|Better Farming Series 03 - The Plant: the Flower (FAO - INADES, 1976, 29 p.)|
|Seeds and sowing|
· A seed consists of:
· a protective covering which is more or less hard;
· a store of food;
· a germ.
· The germ is alive.
The germ takes its food from the store of food built up in the
The leaves and roots cannot yet feed the plant; they are still in the seed.
· The seed needs water.
The germ is a plant.
To grow it needs water.
The germ of a dry seed cannot grow.
When the soil is moist, water enters the seed.
Its skin becomes soft and splits. The germ grows.
Sowing must be done in moist soil.
But if there is too much water, seeds die. They rot.
· The seed needs air.
The germ is a plant. It breathes.
The seed must find air in the soil.
Before sowing, the soil must be worked so that air can get into the soil.
The soil must not be packed too hard over the seeds.
If the soil is packed too hard, the germ will lack air and grow badly.
The seed must not be sown too deep. If it is, it will lack air, and its food reserves will soon be used up. The plant will not be able to come out of the ground.
However, the seed must be sufficiently covered. Seed that is not sufficiently covered germinates badly. And the birds may eat it.
If seeds are sown at the same depth, the plants come out of the ground at the same time. They will all be the same size, and you can more easily choose the moment to put down fertilizers, apply pesticides, and harvest.