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The best ways to increase the germination rate of carrots. How does the shelf life of seeds affect yields?

The best ways to increase the germination rate of carrots. How does the shelf life of seeds affect yields?


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Seed germination is an important characteristic showing how much of sown carrots can be grown. Therefore, before landing, you need to check this parameter. Let's figure out how germination is checked, what it depends on - and whether it is possible to somehow improve this indicator before planting begins.

From the article you will learn what is taken into account when determining germination, is there a difference in laboratory and field form, why it is important to check it before planting, and whether it depends on the expiration date of the seeds. Find the best ways to test and increase carrot germination.

What it is?

First of all, you need to decide on what the seed germination is in general. This term means the ratio between the total number of seeds and those of them that sprout under certain conditions. Relatively speaking, if you take 100 individual carrot seeds (or another plant - germination is calculated for any crop), place them in suitable conditions and, when calculating, find out that 87 of them have sprouted, this means that for this particular batch of seeds the germination rate is 87%.

In addition, when determining germination,:

  • Conditionsin which the seeds germinated.
  • Timing, for which they formed seedlings.

Both for each individual crop during industrial cultivation is determined by GOST.

Laboratory and field - what's the difference?

Germination is of two types:

  1. Laboratory.
  2. Field.

The difference between them is as follows:

  • Laboratory germination is determined in the laboratory on samples. Experts do just that: they take several samples (usually at least 4) of 100 seeds from a batch of seeds - and germinate them in the laboratory.
  • Field germination is determined directly on the field after the seeds are sown. The total number of seeds sown on the site is taken, the number of seedlings is counted - and then the percentage of germination is calculated. If the sowing was carried out in the field, then the calculation is carried out taking into account the seeding rates (they are set manually for the seeder) and the number of shoots in a certain area.

Field germination is always lower than laboratory germination. In laboratory dishes, all the seeds that are capable of this start to grow. In the field, part of the seeds or seedlings inevitably perishes from pests, diseases, violations of agricultural technology and other factors.

In some cases, the difference can be very serious - up to 20-30%. Carrots are just one of the plants in which field germination is very different from laboratory: improper sowing, pests or frosts can destroy completely viable seeds.

Why is it important to check before boarding?

Seed germination allows you to determine how many seedlings you can hope for. And this, in turn, allows:

  1. At least roughly estimate what the expected harvest.
  2. Determine if it makes sense at all to sow this batch of seeds. If the germination rate is too low, it is not worth using: effort and time will be spent, an area is occupied on which something else could be planted.
  3. The higher the germination rate, the lower the seeding rate. When carrots give at least 70% of germination, the seeds can be sown at the rate of about 0.5 g per 1 sq. m. At a lower germination rate increases - up to 1 g per 1 sq. m. m.

What does it depend on?

Germination depends on the following factors:

  • Quality and maturity of the seed batch... If the seeds were harvested unripe, stored improperly, were damaged, their germination rate is significantly reduced, in some cases - to zero.
  • Conditions in which the seeds were stored... If a batch of seeds was stored with excessive or insufficient air humidity, too high or low temperatures, some of them will inevitably die and germination will decrease.
  • Storage periods... The longer the seeds are stored, the more of them die.

How is it related to the expiration date?

The shelf life of seeds and the percentage of their germination are directly related: the shelf life is the period during which the germination of seeds decreases below the norm established by GOST or other standardizing document. Simply put, those seeds that can still germinate in significant quantities are considered suitable, taking into account the inevitable losses.

What is the usual expiration date?

The expiration dates for seeds of any crop are usually determined by plant breeders in a series of experiments. The results of their observations are entered into reference books, GOSTs and other regulatory documents. Specifically for carrots, seed producers usually use GOST 32592-2013, GOST 20290-74 and GOST 28676.8-90.

Besides, the date of packing the seeds must also be taken into account... According to the Procedure for the sale and transportation of seeds (approved by order of the Ministry of Agriculture of the Russian Federation No. 707 of 1999), the shelf life for sale depends on the packaging time. The same batch of seeds packed in paper bags in October 2018 will be valid until December 2019.

But if the same batch, after lying in warehouses for several months, is packaged in January 2019, then December 2020 will be considered the end of the shelf life.

Thus, it follows from the following:

  • The period during which carrot seeds are still able to grow in significant quantities is 3-4 years from harvest. The best option is 1-2 years, after this period, the seeding rate will have to be increased by at least one and a half times.
  • Air humidity should be at least 30 and not more than 60%.
  • Temperature - 12 to 16 degrees.
  • Seeds should be stored either in an opaque package or in a dark place.

How to check seeds?

