The word "Seed scarification" is not known to everyone. It comes from a Latin word that translates to "scratching". Seed scarification is a process that promotes accelerated seed germination by partially destroying the integrity of the plant's sturdy seed coat, or by creating cracks in the seed coat. In this Bubgo article, we'll cover three Seed scarification treatments you can do yourself at home.
Why Seed scarification
The main purpose is to make the seeds germinate as soon as possible so that the plant starts to bear fruit as soon as possible in time. It is important to remember that the protective layer of the seed should not be completely removed, but should be destroyed or damaged. Otherwise, the germ may die and germination will not occur.
Which Seeds Need Seed Scarification Treatment
The kernels of cherries, plums, almonds, and dates are often treated in this way. For example. In pumpkin crops, germination is fairly quick, but breaking the hard protective layer can speed up the germination process by half.
An interesting exotic plant that has recently become common in the country is the passion fruit. Its seeds also need to be sacrificed. Many shrubs require what we call cultivation preparation. This is the case with the very dense, stone-like seeds of heather.
Raspberries, lime trees, and hawthorn, without Seed scarification treatment, take several years to germinate. It is easy to determine whether a plant needs scarification by simply holding it in your hand and assessing the density of its shell.
Seed Scarification Treatment: Simple and Inexpensive
From the various methods, choose the one you find most acceptable because basically, the only difference is the difficulty of execution, but the point is the same.
Therefore, there are three main types of scarification methods.
1. mechanical method.
2. The chemical method.
3. The heating method.
A. Heating method
Let's start with it because this method or way is more often chosen than the others. As you can see from the name, we will destroy the shell of the seed by using temperature.
First, arm yourself with a container, the size of which should be chosen according to the volume of the planting material. Fill one container with hot water-about 104-122 °F (40-50°C) and the other with ice water (it's okay if you have partially melted ice cubes floating around).
First, place the seeds in a cloth bag. Tie it off and place it in hot water for 20 seconds, then in ice water for 20 seconds, and so on until the shell breaks. If you increase the soaking time to 30 seconds, you can speed up the procedure, but there is a risk that the seeds will burst immediately in the hot water and the germ will be damaged.
After each stroke - hot water, cold water - you need to monitor the results, which is an important condition. Keeping the water at a steady temperature and stable ice is perhaps the hardest part.
Be sure to remove the popped kernels from the bag and place them in another container or bag, and do not put them back in cold or hot water. For the rest, continue this procedure until all or as many as you need have been popped.
Note: By the way, there is another option - hot steaming treatment. This applies to drupe crops. and rose hips. The disadvantage of this method is that it is difficult to implement. Sometimes you do it by putting a kettle on the fire, and when it boils, put the seeds in a bag and keep them in the steam for 30 seconds, periodically checking whether they have burst. But this method is dangerous and you can get burned.
B. Chemical methods
Not everyone knows that there is such a domestic method of Seed scarification, but it is very effective and fast. Just like heat (seasonal changes), it is found in nature: the seeds enter the stomach of birds where they break their shells. Birds are the main dispersers of almost all kinds of plants, such as the cranberry, which sometimes grows in surprising places. It is in the stomachs of birds that the integrity of its seed coat is broken. Rose hips are also actively spread by birds.
Therefore, you will need a container made of glass or ceramic. Pour the seeds into the base and fill it with a solution of hydrochloric or sulfuric acid (3% or less). You can use any other acid you have on hand, but these two are the most effective.
Next, cover the container with glass or film to prevent it from tipping over and let it sit for 10-11 hours (usually overnight), at which point the preparation is complete. All that remains is to drain the liquid, wash the seeds with clean water, and then you can start sowing.
Advantages of the method: relatively simple, nothing to do and no time wasted, just pour the acid in and go to sleep. The disadvantage is that if the shells burst, the acid will penetrate and kill the germs. Only very hard blackberries, rose hips, hawthorn and some other seeds can be done this way without fear. However, if you want to scarify pine or larch seeds, the concentration of acid should be reduced to 2%.
C. Mechanical methods
This is also a very interesting and non-dangerous method, but you should still be careful. Anything at hand can be used to perform the procedure at homes, such as a sharp knife or awl that can be used to try to force open the flap, which is usually successful for peaches, plums, or other similar seeds that are elongated and have distinctive flaps.
Seeds of crops such as rose hips or hawthorn can be attempted by scraping with a wide, coarse file. Just put it down and run it over the seed several times from different sides, thus breaking or destroying the outer shell.
You can try "grinding" the seeds with an ordinary mortar and pestle from your kitchen. Of course, do not apply too much pressure and it is advisable to check the situation regularly, otherwise, you may grind it to powder.
If the seeds are relatively delicate, such as those of Momordica, castor oil, cherries, or carrion, you can put them in a bag filled with pebbles and try to "rub" them between the stones with moderate effort. This usually has good results.
You can try putting blackberry or raspberry seeds between sandpaper and making them Seed scarification by rubbing them against each other. another option: put them in a mayonnaise jar, cover them with a piece of sandpaper instead of a lid, and "stir" them well for about a quarter of an hour. Labor intensive, but effective and not traumatic to humans or plant germ.
Note: Remember that after mechanical Seed scarification, seeds must be soaked in water for 10-11 hours before sowing. Sometimes seeds also germinate before sowing; this is perfectly acceptable.
So, we've explained what Seed scarification treatment is, we've talked about its methods, and now you can choose the most appropriate method and enjoy the results with a variety of crop-friendly germination.
Share which method intrigues you the most? Or have you done Seed scarification treatments before and had positive observations?
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