Uneven seed germination in plug trays

With spring production underway, seedling plug production is in full swing. As with any greenhouse crop, uniformity is key to produce high-quality plants efficiently and economically. For seed-propagated crops, this starts in the plug tray.

by Christopher J. Currey - ccurrey@iastate.edu

The first step in producing seed-propagated annuals and perennials is growing seedling plugs for transplanting into containers for finishing. Seed germination is the first step in seedling development, and it consists of two stages. In Stage 1, the seedling root or radicle emerges from the seed. In Stage 2, cotyledons emerge and develop while the radicle penetrated the growing substrate. Once these two stages are over, germination is complete and the seedling moves into the growth stages (Stages 3 and 4, true leaf development and toning, respectively).

While each stage of plant growth is important, germination (and the stages that comprise it) is the most crucial for growing seedling plugs . There are several factors that you should keep in mind as you prepare to and proceed with growing plugs.

Read the full e-GRO Alert here.

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