Sowing is the most popular method of multiplying plants. This reproduction technique takes the name of gamic multiplication, that is by means of seeds, and differs from agamic multiplication, consisting of other types of multiplication (including for example cutting, grafting, offshoots, etc.). The most important difference between these forms consists in the fact that while the plants obtained with gamic multiplication are usually very similar to the plant that generated the seeds, but they can also differ significantly from it, vice versa the subjects obtained by agamic way have identical characteristics to that of the mother plant.
Sowing: Types of sowing
In order for sowing to obtain good results, it is necessary to have seeds with high germinability and great germination energy. By germination we mean the property of germinating, which the seeds keep for a longer or shorter time. The term germinative energy, on the other hand, refers to the vigor with which the seed gives life to the new plant. It may happen, therefore, that a seed, although able to germinate, has little vigor, and this usually depends on the lack of freshness of the seed. Where possible, therefore, it will be preferable to plant seeds of the last season.
Sowing can be done outdoors or in boxes or terrines, depending on whether the species to be sown are rustic or delicate. Outdoor sowing is done in previously prepared flower beds. To this end, it will be good to dig the soil, remove weeds and add sand and garden soil.
The sowing in seedbeds, on the other hand, is carried out using special compotes suitable for sowing. To obtain a balanced mixture, the following proportions are generally followed: 1 part of garden soil, 1 part of sand and 1 part of peat. Drainage material (eg shards, pebbles, gravel, etc.) should be placed on the bottom of the bowl or seedbed.
Sowing depth. The sowing depth must be very limited. The smaller seeds will have to be scattered on the available surface. These seeds should not be covered, as humidity could cause them to rot.
The larger seeds, on the other hand, must be covered with a layer of soil equal to their diameter. Some seeds, however, can be planted even deeper (for example beans or peas can be planted at a depth equal to 3 times their diameter).
Tips. It may be appropriate, sometimes, after sowing, to roll the soil to make the seeds adhere to the soil.
In order to allow a better homogeneity in the spreading, the smaller seeds are usually mixed with sand.
The first spring sowings must be protected from the cold by covering the seedbeds with glass plates or sheets of non-woven fabric. The protection can be removed when the seeds have germinated.
To water the compost, very fine spray sprinklers are used. If sowing takes place in boxes or terrines, the containers can be immersed until the soil is moistened.