8 stages of pre-sowing seed preparation

A wide variety of seeds can be purchased on the market today. By the word “different” we mean not only the difference between garden crops, their varieties and hybrid varieties, but also the different quality of the product. Some sellers offer seeds that have undergone complex processing, and therefore are protected from diseases and pests and germinate quite quickly. Others offer seeds that are unprocessed. Actually, in the second case, these are the same seeds as those that you collected with your own hands.

Seed calibration

Sizing is a kind of seed casting in order to separate good seed from bad - from the one that will not germinate, and therefore will not bear fruit.Calibration Algorithm
We take ordinary table salt and prepare a glass of 5% salt solution on its basis.
We throw seeds that need to be calibrated into a glass with a solution and mix thoroughly.
We leave the seeds in a glass for five minutes.
The seeds that have surfaced are poured into the sink along with the solution.
Seeds that remain on the bottom are dried at room temperature or in the shade in the fresh air.
Drying seeds after calibration on a heating radiator or in direct sunlight is strongly discouraged. This can negatively affect their germination.To calibrate very small seeds, you need to take a plastic stick, rub it well with a cloth so that the plastic becomes electrified, and then pass this stick through the air at a height of 1.5 cm from the seeds. All seeds that "stick" to the plastic will need to be thrown away, as they are either empty or spoiled. The rest can be safely used as seed.

Seed dressing

Dressing is a treatment whose purpose is to decontaminate seeds. This procedure is necessary in order to protect the seed from diseases, fungi, mold and pest attacks. There are two ways to implement disinfection.Chemical etching algorithm
We take 5 g of baking soda and dissolve them in a liter of water.
We put the seeds in a jar of soda solution and leave them there for ⅓ hour.
As an option, we do everything the same, but not in a soda solution, but in a 1% solution of potassium permanganate.
In an industrial setting, seed producers use a dry or semi-dry method. In the first case, they apply pesticides to the surface of the seed. And in the second, they first moisten the seeds in water, and then dust them with pesticide preparations.

Seed stratification

Stratification is imperative if you are dealing with seeds that have a prolonged dormancy period. Typically, these seeds germinate extremely slowly, and stratification can speed up this process. The second situation in which stratification is necessary is the seeds of cold-resistant crops. With the help of this treatment, it is possible to enhance the indicators of frost resistance and make the seed more “tenacious”.Stratification Algorithm
Pour the seeds into a suitable container and fill them with water at room temperature.
After the seeds are well swollen, drain the water and add wet river sand to the seeds: for one part of the seeds, you need to take three parts of sand.
We take a food container and pour a mixture of sand and seeds there, but so that the thickness of the sand layer does not exceed 17 cm.
We put the container in a refrigerator or a room with similar temperature conditions.
From time to time we moisten the sand and gently mix the substrate.
The duration of stratification depends on which particular garden crop you are dealing with. In one case, a month will be enough. And in the other, the period of stratification will be three to four months. At the end of the process, the seeds, if possible, are cleaned of sand. Or, if this is not possible, we sow together with sand.If you are sowing under winter, then the seeds do not need stratification. More precisely, the need for such processing, of course, is present. But in this case, stratification occurs in a natural way - in the ground.

Seed hardening

Bell peppers, chili, tomatoes, melons - all these plants do not like cold very much. For them, temperature fluctuations are extremely undesirable, which can take place not only in the off-season, but sometimes in summer. It all depends on the climatic conditions of a particular region. In order to increase the resistance of the seed to these undesirable, but often occurring atmospheric phenomena, the seeds must be hardened. There are two ways to harden seeds.
Algorithm # 1
Seeds, which have already swollen well enough, are transferred into one container and sent to the refrigerator for half a day.
We take out a container with seeds and keep it for a similar amount of time at room temperature.
We repeat both steps one more time.
Algorithm # 2
We send the swollen seeds to the refrigerator for a period from a week to three weeks.
We maintain the seed for a similar amount of time at home.

Warming up the seeds

Warming up is relevant only if you decide to sow seeds of representatives of the pumpkin family. This procedure will significantly increase the germination of seeds. And besides, a large number of “female” inflorescences will be formed on the plants that break out of the ground from the preheated seeds.Warming up algorithm
We spread the pumpkin seeds in a low tin dish without a lid.
We install the container on the oil heater.
We keep it for a couple of hours at a low temperature regime (about 30 ° C).
Raise the temperature to 40 ° C and warm up the seeds for another two hours.
Raise the temperature to 50 ° C and leave the seeds in a tin container for another three to four hours on the heater.

Seed soaking

Soaking is necessary so that the seeds germinate as soon as possible, and it is desirable that they do it as amicably as possible.Soaking Algorithm
Place the seeds in a natural fabric bag.
We send this bag into a vessel with water for three hours.
After three hours, take out the bag and leave it to dry for six hours at room temperature.
Then we immerse the bag of seeds in water again for the same period.
And again we take it out and keep it at room temperature.
We repeat the above steps until the seeds in the bag germinate.
In order to germinate the seed, it will take about twice as long as the period you spent soaking. Germination must be completed after about 3% of the seeds at your disposal are “awake”. If you are dealing with large seeds such as corn or beans, it is best to use clean river sand to germinate these seeds. It is important to periodically moisturize this substrate to keep it constantly moist. As soon as the seed germinates, it will need to be instantly sent to open or closed ground, which must first be properly moistened.Seeds of legumes, cabbage and pumpkin are soaked for up to a day. Aster and nightshade seeds - for up to two days. But the seeds of celery and onions are kept in a humid environment for about 70 hours.

Enrichment of seeds

Enrichment with nutrients, vitamins and minerals is especially important when you are dealing with very small seeds. For example, with onion or carrot seeds. The fact is that the finer the seed, the less nutrient reserve it has. Therefore, it is less strong and tenacious. However, this fact can be corrected.Before enrichment, the seeds must be disinfected, and then warmed up. It is strongly discouraged to skip these stages, as in this case the enrichment efficiency will be reduced.
You can buy a special micronutrient solution from your garden store and use it to spray your seeds. After spraying, it is important to treat the seeds with powder, which is saturated with salts of trace elements. Such processing is an effective alternative to the main method of enrichment and can be used when you are running out of time.

Sowing seeds on paper

To make the sowing process as simple, comfortable and effective as possible, it makes sense to stick the seed on special paper. This requires advanced fine motor skills. And in the end, even children and grandchildren can be involved in the process: it will be interesting and exciting for them, and help for you.
Seeding Algorithm on Paper
We carry out preliminary disinfection of seeds and their enrichment.
We take a paper tape, which instantly soaks when moisture gets on it.
We prepare a paste based on starch or wheat flour.
We put a strip of glue on the paper.
We "plant" seeds on the glue, observing the distance and using a match or a counting plastic stick for convenience.

Please note that the distance from seed to seed may vary. It all depends on what kind of vegetable you are working with. Beet seeds are spaced 10 cm apart, as are turnip seeds. Carrot seeds, as well as radish seeds, are removed from each other by 5 cm. The seeds of head lettuce should be removed from the neighboring ones by as much as 20 cm. But the distance between the dill seeds should be 1 cm. For a summer radish, it is enough if there is at least would be 6 cm, but for the winter one already requires 13 cm.In order to correctly sow seeds on paper, we recommend that you measure the required distance in advance and make appropriate notes on the paper tape with a simple pencil.After the seed is glued to the paper tape, it will need to be dried. After the tape is dry, all you have to do is twist it into a loose roll and send it to a dry place for further storage - until the sowing date.