Seed Starting For Fast and Consistent Germination Rates
What are seeds and how do we best “start” them to ensure consistent germination rates? Why do they sprout when they do?
Understanding the fundamentals of seeds and seed germination allows for designing optimal situations and practices for successful starts for your garden.
Meet Roland. He is Growing Spaces® Growing Dome Gardener extraordinaire. Starting seeds, pulling trays out of trees, and packing our Growing Domes with mature plants all year round. Good work Roland.
Pulling trays out of trees? You’ll see. Watch the video below.
What exactly is a seed?
Here Roland explains a seed is an embryonic plant enclosed in a protective covering, often with a small supply of nutrients to feed the plant in its initial stages of growth.
The plant is alive inside the seed, but its growth is on hold and its metabolism is slowed to a crawl.
The process of germination entails “waking up” the seed.
For a seed to wake back up, or germinate, its metabolism must be reactivated by the right environmental conditions.
Externally, this means the proper range of:
- light or darkness
- presence or absence of particular chemicals
What each particular species or variety needs is closely tied to its natural habitat.
How do we wake them up? For most seeds we start, we can simply place them in the right combination of moisture and air within the right temperature range.
When is it warm enough to plant? Here is a link to our friends over at www.gardeners.com about when it is warm enough to plant along with a table of temperatures for some common garden plants.
Here Roland shows the type of medium he prefers for starting seeds.
His tomato seeds are going into a sterile, dampened mix of coconut coir and perlite and he explains why this is his preferred method.
But where did he get his tray?
I don’t want to give too much away because I want you to watch the video, but here’s a hint.
Roland uses an elevated plastic cover. If the seeds take varying amounts of time to germinate, they have enough room to grow without pressing up against the cover, trapping too much moisture and making them more susceptible to disease.
So, Roland likes to start seeds regularly to always have plants ready to fill in the spot after something is harvested.
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