Practices in Seed Handling for Germination

Practices in Seed Handling for Germination

Most leguminous seeds such as Calliandra calothyrsus, Gliricidia sepium, Leucaena trichandra, Sesbania sesban and Faidherbia albida have thick, hard seed coats. To hasten the germination, a mechanical means of breaking the thick seed coat before soaking in water and sowing in the seedbed must be instituted.

Materials needed

  • Seeds
  • Nail clipper or mechanical pliers
  • Cotton bag/sack
  • Hose/sprinkler
  • Mulching materials
  • Clean water

Activities

  • Partially crack the seed coat of seeds using mechanical pliers.
Nicking or partially cracking the seed coat of Leucaena seeds using a nail clipper
  • Soak the seeds in clean water overnight to enhance germination.
Treated seeds soaked in water overnight for optimum germination
  • Sow the seeds closely on the bed surface; arrange the seeds in a single layer with the flat groove side facing downward. (Note: avoid overcrowding to prevent root distortion that may lead to difficulty in pricking out the seedlings).
  • Press the seeds firmly into the seedbed until they are at the same level as the surface of the germination medium.
  • Water the seedlings at least once a day.
  • Mulch the bed surface with dried grass to retain seed moisture for rapid germination.
  • Observe the development of the seeds in the germination bed. The seeds will start germinating within a week after sowing in case of legumes.
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