How to choose and buy seeds

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Pelleted, inlaid, bubbled, plasma and other types of seeds. How do they differ from each other, how special treatment affects germination and yield, and how much such planting material costs, read this article.

How to choose and buy seeds

Every farmer has unpleasant moments – it seems that they have carefully chosen the necessary plants, grown healthy seedlings with tenderness and love, and as a result, they did not get what they planned. In order to avoid such embarrassment, I would like to highlight the most common mistakes when choosing and buying seed material, which, in most cases, cause disappointment..

Most gardeners, for certain reasons, be it a lack of time, experience or knowledge, cannot do with their own seeds. At the same time, you always want to plant new varieties and new crops. Therefore, in late February – early March, we all go together to seed shops. Immersed in the fascinating world of bright, promising bags, people lose control and forget about the basic rules for choosing and buying, and it is not at all surprising that as a result, we grow not at all what was expected. Let’s see what you should pay attention to in this case..

The main thing is quality, so you should not buy seeds from unknown producers or from traders in the market. It is best to purchase such a product in specialized stores, where experienced sellers will be able to advise exactly what you need. In this case, special attention should be paid to the terms and conditions of storage, implementation.

Packaging with seeds should not only be colorful and bright, quality signs in this case are strong paper, clear, neat gluing and well-readable text. It should be noted that in packages without pictures, the quality of the seeds is in no way inferior if this is a product from a trusted manufacturer. This is exactly the option when there is no need to overpay for colorful bags. At the same time, the packaging must contain clear information about the manufacturer, the expiration date must be printed on each pack separately, in a typographic way.

You cannot choose varieties by a picture that does not always correspond to the truth. The information printed on the bags about the timing of the growing season, plant height, flowering and fruiting times, and growing conditions will help to correctly evaluate the variety or hybrid. It is this information that will allow us to really assess what we are going to buy.

You cannot buy hybrids if you are going to get seeds from these plants in the fall. From hybrid seeds this year will grow plants that are resistant to various diseases and have an increased yield, but it is difficult to determine what you will get next year. These can be plants that do not at all resemble their “progenitors”. We talked in more detail about the difference between the concepts of “variety” and “hybrid” in the article “How to collect and store seeds to get a good harvest”.

How to choose and buy seeds

You do not need to buy seeds of some unusual plants that are unlikely to grow in your climatic conditions. For stable yields, it is best to purchase regionalized seeds that are best suited to your local climate. The seeds of such plants are always cheaper, the crops germinate and develop well without requiring much maintenance.

You should not buy seeds “in reserve”, even if the storage periods indicated on them are long enough. In this case, it should be remembered that this shelf life is applicable only to sealed packaging, and if you unpack it, then the next year the seeds will already lose their germination, since it is almost impossible to provide ideal storage conditions at home..

You should not buy seeds spontaneously, carried away by bright pictures. This will lead to unnecessary costs of funds. Before going to the store, you need to check all available seed stock, reject expired seed and make a clear list of necessary purchases.

You need to save on the purchase of seeds in moderation. If they are too cheap, then you should doubt their quality, especially if the quality of the packaging is in doubt.

By correctly approaching the choice of seed production and planning of purchases, you will not make the above mistakes, and therefore you will not feel regret about the money, effort and time spent.

From year to year, the seed market develops and grows, surprising gardeners with various novelties. Now in specialized stores you can find a huge amount of both ordinary and processed seeds in a special way. Due to special processing, producers try to make them more convenient for sowing, protect future plants from diseases and pests, and accelerate germination. Let’s deal with this abundance.

Dragee seeds

These seeds differ from ordinary seeds in that a protective dense nutritious shell is applied to them in a special way, which includes various growth stimulants and fertilizers. The advantage of pelleting is that after planting in the soil, the nutrients necessary for normal growth are supplied to each germinated seed individually. Thanks to this, seedlings are obtained friendly and uniform..

Most often, it is small seeds (parsley, carrots, onions, beets) that are coated. At the same time, they grow well in size, which greatly facilitates the planting process..

