A good crop can only come from strong, healthy seeds of varieties. That's why in winter, at the beginning of the year, you should check the seeds, check the expiration date, buy interesting new varieties, and make up for any missing seeds. You will learn more about How to Prepare Seeds for Sowing at Home by Bubgo article.
Seeds must be of high sowing quality, starting with their ability to germinate. The survival rate of seeds also depends on their health. All irregular, empty, damaged seeds should be discarded, leaving only clean, uniformly colored, intact seeds. In order for seeds to maintain germination and health for many years, they must be stored properly.
Many seeds can germinate quickly without preparation. However, some require pretreatment to shorten germination time and allow for rapid germination.
Preparation before sowing includes.
1. seed calibration.
2. dressing (sterilization).
5. Hardening (freezing).
7. seed scarification.
Seed Calibration Before Sowing
I start my pre-planting activities by checking the seeds. Experienced vegetable growers know this method. We start by calibrating our seeds.
For seed calibration.
1. Dissolve 50 g of table salt in 0.26 gal (1 liter) of water.
2. Pour the seeds into this solution and mix thoroughly.
3. Discard the floating seeds.
Rinse the seeds selected in this way with clean water and dry them.
Mixing The Seeds Before Sowing
Dress or disinfect the seeds to protect the seedlings from fungal and bacterial infections. The dressing is done before or immediately prior to sowing. Treated seeds should not be stored for more than 2-3 days.
Methods of seed dressing.
1. Dry sterilization
Pollination with special preparations
2. Wet disinfection
Immerse the seeds in a disinfectant solution or hot water. You can soak the seeds of peppers, tomatoes, gherkins, cucumbers, etc. in a 1-2% solution of potassium manganate (dissolve 1 gram of potassium manganate in 1/2 cup of water). Soak the seeds in this solution for 10-20 minutes. Then rinse 2-3 times with running water.
Another option is to prepare a paste-type solution (diluted according to the instructions), formalin solution (1:600 for 50 minutes). You can soak the seeds in hot water at 131 °F (55°C).
3. Thermal disinfection
Seeds can also be heat treated. Cabbage seeds are heated in water at 122-140 °F (50-60°C) for 20 minutes, cucumber seeds for 2 hours, and bean seeds for 6 hours. If you find this method cumbersome, you can hang the bag with the seeds near a warm heater 1.5-2 months before planting.
After heat treatment, the seeds are treated with trace elements. The most affordable method is to treat the seeds in a solution of wood ash, which contains about 30 different trace elements. For this purpose, 2 tablespoons of wood ash per 0.26 gal (1 liter) of water are taken, stirred well, and left to stand for 24 hours, then the solution is filtered and the seeds are immersed in it: carrots and onions for 5 hours, other crops - up to 3 hours.
Hardening Seeds Before Sowing
Seeds not only need to be warmed but also hardened.
Soak seeds, germinate at 68-71 °F (20-22°C), and keep them in the refrigerator after emergence.
1. peppers, eggplants, tomatoes at 0 to -3 °C for 3-5 days
2. cucumbers and baby carrots - 2-3 days at 33-28 °F (1 to -2°C).
I stick to the golden rule - I keep all seeds at the same temperature, down to 28 °F (-2°C).
Hardening seeds in the snow can be done in a much simpler way. I put the seeds of all my vegetable crops and perennial flowers in a waterproof bag and bury them outside in the snow. But since I put all the seeds in one bag I insist on 32-28 °F (0 to -2°C) temperatures, and under the snowpack, they can only lie for 3-5 days at most. In my opinion, I kill two birds with one stone: flower seeds are stratified and vegetable seeds are hardened. Then I hang seed packets of cucumbers, cabbage, and tomatoes on the radiator.
Stratification Of Seeds Before Sowing
This type of treatment consists of 2 steps: swelling and subsequent cooling of the seeds. When sowing in winter, the seeds will be naturally stratified. They will swell and freeze well and produce rapid germination.
Stratification takes place in a specially prepared moist substrate. Seeds are kept in this substrate at room temperature for 2-3 days and then placed in the bottom of the refrigerator, shaking and turning the bag regularly. Different types of seeds can be kept at low temperatures for different periods of time (3 to 24 weeks).
Rejuvenating Seeds Before Sowing
It is not uncommon for fresh seeds stored at too low or too high temperatures (overdrying) to fail to germinate. They have not lost their ability to germinate but are in a dormant state. Seeds can be "revived" by alternately exposing them to hot and cold environments. Place the seeds in a warm place during the day and leave them in the refrigerator overnight. Or soak the seeds in hot water for 20 minutes, place them in cold water for the same amount of time, dry them and sow them immediately.
Another method is to soak the seeds in hot water. Place the old seeds in a cup and pour 1:3 hot water 140 °F (60°C) over them. It is important to maintain this ratio so that the seeds do not overheat. Leave the cups in a warm place for 24 hours. If the seeds do not begin to swell, repeat the process.
Soaking Seeds Before Sowing
This procedure is good for all seeds, with no exceptions. Soaking softens the seed coat and speeds up germination. Use it especially on aromatic seeds. They contain a lot of essential oils that slow down the process.
Soak the seeds in warm, clean water and replace them daily. Seeds with hard skins and old seeds should be soaked in hot water. They will then have a softer coating and swell more quickly in the water.
Leave the soaked scented seeds in the water until they produce foam. This is a sign that they are ready to be sown. Take the seeds out and place them in a wet cloth until they germinate, then sow the seeds.
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