There is nothing more important in gardening than the quality of your seeds. Modern gardening methods have given us multiple ways to control the soil’s nutrient content, temperature, humidity, and sun exposure.
Still, unless you are careful in selecting the seeds, to begin with, that’s something you can’t change later on. To prevent ending up with poor quality seeds, here are a few essential guidelines that should help you to find the best seeds for your spring garden.
Find an Authentic Seed Supplier
The very first tip would be to find an authentic seed supplier with at least a bit of reputation, so that you know what they are advertising is what you will be getting.
For example, unless you are into the science of genetic seed modification, you cannot control or determine the innate qualities of hemp seed. Therefore, you will have to rely on reputed seed suppliers in Australia, who are capable of the necessary modifications and sell only the best cannabis strains to their customers.
Make sure to check online reviews, go through their site, talk to the customer representatives, and only then finalize the order of your seeds. If you’re interested, you can see the details here.
Know the Unique Attributes of High-Quality Seeds
What can be identified as signs of good seed for one plant may not be applicable for the other. That is why it is essential to be perfectly aware of precisely what you should be looking for. Hemp seeds with the following properties are considered to be of high quality:
- A waxy, thin and shiny coat around each seed
- They should be flexible enough to stay undamaged on being squeezed with light pressure
- Edible CBD seeds do not have any cracks or holes in them
- Look for stripes or spots everywhere on the seed; it’s a sign of good quality
- All strains of edible hemp seeds come in darker shades of grey, black or brown
- Avoid green or white hemp seeds
Some of the attributes might be different or similar, depending on the plants concerned. However, there will always be visual cues to the quality of any seeds that you buy for your garden.
Why Testing the Seeds is Vital
Admittedly, testing can only be conducted once the seed has arrived, of course, but it’s still an absolute necessity to test your seeds before planting. Take a look at the points below to understand why that is suggested.
- It’s better to lose the seed money than to waste an entire cycle on bad seeds
- Some sellers may offer you an exchange option
- You will at the very least, know not to buy from them again
How to Test Seeds to Find Batches with the Best Quality
Order in small quantities first, and apply the following tests to be sure about the quality:
The Water Test
Put some seeds in a glass of water for 15 – 20 minutes, and see if they sink or float. If they float, the seeds are useless, but if they sink, it’s a sign that they are alive and well.
The Germination Test
That is a more reliable method than the standard water test, although it will take a lot longer. Go through the steps, as mentioned below:
- Put a dozen seeds in a row, on a wet paper towel
- Please fold the paper towel carefully with the seeds in place, and seal it in a zip-up bag
- Please keep it in a warm location, but away from direct sunlight
- Dampen the paper towel more when it begins to dry up a bit
- Germination should be seen in less than two weeks
- At least 8 of the seeds should germinate, if not more
- If the germination percentage is below 60% – 70%, you may have a bad batch on your hands.
Both tests are also dependable methods to check if your leftover seeds from the last cycle are still any good or not. Old seeds have a low sprouting chance, but seeds can last for years without getting damaged, provided that they were stored correctly.
Look to Buy from Sellers Who Mark and Grade According to the Blooms
Not all seeds from the same garden or even the same plant are going to be equal in quality. Unfortunately, only the seed collector can tell you which seeds were extracted from the best blooms. Sellers will often mark, grade, and price their seeds, following the specific bloom’s quality. That is what a gardener should be looking for, as there’s no better way to estimate what to expect.
Even the Best Seeds Can Fail Under Inappropriate Conditions
It doesn’t matter how high-quality the blooms are. They will fail to germinate, or poorly grow if the species you chose are ill-suited for the weather conditions or even the specific location. Some key factors to keep in mind before choosing or planting your seeds are as follows.
- Where you plant them: Do they need a sunny section of the garden to thrive or a relatively shady one?
- The right weather: Are the humidity, average temperature, and rainfall right for the species?
- The right kind of soil: Is the soil naturally suited for the species?
- Water: How much watering do they need to thrive but not drown?
Matching Seeds with Soil Types
To be able to select the right kind of seeds, you need to know what type of soil you have in your garden. If you want to grow plants that your garden soil doesn’t naturally support, replace patches from the garden with the type of soil you need. To give yourself a decent idea regarding soil types and the kind of plants that grow well from them, go through the following list.
- Clay – Sticky, soft soil found in clumps, clay will, however, become extremely hard when it dries out. Although very rich in nutrients, clay requires improved drainage and the creation of additional air spaces for the plants to thrive. Shrubs, perennials, fruit-bearing trees, summer veggies, and ornamentals are ideal for growing in clay.
- Sandy soil – Unless supplemented with fertilizers, sandy, quickly drained soil can’t hold nutrients or water well. However, root veggies such as carrot, potato, and beet grow well in it. When supplemented appropriately, sandy soil can also be ideal for hibiscus, tulips, strawberries, tomatoes, peppers, corn, zucchini, and the sun rose.
- Loam – Loamy soil is ideal for hemp, wisteria, violets, rubus, delphinium, bamboo, and various other climbers, perennials, and shrubs. This nutrient-rich soil can be used to grow pretty much any vegetable with varying degrees of success. It’s also the best type of soil to have in a spring garden.
- Chalky soil – It’s not the best soil type to have in any garden, but the large-grained, alkaline soil can be fertilized to grow lilac, weigela, pinks, Madonna lily, beet, cabbage, corn, spinach, etc.
- Silt – Silt is one of the best soil types to have in any garden as it holds moisture, while the soft texture favors easy cultivation. With proper drainage, you can grow almost any vegetable, flower, or fruit in silt. Especially suited for sediment are big trees such as willow, dogwood, and cypress, but shrubs and climbers like mahonia and New Zealand flax grow well in it too.
- Peaty soil – The peat density makes this type of soil highly acidic and water retentive. It also needs organic fertilizers, since peat is not rich in nutrients at all. Nonetheless, with the help of proper drainage and fertilizers, legumes, carrot, potato, beet, brassica, hazel, rhododendron, camellia, heather, lantern tree, and the like can bloom well in peaty soil.
Keep changing things up a bit every season, giving new strains a chance. There could be an opportunity for better yields there. Do keep the experimental patches small, though, because replacing a tried and tested variety outright is not a solid strategy.