Sowing seeds

Sowing the seed for germination is where it all begins. There are many different ways and methods to sowing seeds, On this page I will explain to you the different methods so that you can grow your own.

What a seed needs for germination

Essentially there are 3 factors a seed needs in order to grow (germinate)

1. Temperature

2. Water

3. Oxygen/Air

(later the plant needs an environment for it to grow in, chiefly 'soil'

Temperature

In gardening, temperature is referred to the temperature of the soil. Seeds all have different temperatures that they prefer to germinate in, it's not one size fits all. However, the average soil temperature for seeds to germinate is between 20C/68F to 30C/86F give or take. 

Water

The seed has a hard outer shell used to protect the 'embryo', (the baby plant ) which is inside the seed. Also within the seed is food (endosperm) for baby plant. Seeds 'imbibe' (absorb) just the right amount of water for germination, this helps activate enzymes within the seed to start the growing process of the embryo. The water also swells the cell, and eventually the hard shell breaks open and the 'baby plant' pops its head (cotyledon) out into the world to start growing (at this stage the plant then starts using photosynthesis for growth)

Oxygen

Seeds need oxygen so they can produce energy for germination and growth. The oxygen is used to make chemical reactions, which then provide food for the embryo. This process is called 'Aerobic respiration' (Aerobic meaning it uses 'oxygen' and respiration meaning 'turning fuel into energy')

Below in the video is an example of me sowing sugar snap peas for germination in modules. You will notice that I have used the factors above to start the germination process. I first waited for the correct time of year that the seed would grow to ensure the correct 'temperature' (In this case I also manipulated the temperature by sowing it in the glass house where the temperature was warmer than outside) . I then added 'water' to activate the enzymes and chemical reactions needed for the 'embryo' to grow. The 'oxygen' you obviously cannot see, but the soil that I placed the seeds into, was light and fluffy, which allowed oxygen to flow through. Finally, the embryo pop its head (cotyledon) out into the world to start the process of photosynthesis.