These are the operations carried out when inserting the planting materials (cutting or seeds) into the soil. When seeds are sown in the soil, they develop root and shoots, this is called germination and the young plants that emerge are called seedlings.
Table of Contents
A seed when planted undergoes the following processes.
- Germination: the process whereby the embryo of a seed resumes growth under favourable conditions.
- Emergence: this refers to the appearance of a seedling above soil level.
Conditions necessary for germination of seeds are
- Adequate moisture
- Viable seed (living embryo)
- Optimum temperature
- Adequate air
Methods of sowing
- In-situ (directly into the field/farm land)
In-situ planting/sowing is sowing directly in the field on flats (plain land) ridges or garden beds e.g. of crops sown in-situ are maize, okra, cowpea, millet etc.
- Drilling: sowing a seed by drilling with stick or knife, followed by dropping seeds and covering them.
- Broadcasting: sowing of seeds by spreading it broadly on prepared seed bed
- Dibbling: sowing of seeds up the bed at the planting point only and placing the seeds at the correct depth.
BASIC CONSIDERATIONS IN PLANTING OPERATIONS
- Planting space/distance
- Planting time
- Planting depth
- Number of seed
- Viability of seed
Planting space: This is the space between a sown or planted seed and the next. It is the distance between two plants stand on the field. Planting is usually in rows and the distance between plants on the same row is called within row spacing (intra row spacing)while the distance between plants in two adjacent rows is called between row spacing (inter row spacing).
Planting time: This is the time of planting or sowing seeds in which the crop can thrive or perform well. This is largely dependent on rainfall.
Planting depth: This is the distance of the sown seed in the soil from the soil surface
Number of seeds: This is the amount of seeds sown per hole per planting point (position)
Seed viability: This is the life in the seed or deadness of the seed.
NURSERY AND NURSERY OPERATIONS
Nursery is a special place prepared for raising seedlings which are later taken to the field for proper planting (transplanting). Seedlings are grown in nursery beds, seed trays or boxes, basket or polythene bags may be used as boxes. E.g. of such crops are cocoa, kola, tomatoes, citrus etc.
Why seeds are raised in nurseries
- The seeds are tiny hence cannot be handled easily and sown as required
- The seedlings are weak and may not survive in field. They require protection from sunlight and rainfall.
- They are better protected from pest in the nursery
- So as to select the healthiest or seedling with best vigor for transplanting.
- What is germination?
- Define sowing in-situ
- What is planting space?
- Mention two reasons why seeds are raised in the nursery.
- State three conditions for seed germination.