Seeds and Seed Growing Choosing the Right Seeds for Your Land
Every gardener or crop grower worth his salt, knows all about the importance of good seeds, in order to get a bountiful harvest. This book is going to give you plenty of information on how to choose the best seed, what is good seed, and how you can grow plants properly through traditional seed growing methods.
A gardener must start with successful seeds, this above all the other factors, is the most important. So he has to find the best way in which he can get the best seed from reliable and from disease-free sources.
What Is Good Seed?
If you want to class seed as good seed, it must be clean, able to germinate, be free from disease, and should be true to its line. Clean seed is going to be free from weed seeds, dirt, and other foreign particles and matter. Most vegetable seeds are relatively free from impurities even though occasionally they are not well cleaned and contained too much dirt, organic matter, and refuse.
Good seed is able to germinate – in scientific terms, it is called “viable." That means it must have sufficient vitality to complete the process of germination. To achieve this, it should be able to nourish the embryo plant and can support itself independently of the supply of food stored in the seed.
This process is going to mean more than just sprouting. Vegetable growers have little trouble with this problem as very few of the better seed producers are going to give you seed of unduly low vitality. Many seeds – companies are going to make germination tests of their seeds to be sure that they are viable.
In some parts of the USA, you are going to get a statement of the percentage of germination and the date the test was made and how many seeds – companies are going to supply this information on all of the seeds they sell.
The buyer of the seed should insist on a statement of the percentage of germination but he should also bear in mind that many kinds of seeds lose vitality in a relatively short time when they are held under unfavorable conditions.
This of course is a no-brainer. Seeds have to be free from disease. Some diseases such as black rot of cabbage are carried on the seed coat and can be controlled by seed treatment. Others are carried within the seed coat.
I am now going to tell you something about a number of diseases, which affect cabbage and many other kinds of vegetables, and the method of control. Some of them include clubroot, root knot, yellows, black rot, and black leg. A number of these diseases affect cabbages, and other crops belonging to this family. A serious infection of these diseases is sufficient to make any sort of vegetable growing unprofitable and in many instances, it results in the total loss of the crop.
This is also known as Plasmodiophora Brassicae Wor. This is produced by the invasion of a slime mold on the roots. Plants affected by this disease are going to show in the earlier stages of growth, a wilting of the foliage on sunny days with recovery towards evening. The roots of these affected plants are going to show characteristics swellings which often become very large, and club like due to the mass of thickened malformed tissue.
This organism is a soil parasite, which is going to thrive best in an acid soil. If the area is infested, control can be done by growing no cruciferous plants here. As it likes an acid soil, make it more alkaline to a pH value of 7.2 as a desirable soil reaction for control of this disease. The lime should be hydrated and should be applied in the spring and then being applied in the previous fall.
Remember to select clean soil for plant beds to avoid infestation of the new areas and avoid contamination of the new areas by farm animals, implements, tents, and surface drainage water. Crop rotation in which you are not going to grow any cruciferous plants is of great value in controlling the disease of this infested area.
I have seen this disease often in our area, especially as cabbages are grown here in huge amounts. You are going to see lifeless yellowish green plants, in your vegetable beds especially two – four weeks after transplantation. These plants are stunted and often warped. That is because the attack is more severe on one side of the plant, than on the other.
Classification of Vegetables
If you ask any horticulturalist about the classifications of vegetables, he is going to tell you about the gradations and terms used in seed classification. These include the kind, the variety, the strain, and the stock.
This is going to include all the plants, which in general usage, are accepted as a single vegetable for example, cauliflowers, cabbages, beans, tomatoes, etc. this is not the same as the genus or the species with which the plants are classified, but an equal. For example, the species called Brassica oleracea is going to have a number of different kinds of vegetables including cabbages, lettuces, cauliflowers, and so on. In the same way, beans are also going to belong to more than one species.
Every single plant you see planted, and which you see in your garden has grown from a particular seed variety.
A seed variety is going to include those plans of a given kind, which are practically alike in their important characteristics of the product as well as the plant. Each variety is going to be distinct in one or more prominent and significant features. Varieties which are not distinct are classed as strains of a recognized variety or just as synonyms of a given popular variety.
Buying the Right Seeds
Seed raising is a technical and highly specialized business carried on largely in places, particularly adapted to the production of special crops. Because of these facts, most vegetable growers should buy all their seeds and practically all growers should buy most of their supply of the best seeds available making the cost a secondary consideration.
Cheap seed is usually the most expensive in the long run. The vegetable grower should obtain all the information possible on reliable sources of seeds of the different varieties and strains of all the crops which is going to grow in his garden or on his farm.
Seed source and tests on strains in different agricultural and experimental stations all over the world have shown great variations in yield, in earliness, in uniformity, and in other important qualities. This is true for most varieties of all the important kinds of vegetables.
After getting such information as which is readily available, the grower has to determine for himself, on his own land, the strains and the varieties that proved most satisfactory and gave him the most bountiful harvest.
Vegetable growers should buy only from reliable dealers. Those that have a good reputation to maintain are going to give you more reliable products, because they have more to lose in terms of market standing. Commercial growers are going to do well to deal mainly with houses that caters especially to producers just like themselves.
Seed growing is a highly specialized business requiring particular knowledge and skill which may not be possessed by many vegetable growers. Therefore many gardeners should buy their seeds through regular and reliable channels.
Seeds of many crops are grown commercially in regions where the soil and the climate are especially favorable and sent all over the world. Some are produced in foreign countries where the ecological factor is favorable and in addition, where the labor is cheap.
Testing of Seed
The term seed testing is ordinarily used in connection with the purity and viability of the seed. As vegetable seeds are fairly free from impurities, testing or purity is not of much value, but testing for viability or how good their germinating qualities are, is important. This is necessary so that you can avoid losses due to sowing seeds of low germinating power.
Viable seeds are going to give you reliable crops.
By making a germination test you are going to know how much seed to plant to get a good strand and harvest of plants, and what the germination rate is going to be. That means you are going to be saving time by avoiding the necessity of replanting or having too few plants growing in your garden.
Seeds which are kept over from one year to the next always need to be tested for germination before planting because some kinds of seeds are going to lose their viability in a few months under unfavorable conditions of storage. However, under suitable storage conditions, the viability of any kind of vegetable seed will be maintained for a long period.
This book has given you plenty of useful information about how you can get the best germination rate out of the seeds that you have bought and harvested yourself. Apart from that, you are going to get a number of time-tested tips and techniques, on how you can get a bountiful harvest, every year through the best choice of seeds, and a little bit of determination and effort.
Remember gardening is not something you can pick up as a pastime, which you are going to drop after three months, because you have lost the inclination to go out and do some hard work in the garden. However, if you find yourself just longing to be outdoors to see your garden grow, more power to you, and Long May Your Garden Flourish.
Live Long and Prosper!