Vegetable Seed Rate, Seed Treatment, Seed Germination

Introduction: Hello friends we are back with an excellent information of vegetable seed rate, seed treatment, and seed germination. Seed germination is an important stage in a plant’s life cycle. Water, air, temperature, and light are all necessary for the seed germination process starting from imbibitions, activation and succeeding manifestation.

A guide to vegetable seed germination, seed rate and seed treatment 

Seed germination is a crucial procedure that influences crop yield and quality. Then, understanding the molecular aspects of seed dormancy and germination is of great significance for the improvement of crop yield and quality. The seed germination process may be defined as the fundamental process by which different plant species grow from a single seed into a plant. This procedure influences both crop yield and quality.

A Guide to Seed Germination, Seed Rate, Seed  Treatment.
A Guide to Seed Germination, Seed Rate, Seed Treatment.

Vegetable seed rate

The seed rate is the number of seeds planted per hectare (ha) to ensure a normal density of sprouts and a maximum crop yield. The seeding rate process is expressed by the number of germinating seeds (millions) and the weight of the seeds (kg).

Seed treatment

Seed treatment refers to the application of fungicide, insecticide, or a combination of both fungicide and insecticide, to seeds so as to disinfect them from seed-borne or soil-borne pathogenic organisms and storage insects. It refers to the subjecting of seeds to solar energy exposure, immersion in conditioned water, etc. The seed treatment is done to achieve the following advantages.

Benefits of Seed Treatment will be given below;

  • Prevents the spread of plant diseases and protects seed from seed rot and seedling blights
  • Improves germination
  • Provides protection from storage insects
  • Control soil insects.

Here we discuss the seed germination process in vegetables;

Different vegetables have different seed germination requirements. It is important to know the germination requirements of the seeds you are planting to ensure success.

Viable seeds are alive; they have an embryo, stored food and are surrounded by a seed coat. A seed will germinate or begin to produce when soil moisture, temperature, and oxygen, as well as light conditions, are right for that specific seed. Germination speed generally depends on the temperature of your room. The warmer the environment, the faster the germination process.

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Nearly all vegetable seeds will germinate at about 60° to 70°F (16-21°C) if they are in contact with moist, aerated soil; the soil must be moist to about 50 to 75 percent of the soil’s moisture-holding capacity that is moist, not wet. Many vegetable seeds normally cool-weather crops will germinate in the soil as cool as 45° to 50°F (7-10°C) a few in even cooler soil.

Some of the vegetable seeds have special requirements to germinate. Vegetable growers recognize the quality seed of better varieties as the most strategic resource for higher and better vegetable yields. Although India ranks second in vegetable production and the quality vegetable seed production in the country has been insufficient.

Vegetable seeds that require light to germinate are lettuce and savory. These seeds must not be covered with soil or just barely. Keep the soil moist and protect these seeds from drying sun, wind, and foraging birds by covering the seedbed with a light floating row cover.

Seeds that require little soil cover to germinate are broccoli, Brussels sprouts, cabbage, cauliflower, Chinese cabbage, collards, cucumbers, eggplants, kale, kohlrabi, leeks, melons, peppers, squashes, and tomatoes.  These vegetable seeds can germinate in light if surrounded by moist soil or they can be lightly covered with soil.

Normal vegetable seed germination requirements

All seeds must be planted in fine-textured soil. That is humus-rich loamy soil that has a well-decomposed organic matter. Fine-textured soil is well aerated which allows for excellent gas exchanged between the embryo of the germinating seed and the soil. (Seeds need oxygen; oxygen is partially converted to carbon dioxide during growth; the carbon dioxide needs to move away from the seed through aerated soil.)

Soil for seed starting must be just moist; moisture is needed by most seed for the seed coat to swell and open; water is necessary for seeds and plants to transport nutrients throughout the seed and plant.

Most vegetable seeds must be planted to a depth that is 3 times the thickness of the seed. For example, a bean seed as large as 1 inch wide must be planted 3 inches deep. A carrot seed which is ¼ inch wide must be planted ½ inch deep.

