When purchasing garden seeds to sow inside or outdoors, you may discover that some packages are labeled “pelleted seed.” What does this imply and what are the implications for the gardener and the garden? On the left is pelleted lettuce seed, while on the right is “naked” lettuce seed.
- The pelleted seed is more manageable.
- For commercial producers using machines to plant seeds, pelletized seeds were created.
- Pelleted seeds are regular plant seeds that have been coated to give them a spherical, smooth, uniform shape and size, reducing the likelihood that they would clog a mechanical seeder and boosting the spacing precision of the seeder.
Home gardeners can benefit from pelleted seeds since they are easier to see and handle than the “bare” form of small seeds such as tomatoes and lettuce. When utilizing pelleted seeds, there are just two precautions to follow. After you’ve deposited the seed and are waiting for it to sprout, you must first ensure that the growth medium is consistently wet, but not soggy.
What are the benefits of pelleted seed?
Pelleted seeds can be advantageous. If you have purchased seeds from a garden center or a catalog, you may have noticed that some of the seeds are advertised as “pelletized.” What does this signify, and is this information useful to the gardener? If you have planted seeds such as lettuce, carrots, or petunias, you are aware that the seeds are quite little and it is nearly hard to plant with room between the plants.
- Seed merchants have devised a process known as pelleting that facilitates planting and plant growth.
- The desired seed is likely sorted by weight; eventually, all pellets will have the same size, but some will be heavier than others.
- For some commercial operations, the heavier pellets are preferred due to the rapid movement of the planting machinery, which necessitates that the seed land precisely where it is deposited.
During the pelleting process, the seed may have been almost completely rehydrated and then redried. Priming is the name given to this phase of the process. The seeds are covered with an inert material, such as clay or talc. A binder is utilized to permit molding of the inert material around the seed.
The now-pelletized, larger seed is next coated with a protective covering. Agricultural research has led to enhancements in the manufacture of pellets and chemicals used to coat seeds throughout time. Earlier research indicated that elements such as clay and diatomaceous earth hindered germination because the seeds absorbed oxygen slowly.
Recently, silica has been shown to be more effective. Increased oxygen availability; more accurate spacing of seed during planting, reducing the need for thinning and generating less waste from the purchase of unneeded seeds; and in some cases, when the seed has been primed, more rapid germination, which reduces risks such as seeds rotting in wet soil, are all advantages of using pelleted seed.
- In certain instances, the covering material may contain substances that are poisonous to creatures that would otherwise kill the seeds.
- Pellets can be engineered to contain many seeds or types of seeds.
- The pellet coatings can also be modified to include nutrients, adjust the soil pH, or provide antifungals.
Despite pelleted seeds’ numerous benefits and growing popularity, there are certain restrictions. The prepared seeds may enable for faster germination, but they will likely not be viable for more than one growing season. The gardener is recommended to calculate annual requirements and purchase only that quantity.
Are pellet seeds better?
BENEFITS OF PELLETED SEED Due of its consistent size and shape, pelleted seed is less likely to adhere to or clog seeders. This enables producers to correctly singulate seeds, reducing seed waste and thinning time.