How to choose and buy seeds

When using pelleted seeds, it is important to remember that they will begin to germinate only when the nutrient membrane is soaked and dissolved. And this means that the beds during the germination period need to ensure sufficient watering and sow pelleted seeds in a well-moistened soil. And one more important point: these seeds, despite the fact that they are larger than usual, should not be planted to an increased depth – they may not germinate. You need to sow them as you would sow ordinary small seeds of carrots, parsley or onions..

Seeds processed in this way can be bought in a store – the price in this case does not differ much from ordinary ones, given the benefits for plants and ease of use. Or you can make it yourself, using the funds available on the farm.

The seed that you are going to pelletize must be clean, uniform and with a high germination rate, which can be checked in advance. We talked about how to do this correctly in the article “Garden planning: deciding on plantings, choosing seeds”.

How to choose and buy seeds

Next, we prepare a dragee mass, for which we need humus (can be replaced with low-lying peat), adhesives and dry complex fertilizers. At the same time, the humus should be fine – for this it is sieved through the finest sieve. The adhesive can be gelatin, starch paste, or a specially prepared mullein. For this, the mullein is diluted with water in a ratio of 1:10, mixed well, filtered through a triple layer of gauze. Fertilizers are added to the adhesive solution (50–60 grams per liter of solution). Practice shows that for pelleting 100 grams of seeds, it is necessary to prepare 1 kg of filler and 0.5 liters of adhesive solution.

When all the components are ready, the seeds are poured into a three-liter jar, moistened with a little adhesive solution, but so that they retain their flowability. Then add dry filler in small portions, while rotating the container so that the seeds slide along its walls. Thus, by alternating moistening and dusting, it is possible to achieve a gradual build-up of the shell. The process should be continued until the seeds are of the desired size: parsley – 2 mm, carrots – 3 mm, beets – 5-6 mm. Further, for better compaction, the seeds are rolled in a jar without adding an adhesive solution, and so that they do not stick together, they are powdered with wood ash. The seed material prepared in this way should be dried in the shade at a temperature not higher than 18 degrees, otherwise the shell will crack. You can, if the time has come, plant them immediately in the garden.

Inlaid Seeds

Inlay – application to seeds with a special water-soluble shell painted in a certain color, which includes:

  • means of protection against fungal, bacterial and viral diseases;
  • special insecticidal preparations against soil pests;
  • various growth stimulants that increase germination and germination;
  • essential macro and microelements that eliminate nutritional deficiencies around a young plant.

Inlaid seeds retain their natural size, unlike pelleted seeds. Their appearance differs from ordinary ones in color, such seeds cost about twice as much.

How to choose and buy seeds

When making a choice in favor of inlaid and pelleted seeds, it should be remembered that they must be sown dry, since presoaking completely kills all the benefits of processing. In order for these seeds to germinate well and give amicable shoots, they must be sown in well-moistened soil and maintain the necessary moisture in the garden – if the soil is dry, you will not wait for shoots.

Seeds in a gel shell

But this type of seed will help those farmers who do not have the opportunity to water their crops frequently. These seeds are covered with a special hydrogel shell, which protects the seed well, provides it with all the necessary nutrients and, at the same time, also perfectly retains and accumulates moisture. Before planting, these seeds do not need to be soaked, they should be sown in well-moistened soil, after which you do not have to worry about watering for 2-3 weeks.

Seeds in a gel shell differ from ordinary seeds in their large size, which greatly facilitates the planting process. The price of such seed material is usually 1.5-2 times higher.

Sparged seeds

The essence of bubbling is that the seeds are held for a certain time in water through which oxygen is passed. It has been proven that such treatment significantly increases the viability and germination of each individual seed. It should be noted that the effect of bubbling does not last long, so you need to buy such seeds only fresh, in this case the shelf life will not exceed one year.

You can also carry out bubbling seeds at home. For this you need an aquarium compressor. A liter jar is filled with warm water (20-25 degrees) by two thirds, the compressor tip is lowered to the bottom, the seeds are lowered into water and the compressor is turned on. When carrying out such processing, it is very important that the air is distributed evenly in the container, while the seeds must be stirred periodically. For different seeds, the duration of bubbling differs: pepper seeds are processed for 28–36 hours, tomato seeds – 12–18 hours, cucumber seeds – 10–12 hours, carrots, parsley – 18–24 hours, lettuce, dill – 8–10 hours.

