Ask any experienced gardener for advice and they’ll tell you that a considerable amount of your garden’s success hinges on your seeds. What do we mean by this? Great question. This article guides you through our top 3 seed treatments for better results with your seeds.
Yes, all seeds are not created equal but there is more to it than that. The best gardeners do have an eye for picking out the best seeds, but they also know how to draw out their seeds’ full potential.
Here are 3 seed treatments for better results including a few useful seed germination secrets, and basic seed starting tips, that can help to give your garden a great starting boost.
Selecting Your Seeds
Let’s get the most obvious fact out of the way first – the quality of your seeds will naturally affect the quality of your crops. So, where should you get your seeds from?
The most convenient place to collect seeds from is homegrown plants. This is because you can ideally collect seeds from plants that you have personally seen perform well and produce good results. Depending on the type of garden that you want, you can choose to collect seeds from plants that show specific features; such as hardiness, larger flowers, or better crop production.
However, a great alternative to this is to source your seeds from a reliable retailer that has a respectable reputation. Before you purchase your seeds from a retailer, check to see if their seeds are worth your money. You’ll understandably want Non-GMO seeds but a retailer that has heirloom seeds and open-pollinated seeds is a great bonus as well.
Storing Your Seeds
If you want to make sure that your seeds germinate properly, you definitely need to store them properly.
Although they may not look like it, seeds are incredibly volatile and the two main factors that you should keep in mind are moisture and temperature. Ideally, you want to have your seeds stored in a dry and cool environment.
In a pinch, seeds can be stored in a refrigerator as well; however, you need to make sure that they are properly dried and placed in airtight containers before doing so.
Soaking Your Seeds
In nature, seeds fall to the ground, get watered by rain, and then eventually grow into mature plants. Technically, this can work for your crops, but if you want to optimize your garden, you should know that many seeds enjoy being presoaked.
Beans are perhaps the most common example of this. For the best results, you should soak them overnight in lukewarm water to soften their seed coats.
Stratifying Your Seeds
In nature, some seeds often come in contact with certain stimuli that they most likely won’t get to experience in your garden. In many cases, these stimuli help to prepare the seeds for optimal growth. One very obvious example of this is temperature.
Many seeds that are native to cold (or temperate) regions could do with getting a “cold treatment” (pre-chill) before you plant them. Ideally, this cold treatment is meant to simulate winter. This process should take between 1 – 3 months; soak the seeds in an airtight plastic bag with damp peat moss at approximately 35°F.
Sowing Your Seeds
You’ve selected the perfect spot for your plants and have placed the seeds in the soil, so what’s next?
Well, here’s a simple germination secret to keep in mind before you get ahead of yourself. You should ensure that your seeds are getting the optimal amount of moisture from the soil.
The trick here is that you don’t need to add more water, you just need to ensure that your seeds have maximum contact with the soil around them. You can facilitate this by tapping the soil with your hand, a trowel, or a block of wood.
Chances are, you’ll get good germination, but if you’re especially concerned, you can check out the germination requirements for individual plant species online.
There you have it, our top 3 Seed Treatments For Better Results but remember, there are always a few plants that love to buck the system. Nevertheless, as systems go, this is a good one, and will work for most veg and flower seeds out there. Try it! Let us know how it worked for you!