The life cycle of plants begin with the germination of seeds that are obtained from mature plants. The process continues over and over in a cycle that keeps the species of various plants. Germination can be simply defined as the sprouting of seeds after a period of dormancy. For the process of germination to successfully occur, there are several factors that play significant roles. There are various factors that can impact germination; however, the most common ones include water, health of the seeds, time, temperature, presence of oxygen, light exposure and heat.
Water is one of the basic requirements for germination to take place. Mature seeds that are planted are usually dry to the extreme and need to absorb water that is relative to the dry weight of the seed. However, seeds may at times also germinate in soil with low moisture content. The only hitch is that such conditions may not allow the seed to perform all its genetic potential. On the other hand, it should also be noted that germination of seeds can be impeded by excess water or moisture as a result of restriction of the availability of oxygen.
It should also be noted that germination of seeds is usually triggered when temperatures rise. Combined with the presence of available water in liquid form, the two work together towards the benefit of plants. Thus, it should be noted that seeds are only able to germinate when there is a rise in temperature and adequate water.
Light levels also affect germination. Most seeds are usually tiny and when planted, land on the soil’s surface. There are also some seeds that larger and are eaten then expelled by birds and other animals in soil together with the droppings. For all these kinds of seeds, light plays a major role in their germination. High light levels positively impact the growth of plants. Seeds that are planted in winter usually experience slow growth based on the low light levels that significantly slows down the process.
It is also important to bear in mind that seeds that are planted in environments that are deprived of oxygen like in areas with tightly compacted soil or are waterlogged, may germinate very poorly or even fail to undergo the process altogether. To most people, the delay in germination as a result of unfavorable environmental conditions can be termed as seed dormancy; however, the right term should be seed quiescence.
The health of the seeds is also another factor that can affect the germination of seeds. Today, seeds can be obtained from various sources including agricultural stores and even those preserved by farmers. It is required that before planting, you need to check the seeds keenly so as to ascertain whether they are in the right health that can germinate. Some seeds may look so healthy on the outside but not so inside. Such may not germinate since the process begins from within the seed, and in case it is interfered with, it is unlikely that germination will take place.
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