Chapter 22

Plant Propagation from Seed

(book excerpts)

A number of plants, particularly vegetables, annuals, and herbs, can be grown from seed in greenhouses. There are several advantages to propagating plants from seed. The process of growing more plants from seed is known as sexual propagation. Seeds have three main parts. The outer seed coat protects the seed, while the cotyledons or seed leaves provide a food source during germination. The seed is made up of three main parts: the outer seed coat, which protects the seed; a food reserve (e.g., the endosperm); and the embryo, which is the young plant itself. In plants that are self-pollinated, every seed produced will carry the same genetic makeup as the original parent plant, barring mutations. In cross-pollinated plants that have two parents, the seed will contain a mixture of genes from the egg parent plant that bore it and the pollen parent plant that was the source of pollen for fertilizing the egg. This continual reshuffling of the genetic “deck of cards” provides for many different gene combinations, thus helping to ensure the survival of a species in a changing environment. For propagation to succeed, it is important to start with high-quality, viable seeds. Mature seeds will germinate when exposed to favorable conditions.

Click on the following topics for more information on plant propagation from seed.

Topics Within This Chapter:

  • Seed Quality
  • Good Germination Percentages
  • Graded, Primed, and Pelleted Seed
  • Graded Seed
  • Primed Seed
  • Pelleted Seed
  • Greenhouse Seed Production Techniques
  • Seedling Growth Stages
  • Flat Production
  • Advantages and Disadvantages
  • Methods in Sowing the Seed
  • Plug Production
  • Advantages and Disadvantages
  • Tray Insert Selection
  • Shape of Plug Cells
  • Mechanical Seed Sowing
  • Template Seeder
  • Needle Seeder
  • Drum Seeder
  • Optical Seeder
  • Covering Seed
  • Seed Propagation Environment
  • Germination Chambers
  • Media
  • Temperature Management
  • Light Management
  • Supplemental Lighting
  • Water Management
  • Mist Systems
  • Fog Systems
  • Sub-Irrigation Systems
  • Water Quality
  • Humidity Management
  • Carbon Dioxide Enrichment
  • Fertilization
  • Seedling Disorders Related to Fertility
  • Fertilizer Program Affects Seedling Size
  • Plant Growth Regulators
  • Disease Management
  • Fungicidal Media Drenches
  • Hardening or Acclimating Seedlings
  • Irrigation Deficit and Water Stress
  • Light Adjustment
  • Nutrition Deficit
  • Greenhouse Transplant Production
  • Pot-Filling Machines
  • Transplanting from Flats
  • Transplanting from Plug Trays
  • Transplanting Machines
  • Types of Transplanters
  • Watering Station
  • Transplant Containers