How to choose and buy seeds

After bubbling, the seeds are dried and sown on the garden bed. If the disembarkation time has not yet come, then they are placed in a plastic bag and placed in the refrigerator, making sure that they do not dry out and freeze..

Plasma seeds

Plasma seed treatment was first used in Russia in 1990. After that, the seed material was tested in many farms in the country, and only positive results were obtained..

The essence of plasma treatment is that the seeds are placed in a special gas environment with reduced pressure, which can significantly increase the germination, yield of future plants, and the resistance of crops to various fungal and viral diseases. In addition, plasma treatment increases the shelf life by several times..

How to choose and buy seeds

Such processing is not a cheap pleasure, therefore plasma seeds are several times more expensive than ordinary ones. And scammers can take advantage of this, so when choosing, you should be very careful not to buy a fake. Plasma seed pouches must bear a typographic inscription stating that this seed has been plasma treated. Some seeds can be distinguished from ordinary seeds by their appearance, for example, cucumbers differ in color – they are bright green, the outer shell of plasma seeds is usually smoother.

Seeds on tape

The main advantage of this type is the ease of use. Moreover, the belt can be either ordinary seeds or processed by one of the above methods. This kind of seed material greatly facilitates the planting process – the seed strip just needs to be spread out into the grooves. In addition, the roots planted in this way do not need to be thinned out later..

When buying seeds on a tape, you need to pay special attention to their quality – if you buy a fake, then the bed may be half-empty, or you will not wait for seedlings at all. For the price, the seeds on the belt do not differ much from the usual ones, especially considering the savings in time and effort.

How to choose and buy seeds

If the seeds are glued from above, and not pressed into the tape, then it must be placed with the seeds down when planting. If pressed, then the tape is placed in the groove with an edge. It is necessary to plant such seeds in a well-moistened soil, then water the garden well for a week so that the paper gets wet and does not delay the seedlings.

Seeds on a tape can be purchased without any problems in any specialized store, or you can make it yourself at home. As a tape, you can use any paper that soaks well, a single-layer, loose toilet paper is best in this case..

Tear off a piece of 1.5–2 meters from the roll, fold it with an accordion and cut it lengthwise into three or four parts. We prepare an ordinary paste – one tablespoon of flour is used per glass of water. You can use starch instead of flour. It’s also a good idea to add a tablespoon of all-purpose dry fertilizer to the paste. We also need a syringe (without a needle), a toothpick (a sharpened match or a cotton swab), and of course the seeds that we want to stick on the tape. It is very convenient to write the name of the variety on the prepared tape in advance.

Put the cooled paste into a syringe and drip it onto the tape in the right places, in this case the optimal interval will be 1.5–2 cm. Then take a seed with a toothpick soaked in the paste and place it in a drop of paste on the tape, and so on until the very end. Next, let the tape dry well, roll it up into rings and store it in a cool place until sowing.

Sprinter seeds

If, for certain reasons, you did not manage to plant everything that you wanted on time, or due to the poor quality of the seeds, seedlings did not appear, do not be upset. The use of seed sprinters will help make up for lost time. These seeds undergo special processing – awakening sprouts and further freezing..

How to choose and buy seeds

Sprinter seeds grow very quickly, shoots appear within a few days. Special treatment not only accelerates growth, but also significantly increases the yield of future plants.

When using such seeds, it should be remembered that they are not stored for more than a year without loss of quality, they cannot be planted before winter, since even a slight thaw will provoke germination and further death from low temperatures. The cost of this seed material is much higher than that of ordinary seeds, so it is advisable to buy them only from trusted producers to avoid counterfeiting.

A huge assortment of seeds in stores will allow every gardener, regardless of employment and available funds, to choose the most convenient option. The main thing in this case is to pay attention to quality and buy seeds only from well-known and time-tested producers. Today, online seed shops are gaining more and more popularity, the purchase of which has its advantages. We will tell you about the most famous and reliable producers and the pros and cons of buying seed products on the Internet in the next article..

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