasionally. The temperature should be increased gradually, starting at 20 ° C.
With hydrothermal treatment The set temperature and exposure time are also very important. Seeds of cucumbers, zucchini, pumpkins, squash for 20 minutes, pour water at a temperature of 45 ° C. For seeds of cabbage, radish, turnip, radish, swede, the same time - 20 minutes, water temperature - 45-50 ° C. Seeds of peppers, tomatoes, eggplants are heated for 25 minutes at 50 ° C, while parsley, carrot and beet seeds are heated in hot water (52-53 ° C) for up to 20 minutes.
For this method of preplant seed preparation is convenient to use a thermos.
The heat-treated seeds are cooled for a few minutes in water, then dried.
Method 2. Calibration
This method consists in selecting the best planting material. To do this, inspect the seeds, discard too large, non-standard forms, as well as too small. If you want to get friendly shoots, the seeds should be about the same size.
Large seeds (legumes, zucchini, cucumbers, pumpkins, watermelon) are selected manually.
Seeds of medium size (tomatoes, peppers, radishes, beets, etc.) immerse in 3-5% solution of table salt, mix and leave for 10 minutes. Then remove the sprouted seeds, drain the solution, rinse and dry the remaining planting material.
This method of calibration is not suitable for seeds that were stored in a too dry room for more than a year - they dried out too much, and most likely, most of them will remain on the surface, including a viable one.
Small seeds can be sorted either by the above method, or with the help of an electrified rod, which will attract empty and defective grains.
Method 3. Check for germination
This procedure should be carried out if you plan to sow a large area with one type of seed, or you doubt the timing and proper storage of planting material.
Wrap a small amount of seeds in a cloth or napkin, cover with warm water and leave for 1-2 weeks at a temperature of 23-25 ° С. During this time, the seeds need to constantly moisten. And in the process - to select those that have germinated. So you can roughly calculate the percentage of germination.
Method 4. Disinfection
This is one of the most important stages of seed treatment before planting. You can spend it in several ways.
Soaking in potassium permanganate (potassium permanganate solution). Suitable for all seeds. They should be placed in a dark raspberry solution for 20 minutes, then rinse thoroughly with clean water and dry.
Instead of potassium permanganate, you can immerse the seeds in Fitosporin water solution (4 drops of a liquid preparation per 250 ml of water), or for 1 h. infusion of garlic (30 g of crushed garlic in 1 tbsp of water, to insist day). After this, the seeds must be thoroughly washed and dried.
To disinfect the seed, you can use and purchase funds. Therefore, if you choose this method - carefully read the instructions and follow the recommendations of the manufacturer.
Method 5. Soak
This treatment is carried out immediately before sowing. Soaking promotes faster and more friendly germination of seeds, and also stimulates the growth of young plants. You can soak the seeds simply by immersing them in the solution, or you can use the ozonation method, in which the seeds will be additionally saturated with oxygen.
Planting material can be soaked either in natural (aloe juice, honey solution), or in industrial (Heteroauxin, Epin, Kornevin, etc.) stimulants. This process is called harmonization.
It is also useful to spend a few days before sowing. seed saturation with microelements. To do this, well-infused wood ash (1-2 tablespoons per day, pour 1 liter of water, then strain). It contains about 30 different trace elements useful for plants. You can also use a solution of nitrophoska (1 tsp. Per 1 liter of water) or solutions of liquid stimulants and fertilizers (Bud, Agricola-start, Ideal, Barrier, Barrier, Appin, etc.).
Both of these types of processing can be combined by mixing aloe juice with infusion of wood ash.
Soaking can be carried out from 12 to 24 hours at room temperature.
Method 6. Hardening
After soaking the seeds need to be hardened: packaged in fabric bags and subjected to low temperatures. To do this, it is enough to put the bags in the snow or in the refrigerator for 1-2 days, and then warm them for 1-2 days at room temperature. All this time, do not forget to keep the planting material moist. Landing in the ground produce "from the frost."
If you grow seedlings from seed, then hardening will be required for young shoots. They should also be sent to a room with a temperature of 0-2 ° C for 12-24 hours, and then kept for a day at room temperature. This should be done twice: a few weeks after the germination of the seedlings and just before they are planted in the greenhouse.
As you have already seen, the complex of proposed activities is large, and not every gardener will be able to fully implement it. Therefore, below we offer a compressed scheme of preseeding preparation of seeds of the most popular vegetables.
Preparing Tomato Seeds for Sowing
First of all, tomato seeds are recommended to rub in the palms to get rid of the villi, which prevent nutrients from reaching the seeds.
Next, disinfect the seeds in a solution of potassium permanganate, rinse in clean water and soak in aloe juice for 24 hours. Then you can begin hardening - during the week, first place the seeds for 1-2 days in the cold, alternate with 1-2 days in the heat. After processing, you can begin to sow.
Similarly, preparations are made for planting seeds of pepper and eggplants.
Preparation of seeds of cucumbers, zucchini and pumpkins for planting
The best yields are from three year old seeds. If necessary, the seeds are heated and disinfected by the above methods.
Then they are packaged in bags of natural material and immersed in a nutrient solution for 12 hours, then washed and put for swelling on a wet gauze or cloth at 23 ° C for 1-2 days.
At this time, the seeds need to be carefully monitored so that they do not sprout, but only slightly bite. At the end of the germination planting material is kept in the refrigerator for 2-3 days, then immediately sown in the ground.
Preparation of carrot, cabbage, beet and onion seeds for planting
The seeds of these plants differ in a rather long period of germination. Therefore, the whole complex of preplant preparation will be aimed, inter alia, at its reduction.
Carrot seeds are rich in vegetable oils, which blocks the access of moisture to the germ. Therefore, they must first be washed and soaked for 15-20 days, often changing the water.
Cabbage seeds, carrots, beets are calibrated (a sieve can be used), heated and disinfected in a solution of potassium permanganate, and placed in a solution of trace elements before planting for 24 hours, well arranged for seeds and bubbling. Then 3-4 days they are kept on a damp cloth in the refrigerator for quenching and germinated at a temperature of 25-28 ° C. Before sowing, planting material is dried.
Cabbage seeds should be planted depending on the variety and the region in which you live: early varieties and hybrids can be sown from the first decade to the end of March; mid-season - from late March to April 25-28, late - from April to early May.
Preparation of potato seeds for planting
Growing potatoes not from tubers, but from seeds is a very complicated and time consuming process. However, it is a great way to upgrade a degenerate variety. Therefore, it’s still worth tinkering with potato seeds.
In the process you will encounter the following difficulties:
- weakness of the root system of potatoes (only very loose soil or sawdust will be suitable for planting);
- seedlings light-requiring, with a lack of light strongly drawn out;
- seedlings are susceptible to diseases, cultivation will not do without such drugs as Trichodermin, Planriz, black yeast.
Seedlings of potatoes are very fragile, require careful handling, and because of the low germination of seeds they need to be sown with a large stock. Prepare them for planting in the same way as tomato seeds.
Having prepared the seeds for planting, you have already done a lot, but far from everything. Observe crop rotation, monitor the condition of the soil. And we will be happy to help you with practical advice!