In this article, we are going to be discussing how to select good seeds for planting.
In a rush?
Short answer: to choose good seeds for planting, always look at the safety of your community and climatic conditions. Knowing and having good data on these factors can help you make a successful and beautiful garden.
Beginner to gardening? Check our ultimate step-by-step guide to starting a successful garden.
Read on for an advanced step-by-step guide about how to choose seeds for planting in the garden.
While it is important to choose a good garden, likewise, it is also important to spend a good time selecting quality garden seeds.
Seeds are the background of any garden or farm. Modern technical activities have modernized and modified much of farming daily operations, however without a steady and constant supply of high-quality seeds, yields and seed quality would be greatly reduced or vanished.
But, what are quality seeds?
Seed quality can be explained as the ability of a seed to maintain a high standard of purity, vigor, good germination percentage, trueness to its origin and appearance.
Read also: How Does A Plant Grow Step By Step
Low-quality seeds can be described as seeds with low germination percentage, low plant vigor, mixed varieties, and they are also more susceptible to diseases and pests attack.
Low-quality seeds when planted in the garden can also easily introduce weed to the garden.
The success of any garden or farm depends on which crop is planted. Therefore, spend your time and select good and quality seeds for your garden.
But, with so many seeds out there in both online and offline stores that claimed to be purely organic, how are you going to choose the best kind of seeds?
Here is a step by step guide on how to select good seeds for planting on your garden or farm:
- Know the method from which the seed is produced
- Know the source of the seed
- Choose the seeds that best suit the season
Know the Method from which the Seed is Produced
It is important to know the method from which the seeds are produced so that you can easily figure out whether the seed is heirloom, organic, hybrid.
Knowing this can help you avoid selecting seeds that are produced through genetic manipulation and hybridization methods.
Best quality seeds are produced organically and the steps include the followings:
The gardener removes growing weeds by hand alongside diseased and off-type plants. Seed selection during production is done base on some important quality features such as low input requirements, high yield, flavor and aroma, good yield of non-green biomass pests, disease resistance, and storability.
In terms of harvesting, quality seeds are harvested by hand in order to avoid mechanical damage to the seeds and also to avoid contamination by weed seeds and other unwanted material.
When the harvesting is completed, seeds are usually threshed and clean by hand in order to reduce impurities. The seeds are also dried up under the sun to remove moisture content.
Seeds are separated from other grains during storage and the storage method is usually done by hanging the seeds overhead in a smokey arras.
Keeping seeds in smoky areas is done to protect the seeds from damage by insect pests and also to reduce the moisture content of the seeds.
Related: How to compost at home step by step
Alternatively, gardeners also save seeds by organically adding local seeds preservatives such as neem, ash, sand, and eucalyptus leaves, which are then stored in a special container L’s and put above the fireplace.
As you can see, throughout the production of seeds using this method, there is no place where chemical or genetic manipulations are involved during the production process.
Recommended: want to level up your gardening knowledge? Here are 5 best gardening courses that can take you from beginner to a seasoned gardener.
This is how pure organic seeds are produced. And that is what you will be asking the sellers or local farmers in order to find put quality seeds.
Learn more about seed production here
Know the Source of the Seeds
Another way to find out whether seeds are qualitative or not is to try to know where the seeds are coming from.
Here are the main sources of seeds:
National and International Seeds Banks
This is a great source of seeds where you can find wide varieties of seed types that are pure and qualitative.
Different bodies such as the National government and international organizations usually store different seed types from different crop varieties in a place known as seed banks.
However, these sources of seed usually store many seed types and this sometimes makes it difficult for them to maintain all the local varieties that adapted to changing different local climatic conditions.
Related: How to prepare a garden spot
Community Seed Banks and other Local Community Institutions
Some rural and urban communities possess seed banks where they preserve their traditional quality seeds, which they inherited from ancestors.
Sometimes, even a small group of people usually store their local seeds in order to conserve and save them from decreased in quality and extinction.
In these types of seed banks, you can find quality seeds to select for your garden. This is because there are too many seed types and they ate frequently saved every year.
These are commercial sectors where seeds can be bought. Seeds companies produce all kinds of seed types including genetically modified seeds, treated seeds, and hybrid seeds.
The problem with this source of seed is that some of the companies are not reliable. Buyers have to cross-check and compare different labels And packets through overwhelming seed catalogs.
If you want to select and buy seeds from commercial seed companies, you need to take note of the following:
- Seed packet
- Seed expiration date
- Type of seed
- Variety of seed
The first thing to look at while selecting seeds for your garden from these companies is the package. On the seed packet, you can see the variety of the seed, type of the seed, expiration date, and label (that is whether the seed is GMO, Heirloom, Organic, or hybrid).
However, some of the online stores including some of the offline ones can label their seed products as organic or heirloom, but in reality, the seeds are not.
In this case, you need to go through customers’ reviews both on the website and other online communities.
Choose the Seeds that best Suit the Season
After you have found the quality seeds from quality sources and methods of production, the next thing is to sort out the seeds by growing seasons.
Choose the seeds that best suit your growing climatic conditions. If you long winter in a year, go for seeds that grow well under winter.
And if it is summer with the longest growing season in your area, go for seeds that best grow under summer.
Naturally, plants differ in climatic requirements. Some plants prefer cold climatic conditions while others plant hot climatic conditions.
Either way, you need to select seeds that can grow well in your native climate. This can be done by asking your local farmers and gardeners. Ask more questions and you will be saved from wasting more time and energy.
Types of Seed Used In Agriculture
There is a myriad of seeds that are used in agriculture. However, all of them can be grouped into 7 types:
- Nuclear seed
- Breeder seed
- Foundation seed
- Registered seed
- Certified seed
- Formal seed
- Informal seed
Nuclear seeds can be described as propagation material that includes mini-tubers and plantlets. The techniques involved in the production is invitro and is grown under control conditions.
Breeder seed is a type of seed that is produced under the direction of the main plant breeder who chooses the variety. This is the reason why it is called breeder seed.
Foundation seed can be explained as a descendant of breeder seed, which is produced under conditions that encourage genetic purity and identification.
Certified seeds are descendants of the breeder seed or foundation. Certified seeds are produced under guidelines that help maintain genetic identification and purity of the variety, which is only certified when passing certain criteria for purity that is given by law and certified by the designated seed certification agency.
Formal seeds are the modern agricultural seeds, which are produced by modern techniques such as genetic manipulation, hybridization, and treatment.
These are local seeds that are produced and saved by local farmers or gardeners. The seeds do not undergo any genetic manipulation and the production method is purely organic.
Frequently Asked Questions
Why is it Important to Choose the Best Place for Planting?
Choosing the best place for planting can help prevent your garden plants from drying and dying up, which may be caused by a lack of sufficient nutrients, sunshine, and water.
A good garden possesses sufficient nutrients, receives enough sunlight, and also has a good source of water. The soil is also good for proper plant growth and can retain and drain water optimally.
What is the difference between Monocots and Dicots?
The major difference between monocotyledons and dicotyledons is that the monocot plants possess only one seed leaf or cotyledon while the dicot plants have two cotyledons.
With so many seeds on the catalogs for both online and offline stores, one may be overwhelmed while going through to select good quality seeds.
That is why we research and cover this guide.
In this article, I have discussed different ways on how to sort seeds base on source and production methods to choose quality seeds.
I hope the guide will be of help to you in understanding how to select seeds for planting. If you have any questions let us know in the comments section below.