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Seed Germination Requirements.
Seed Germination Requirements.

Vegetable seed treatment

The treatment of vegetable seeds prior to planting can help control seed-borne diseases and control of these diseases is essential to prevent a reduction in the yield. Some vegetable seeds are treated by suppliers or commercial nurseries prior to seeding of transplanted crops or before sale to growers for direct-sown crops.

Diseases of vegetable plants often are caused by fungi, oomycetes, or bacteria carried on, in, or with the seed. Some types of seed, such as sweet corn and field corn, could carry extremely high levels of potential pathogens. Nearly all seed of certain corn lots has been creating to be carrying strains of Fusarium species known for their ability to incite diseases on corn. Not all infected seeds will essentially transmit the disease to germlings or seedlings. Because the outcome for seed-borne pathogens is strongly influenced by environmental conditions, including temperature effects on the pathogen and the plant, soil moisture levels, microbial competition after planting, and potential pesticide applications.

Seed treatments alone cannot always be relied on to control all plant diseases against which they are directed and they are not panaceas of all ills. Sometimes a seed treatment will of itself be entirely efficient in preventing disease, but more often it is only one step in a series of disease control practices. Disease-causing organisms harbor in places besides seed, for example, old crop refuses in the seedbed, greenhouse, or field, or sashes and frames, in soil, and on weeds closely related to the crop.

How to treat vegetable seeds with hot water

Hot water vegetable seed treatments will aid in general control of seed-borne pathogens on crucifers, carrot, celery, eggplant, lettuce, onion, parsnip, pepper, spinach, and tomato. It will aid in controlling fungi, for example, Alternaria, Fusarium, and Verticillium as well as bacteria including Xanthomonas and Pseudomonas. Hot water treatment is recognized to be as efficient as fungicides for controlling the black leg of crucifers. Pre-warm seed in the water at temperature about 100°F for 10 minutes. Soak seed in hot water maintained the temperature at 122°F for the prescribed treatment time. Cool seed in running water for 5 minutes and then dry seed.

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Some of the advantages of seed treatment are;

  • Protects germinating seeds and seedlings against soil and seed-borne pathogens or insects.
  • Seed germination enhancement.
  • Early and uniform establishment and growth.
  • Enhances nodulation in legume crop.
  • Better than soil and foliar application.
  • Uniform crop stand, even in adverse conditions.

Some of the vegetable seed germination processes can be given below;


Onion seed germination

In the process of onion seed germination, temperature plays an active role. While typically germination occurs within 7 to 10 days, soil temperature affects this process. For instance, the cooler the soil temperature, the longer it will get for onion seeds to germinate up to two weeks. Warm soil temperatures, on the other hand, can trigger onion seed germination in as little as 4 days.

The seed rate of onion vegetable

Onion seeds are generally sown in nursery beds to raise seedlings. For common big onions, 8 to 10 kg seed is sufficient for raising seedlings for one hectare, accommodating 100-110 beds of 3m X 0.6m size each. For broadcasting directly in the field or sowing in the rows, a 20 to 25 kg seed is enough for a hectare. For multiplier onions, 10 to 12 quintal bulblets are required for planting one hectare.

Seed treatment for onion cultivation

  • Seed can be treated in different ways prior to planting to develop the quality and yield potential of the resulting crop. The term “seed treatment” normally refers to the application of insecticides and fungicides to the seed to help protect the seeds and young seedlings from insect pests and fungal pathogens.
  • Treat the onion seeds with Azospirillum @ 400 grams/kg of seed using rice gruel as adhesive, dry under shade for 30 minutes and sow them.
  • Carefully, apply VAM 1 kg/sq. m in the beds along with FYM 10 kg/sq.m before sowing.


Tomato seed germination

Like all seeds, tomato seeds stay dormant until the environment has all the conditions required for germination. Seeds require water, oxygen, and warmth to start growing.

If the temperature is kept consistently, seeds will germinate within 5 to 10 days. Best to keep temperature range for 70 to 80°F (21 to 27°C). The lower the temperature the slower the germination. However, the temperature range below 50°F (10°C) or above 95°F (35°C) is poor for germination. (Some varieties need more time to germinate.) When seeds begin coming up remove the tray from a plastic bag.