Germination

This method should be applied shortly before the actual planting of carrots. Germination looks like this:

  1. In a wide, but shallow dish, put gauze on the bottom, and on top - a rag made of linen or cotton fabric folded several times.
  2. Seeds are poured onto a rag - neatly, in an even layer.
  3. The rag is soaked, but so that the water standing at the bottom does not cover the seeds.
  4. The dishes are covered with glass and kept in a warm (that is, at least 10 degrees) place. It is recommended to turn the cloth over every 12 hours.
  5. After 2-4 days, you should select those seeds that hatch (it is recommended to use tweezers - they are quite small in carrots) and use for planting.

Another method is simpler, but only allows you to determine the germination rate, and not select suitable seeds. For this:

  1. A layer of about 2 cm of soil is placed in a box with a solid bottom and low sides.
  2. Then carrot seeds are sown.

The number is not important, but it is better if their number is a multiple of 100 or at least 50 - to make it easier to calculate germination. The soil is moistened and placed in a warm place (with a temperature of at least 20 degrees) for 12-14 days. After that, the number of sprouts is simply counted.

Important: The method of planting in a box is closest to the determination of laboratory germination, but does not allow the use of germinated seeds: carrots are not grown for seedlings.

By placing in water

The seeds are placed in about the same dish as in the previous case, filled with warm water and kept for about a day. Then the seeds are strained, slightly dried and used for planting, selecting those that hatch.

This method is not so much a test of germination (although selection is made), but stimulation. therefore it is recommended to use not just water, but a solution of growth stimulants in the dosage prescribed by the manufacturer.

Using toilet paper

This way is simple:

  1. Toilet paper is taken (the simplest one, without dyes or fragrances).
  2. It is laid out in 4-6 layers on a plate and abundantly moistened with warm water.
  3. Seeds are laid out on a layer of paper at the rate of 1 seed per 1 sq. cm.
  4. The container is placed in a warm place and kept there, moistening the paper as it dries.
  5. Viable seeds are planted, and non-viable seeds are discarded.

Another option is to use a plastic bottle:

  1. It is cut lengthwise, 7-8 layers of paper are placed inside, moistened with a sprinkler, and seeds are placed inside (at a distance of 1.5-2 cm from each other.
  2. Then the structure is tied with polyethylene and left in a warm place for 10-14 days. Watering is not necessary: ​​the condensate formed under the polyethylene layer will cope on its own.
  3. After discarding unripe seeds in preparation, the remaining ones are ready for planting.

Saline solution

This method allows not so much to determine the germination, how many to calibrate and reject unusable seeds. It consists of the following:

  1. The seeds are placed in a salt solution. Its strength should be 5% (a teaspoon of salt per liter of water).
  2. Withstand for 40-60 minutes.
  3. All floating seeds are rejected and thrown away.
  4. The remaining seeds are washed from salt in clean water, slightly dried and used for planting.

Examples of using the results

If the batch of carrot seeds has been tested, the following uses are possible:

  • Rejection of a batch... This is possible if germination was used in the ground - and it showed germination below 30%. It is highly discouraged to use such seed for planting.
  • Increasing the seeding rate... This is possible both when germinating in the ground, and when using other methods - usually, not all the seed stock of a gardener or farmer is tested. If the germination rate is approximately 50-70%, the seeding rate should be increased. If the germination rate was approximately at the laboratory level (that is, 90-95%), you can use the standard seeding rate.
  • Seed calibration and rejection of unusable... This option is suitable if a saline solution was used: all the seeds can be placed in it. In this case, obviously non-germinating (injured, hollow, etc.) seeds are removed, and the remainder is used for planting. However, one must remember: soaking in salt does not say anything about germination. It only allows you to remove obviously low-quality material.

How to increase the number of seedlings?

It should be remembered: if the seeds have died, no amount of measures will allow them to be resurrected. Therefore, measures to increase germination are aimed only at preventing further seed death, calibrating the existing ones - and stimulating development. The following methods can be used:

  • Soaking in a solution with top dressing (read here if you need to soak the seeds before planting, and find out how to soak carrot seeds in vodka here).
  • Pre-flush to get rid of the vegetable oils that isolate the germ from the air. Soaking is carried out for 10-15 days with regular water changes.
  • Warming up.
  • Disinfection in a solution of potassium permanganate.
  • Pre-germination at a temperature of 25-28 degrees.

The number of plants that can be obtained during planting depends on the germination of seeds. The higher the germination rate, the lower the seeding rate. Therefore, before sowing, it is worth calibrating the seeds and checking how many of them can sprout.


Watch the video: How to germinate carrots seeds fast (May 2022).