Why do seeds need water to grow? This is the most important question many people ask. Growing plants from seeds is a fascinating process.
Observing all phases of plant development, from seed germination to the appearance of the first flowers or fruits, is the magic of nature in action. It takes a lot of time and patience before a full-fledged plant grows.
Plant growth usually begins with the germination of an essential reproductive organ, the seed. A seed is a unique multicellular structure of complex structure that reproduces and disperse seed plants and contains an embryo.
For seed germination, various conditions, moisture, oxygen, and heat are necessary. Normally, in nature, some plants require additional conditions for seed germination.
For example, the effect of light on seed germination can be pretty significant. There are plants whose seeds germinate quickly in the light, including carrots and meadow bluegrass.
Other plants, for example, tobacco, require very short-term light stimulation for enhanced seed germination, which is necessary to disturb seed dormancy, and most vegetable seeds are indifferent to light.
Only seeds with a living embryo can germinate and rise to a new plant. Seeds with dead embryos lose their germination.
Seed germination process
The entire seed germination process is done in the given phases: At the initial stage of germination, the seeds quickly absorb water, which leads to swelling and softening of the seed coat at the optimum temperature.
These phases are called water absorption and seed swelling. At this stage, the growth process is started by activating enzymes. The seed activates its internal physiology and begins to breathe, produce proteins and metabolize stored food.
A root appears when the seed coat breaks, forming the primary root. The seed begins to absorb water from the soil. After the root and seedling appearance, the shoot starts to grow upward.
During the final germination stage, seed cells become metabolically active, elongate, and divide to give rise to a sprout.
Why do seeds need water to grow?
Some seeds are dehydrated and require a significant amount of water relative to dry weight. Water plays an essential role in seed germination.
It provides the necessary hydration for the vital activity of protoplasm and dissolved oxygen for the growing embryo, softens the seed coat, and increases seed permeability.
Also, water helps break the seeds and converts the nutrients into a soluble form for its translocation into the embryo.
Other conditions required for seed germination
Here are other important requirements that are necessary for a seed to grow into a sprout and then a plant:
Oxygen is an essential and indispensable source of energy for seed growth. It is needed by the growing seed for the metabolism and used as part of aerobic respiration until the plant has grown its green leaves.
You can find oxygen in the pores of the soil particles, but once the seed have been buried very deep, the oxygen will reduce.
Seeds require a moderate temperature of around 25-30°C for rapid germination. Typically, different seeds need different optimal temperatures. Some seeds require either lower or higher temperatures between 5 and 40°C.
Light or dark
This can act as an environmental factor. Many seeds do not germinate until they are exposed to sunlight.
How to germinate seeds at home
The first and easiest option is to germinate the seeds in cheesecloth, bandage, cotton wool, cotton pad, or mineral wool cube. It would be best if you moistened the bandage or cotton pad with plenty of water (preferably settled and at room temperature).
Squeeze out excess water, but not hard, and place the seed between layers of bandage, between two discs, or inside a cotton ball.
Put all this in a container, but do not close it tightly, for there must be access to fresh air. Also, it can be wrapped in cling film with slits. Then clean in a dark and warm place with no drafts or temperature changes. After 12-24 hours, the first roots should hatch.
Planting germinated seeds
The germination process looks like this: the outer shell of the seed bursts, and something white is visible, then this whitish piece keeps growing and growing and turns into a decorated young root.
When the root grows by 1-1.5 cm, you can plant it. This root will need to be directed down when planting in the ground. Burying deep is not worth it 1.5 cm is enough, and otherwise, the young sprout may not have enough strength to breakthrough.
It is recommended to breed seedlings in a small amount of soil, for example, in a 250 ml plastic cup. Essentially, it has been proven that the plant forms the root system much more efficiently in a small confined space.
The glass should not be transparent as direct light is detrimental to the roots. And they, believe me, will quickly enough braid the entire volume of soil provided.
At the stage of young seedlings, it is necessary to use blue spectrum lamps, which promote the growth of green mass. So, wait a moment to light HPS and DNAS; a simple fluorescent or energy-saving lamp (ESL) of the desired spectrum is enough.
The nutrition of seedlings should be treated very carefully if the plant is small and tender, so it is very easy to harm. Before the first proper pair of leaves appears (the first two leaves you see are cotyledons, not leaves), it is best to water with just clean water with adjusted pH.
After the seedlings get stronger and show the first or second pair of leaves, you can start feeding fertilizers according to the instructions for the growing season.
Rooting stimulants will also work very well. It is important not to overwater so that the young roots can breathe in the ground. With proper care, the seedlings will quickly stretch, and already on the 10-14th day, it will be possible to transplant it to the place of further growth.
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Seed germination can be defined as a fundamental process, the initial stage of a plant, through which a sprout and subsequently an adult plant are formed from one seed.
This process affects both yield and quality. Essentially, water is crucial when it comes to seed growth. For instance, water provides the necessary hydration for protoplasm activity, dissolved oxygen for the growing embryo, and converts the nutrients into a soluble form.