The seed rate of Tomato vegetable

For raising the seedlings in nursery bed 300 to 400 grams/ha seeds are required. Hybrid seeds are costly so it should be sown in plastic cups or ice cube tray, which require only 70-90 g.

The seed treatment

To avoid damping-off disease treats the tomato seed with Trichoderma @ 5-10 g/Kg seed or carbendazim 2g/Kg seed. The treated seeds are dried in shade for about 30 minutes. And sown sparsely along the lines in ½ cm depth and covered by the topsoil.

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Eggplant seed germination

Eggplant seeds germinate in 7 to 14 days mainly depending on the heat, moisture provided, and moisture content and age of the seed. Seedlings with two sets of leaves can be transplanted into 4-inch or 2 x 2 x 6-inch pots 2 to 3 weeks after germination. The seeds will germinate without additional heat, however, it will take longer.

The seed rate for eggplant/Brinjal vegetable

On an average of 370 to 500 grams seed is required for raising required seedlings for one-hectare land.

The seed treatment

Seeds must be soaked in a solution of cow’s urine for 30 minutes prior to the sowing. This will inhibit the seed-borne diseases such as fruit rot and die back.

Seeds must be bundled using a thin cotton cloth and soaked in the biogas slurry for 12 hours prior to the sowing. This will kill all the disease-causing microbes and enhance the seed vigor

Treat the eggplant seeds with Trichoderma viride @ 4 g / kg or Pseudomonas fluorescens @ 10 g / kg of seed. Also, treat the seeds with Azospirillum @ 40 g / 400 g of seeds using rice gruel as adhesive. Irrigate with rose can. In raised nursery beds, sow the eggplant seeds in lines at 10 cm apart and cover with sand. Transplant the seedlings 30 to 35 days after sowing at 60 cm apart in the ridges.


Okra seed germination

The seeds normally germinate in 2 to 12 days. Okra will grow in several soil types, so mulch and fertilize as needed. Once the plants start to produce, thin them so they are spaced 12 to 18 inches apart.

Sow seed ½ inches (13 mm) deep. The optimum soil temperature range for germinating seed is 85°F (29°C). Okra seed can be sown directly in the garden if the soil temperature range is warm enough and there are enough days in the season for plants to reach maturity.

The seed rate of Okra vegetable

The seed rate of Okra is 8.5 kg/ha for the summer crop sown in February-March and 7 kg/ha for the Kharif crop.

For the rainy season okra crop (June – July) used a seed rate of 4 to 6kg/acre with the spacing of 60x30cm for branching varieties and 45x30cm for non-branching varieties. Up to mid-February used seed rate 15-18 kg/acre and for sowing in March used seed rate 4 to 6 kg/acre.

The seed treatment

Seed germination can be enhanced by soaking the okra seeds in water for 24hours. Seed treatment with Carbendazim will keep seeds from the attack of soil-born fungus. For that soak seeds in Carbendazim solution@ 2grams/Liter of water for six hours and dry them in shades. Then immediately complete sowing.  For better germination and to protect the crop from soil born disease. Treat seed with Imidacloprid@5ml per 1Kg seed followed by treatment with Trichoderma viride@4gm/kg seeds.

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Chilli seed germination

Chilli is known as the most valuable crop of India. As a general rule, chili seeds need a temperature of 23-30°C (73-86°F) to germinate. Place seeds in a spot with consistent warmth (e.g. on a heated mat) for a period of 2-5 days, until they swell or sprout.

The seed rate of chili vegetable

The seed rate of chili is 2.5 to 3.0 kg per acre. Seeds must not be treated with any chemical fungicides or pesticides. Young plants must be hardened before transplanting. Seeds viable for 5 to 6 yrs under normal storage. Seeds can be sown in situ by putting 2-3 seeds/hole at about 0.25 cm depth in lines at 50-60 cm apart. Thereafter thinned to retain only one plantlet. Germination takes place in 6-10 days. One kg of chili seed produces 15,000 to 17,000 plants, enough to plant a hectare. The seed is generally sown in a seedbed in mid-March and transplanted 7-8 weeks later.

