Packaged to perfection. What does that mean? We’re talkin’ seed.
Did you know that any variety of seed is packaged to provide its own energy from the date it is planted?! This packaging system along with a few other factors play a key role in growing a successful crop. Let’s dig in!
Jumpstart to Germination
Once seed begins to absorb water, the germination process begins. The embryo, which is the outer layer of the seed, helps to absorb any initial water the plant needs to begin the germination process. The embryo also delivers nutrients to the seed which enhances further development. Seeds that are developed from a strong embryo will have a strong and sturdy build, therefore, creating early seedling vigor. Seedlings with underdeveloped embryos will most likely develop into a more fragile crop.
Though seeds are packaged with what is needed to begin the germination process, to further develop your crop, there needs to be a variety of available nutrients for the seed to soak up to develop into its full potential. There are six key macronutrients that play an important role in seedling-to-crop development including:
- Nitrogen: Enhances crop and leaf development, while promoting growth of the plants chlorophyll which helps the plants turn green in color.
- Phosphorous: Helps roots and flowers develop in the crop while also promoting plant hardiness that is needed for your crop to be able to survive throughout those cooler months.
- Potassium: Works to keep water available within the plant and also provides strength to your crop.
- Magnesium: Like nitrogen, this nutrient promotes chlorophyll development within the plant.
- Sulfur: Think of sulfur as the plant’s immune system that works to fight off any disease to which the plant may be susceptible. Nutrients provided by sulfur also help the plant fertilize and reproduce its own seeds rather than keeping the plant in the vegetative state.
- Calcium: Just like humans, calcium works to build stronger “bones” in the plant – well, not bones exactly, for plants the “bones” are the cell walls that hold up the structure of the plant.
Microbes. How Do They Impact Plant Development?
With over one billion microorganisms in one teaspoon of soil, though they might seem microscopic, they sure are mighty. Microbes work to release nutrients that have been locked up in the soil and make them available to the plant. These tiny microorganisms help a plant’s roots pull nutrients from the soil the plant may not have the ability to absorb on its own.
What Role Does Moisture Have In Seed Development?
Moisture plays a role in seed development from the very first stages of germination to the final growth stage. In the beginning, soil needs to be saturated enough to provide the seedling with enough hydration to begin the germination process. Too much moisture in the soil can actually cause diseases like stem and root rot, powder mildew, nitrogen deficiencies, and fungi. It is key to make sure your soil has enough hydration, but not too much.
Making sure that your seed is planted in the ideal soil conditions including all of the above sectors will promote strong and healthy plant development.