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How to treat seeds yourself before sowing

Seed producers already offer specially treated seeds, but additional DIY treatments can improve growth, protect plants from disease, and increase their tolerance to cold temperatures. Public news service will tell you how to process the seeds yourself before sowing.

Seed calibration

The first stage of seed treatment is calibration. This process allows you to separate good seed from bad seed. To calibrate seeds, you can use water or a solution of table salt. Water will help remove empty or damaged seeds, and the salt solution will help separate large seeds from small ones. Calibration allows you to obtain uniform seed material, which is most favorable for plant development.

Disinfection (treating) of seeds

To protect against bacterial and fungal infections, it is necessary to disinfect seeds before sowing. Dressing is a mandatory procedure that allows you to destroy pathogens located on the surface of the seeds. For this purpose, special preparations are used that have antiseptic properties. Treated seeds will give plants the opportunity to develop without the stress associated with diseases and increase their resistance to unfavorable conditions.

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Warming up the seeds

Heating the seeds is another treatment that can improve plant growth and yield. However, it is worth noting that this method is not suitable for all crops. Warming up of seeds is carried out in a warm environment, which promotes the activation of metabolic processes inside the seed and stimulates its germination.

Soaking the seeds

Soaking seeds in a moist, warm environment is another way to speed up germination and increase the likelihood of successful germination. Soaking will help stop the state of dormancy and activate metabolic processes in the seed. To do this, you can use standard methods – soaking in water or using special growth stimulants.

Hardening of seeds

Heat-loving plants need to be hardened off before sowing so they can better withstand cold temperatures. Hardening consists of gradually reducing the temperature and moisture content of the seeds over several days. This processing method helps strengthen the plants’ immune system and also stimulates their growth.

Seed stratification

Stratification is a method of seed treatment that speeds up germination and increases the cold resistance of plants. Stratification is often used for plants in which the germination process can be lengthy and take several months. This method is effective for many ornamental and fruit crops, including perennial herbs, shrubs and trees.

The main purpose of stratification is to create conditions close to natural in which seeds undergo a period of “winter sleep” or “passing through winter.” In nature, seeds are placed in the ground and exposed to cold temperatures throughout the winter months, which initiates germination in the spring. Stratification allows you to imitate this process and achieve better germination and plant growth.

1. Select healthy and large seeds that you want to stratify. Select seeds well, removing damaged and defective specimens.

2. Familiarize yourself with the stratification requirements for each plant species, as different species may require different conditions. Usually in the variety information you will find information about whether the seeds need to be stratified and what conditions and period of time they require.

3. Prepare the substrate medium for stratification. Often a mixture of sand and peat is used in equal proportions. You can also use a mixture of perlite and vermiculite or regular garden soil.

4. Moisten the substrate medium to a moisture level that should be sufficient for seed germination, but not excessively soggy. Good humidity should be maintained throughout the entire stratification period.

5. Place the seeds evenly on the surface of the substrate medium. Seeds should be separated from each other to avoid clumping and competition for resources.

6. Cover the seeds with a thin layer of substrate or wrap them in a small bag of substrate. This will help maintain the necessary moisture and prevent dehydration of the seeds.

7. Place the seeds with the substrate in a container or plastic bag. Make sure the container or bag allows air to pass through and retains moisture in the substrate.

8. Move the container with the seeds to the refrigerator or other cool place with a temperature of about 4-10°C. It is important to maintain a stable temperature during stratification.

9. Leave the seeds in the refrigerator for the required period of time, usually indicated in the recommendations for a particular type of plant. This is usually a few weeks, but for some species it can be several months.

10. Check seeds periodically for signs of germination or fungal or bacterial infections. If necessary, you can remove the affected seeds.

11. After stratification is completed, remove the seeds from the refrigerator, let them get used to room temperature and plant them in soil or pots, following the sowing rules for a particular type of plant.

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Scarification of seeds

Seeds with a very dense shell may require scarification for normal germination. This processing method involves mechanically damaging the seed coat to facilitate the penetration of moisture and air. To do this, you can pierce the shell with a needle or gently rub the seeds between abrasive surfaces. Scarification allows you to speed up germination and increase the percentage of plant germination.

 

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