The seed rate depends on the seed germination process. If the seed has more than 70 percent germinability, 1000 to 1250 gm is sufficient to plant one hectare. Seeds must be rubbed between the palms and washed in the water a few times so that their pungency is removed.

The seed treatment

Treat the chili seeds with Trichoderma viride @ 4 grams/kg or Pseudomonas fluorescens @ 10 g/ kg and sow in lines spaced at 10 cm in raised nursery beds and cover with sand.


Beans seed germination

Under good conditions, beans germinate in 8 to 10 days. Beans may take 2 weeks or longer if the soil temperature is less than 60°F. Wait until daytime temperatures are above 75°F before planting bean seeds for fast germination.

A seed begins to germinate when the soil reaches the right temperature and moisture penetrates the seed coat.

The seed rate of Beans vegetable

About 80 kg/ha for hills and 50 kg/ha for plains are necessary.

About 50 to 75 kg/ha would be required for dwarf bean, whereas for pole type the seed rate is about 25 kg/ha.

The seed treatment

Treat the beans seeds with Trichoderma 4 g/kg or Thiram or Carbendazim @ 2 g/kg of seed 24 hours before sowing to control fungal diseases. If the crop is raised for the first time it must be treated with Rhizobium as in cluster beans.

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Spinach seed germination

Spinach is a leafy green vegetable that originated in Persia and it belongs to the amaranth family and is related to beets and quinoa. Spinach seed germinates in 7 to 14 days at or near 70°F (21°C) but sometimes seed can take up to 3 weeks to germinate in cold soil. When sowing Spinach seed in summer for fall harvest, first place the seed in a folded damp paper towel placed in a plastic bag and kept in the refrigerator for 5 days before sowing.

When planted in the right soil, spinach seeds germinate quickly. It only takes about 5 to 9 days for the seeds to germinate. Sow the spinach seeds at different times throughout the spring for a longer harvest.

The seed rate of Sponach vegetable

For winter season use, seed rate of 4 to 6 kg and for summer crop use seed rate of 10-15 kg per acre. Before sowing soaked seeds in water for 12 to 24 hours. It will increase the germination percentage.

The seed treatment

Seed can be sized to be precision seeded and the fresh seed will germinate readily at soil temperatures as low as 3 to 4°C and good results are obtained at 10 to 16°C. At higher temperatures, there is a more rapid emergence but a decreased percentage of germination. Spinach seed more than one-year-old rarely germinates over 80%. The older seed is even less viable and germinates slowly and irregularly.


Carrot seed germination

Carrot is a kind of taproot that grows underground and it is a root vegetable, usually orange in color. Seeds take as long as 14 to 21 days to germinate because carrot seeds are tiny; they need to be sown shallowly. The trick is to maintain the top-most layer of soil damp during the long germination period and water deeply prior to planting.

The seed rate of Carrot vegetable

Carrots are sown from the beginning of March month to September the optimum time being August in cold areas while from the middle of August to November in warm areas. The seed rate changes from 7 to 9 kg’s per hectare according to the thickness of sowing or broadcasting.

Carrot seed treatment

Seed treatment with cow pat, pit at a rate of 3 g in 1 liter of water for 24 hours and also seed treatment with 5% Trichoderma viride. Before seed transplanting, seedling root dip with 5% Pseudomonas fluorescens.


Broccoli seed germination

Broccoli seeds are best started indoors 7 to 9 weeks before the last frost, at a temperature of 70 to 75°F. They can be sown outdoors 2 weeks before the last frost. Expect seed germination in 10 to 14 days.

The seed rate of Broccoli vegetable

The planting rate is 300 grams of seed per hectare. Sow the seed in the nursery bed or on the seedling bed. Thin the seedlings to 3 cm apart 2 to 3 days after germination.

The seed treatment

Before sowing, seeds are treated with hot water about 58°C for 30 minutes to protect seeds from soil-borne diseases.

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