Welcome back to our garden series – starting from the basics. Today we will talk about seed germination and in this case “Do’s for optimal seed germination”.

Did you know? 

For germination to occur, a seed basically needs moisture, oxygen and a favourable temperature

Yes, that’s true. 

Don’t get confused here, germination is completely different from plant growth. Ok, lets continue… All the same, the presence or absence of light influences dormancy of seeds.

Now am getting deeper here but don’t get lost. When nursing your seeds;

Moisture provided should be in a liquid state not vapor (because the seed cannot absorb high amounts of water vapor to keep moisture contents high enough to support the entire germination process. The moisture is usually introduced to the media (eg. Soil, paper, fiber, etc.) in or on which the seeds are planted.

Oxygen is needed for execution of many respiratory activities to supply energy to support germination. Oxygen is naturally abundant and so all things being equal is readily available. Depending on the media of choice, oxygen supply can be limited to the seeds. When the media of choice does not have adequate pores to allow for oxygen movement to the seeds, germination may not occur. E.g. When there is excessive moisture in the soil or media of choice, it can displace oxygen in the pore spaces, thereby reducing the required oxygen threshold for germination. A few kinds of plants such as rice and other aquatic plants can germinate submerged in water, a situation that highly eliminate oxygen.

Favorable temperature is another influential element in seed germination. Some seeds require cool temperatures, while others require warm temperatures and or alternating temperature.

Light/darkness is an environmental factor that can act as a trigger to move seeds out of dormancy for germination to happen. The effect of this factor is seen in some seeds but not all.

Knowing these basics about germination, let’s go over our top 10 DO’S for optimal germination.

  • Clean your seedling trays or containers and tools properly (using vinegar solution or 10% bleach to nine parts water mix), rinsing and drying before use.
  • Use seedling tray, plastic pots or disposable cups for nursing. Seedling trays available here
  • Use a good soil mixture, light and fluffy to nurse your seeds. Click here for a soil mix recipe
  • Get treated seeds from trusted sources that you can engage and get assistance from, should you need it. Click here for some treated seeds.
  • After sowing seeds, cover containers temporarily to maintain high humidity, if you have dehydration problems.
  • Water newly sown seeds (on the ground or in containers) carefully to avoid seeds floating away.
  • Preferably, use containers with drainage holes during nursery. You can also use a sharp object to create your own holes
  • Water seeds with clean room temperature water.
  • Use warmth hardy vegetable seed varieties when sowing seeds in warm climate.
  • Take advantage of the weather and nurse outdoors if you are in a warm climate
  • Consider temperature requirements of seeds before sowing.
  • Take note of your sowing date and germination dates to calculate life cycle and success.
  • Label seeds to better identify them
  • Store leftover seeds in moisture proof bags and store in the fridge to preserve them.
  • Study the reaction of various vegetables to light and darkness to know their dormancy stimulators.

Watch this video to learn more about our germination tips

Which of these tips is your top 2? Let us know in the comments. Also let us know your special techniques for optimal seed germination in the comments below. 

Thank you for staying tune this far.

Contact our support line at +233 (0) 5928 09612 for assistance in all things gardening.

Happy gardening!!

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