Seed is a mature ovule containing an embryo or miniature undeveloped plant and stored food reserves enclosed in a hard shell (or coat). All flowering plants produce seeds to reproduce.
A seed lies dormant until it meets conditions that allow germination. Once water reaches the seed, it begins to grow by absorbing water through its outer coating in a process called imbibition.
Grass seed is used for establishing and overseeding lawns. It can also be planted in parks, golf courses, sports fields and home lawns to help add beauty and curb appeal.
A good quality lawn is an ideal place for children and pets to play and explore nature. It is important to choose a grass that can withstand heavy foot traffic and drought.
There are a number of different types of lawn grasses to choose from. Some are warm-season and do best in the South, while others are cool-season and do better in the Northeast.
Regardless of which type of grass you choose, it is best to use a quality blend. This will ensure a good stand of grass and will help prevent weeds from establishing themselves. The Lesco Transition Blend is a high quality mix that promotes a weed free lawn that is heat, shade and drought tolerant. A 7-pound bag will overseed an existing lawn up to 2,800 square feet and start a new lawn up to 1,400 square feet.
The seeds inside fruit are a special part of a plant; they carry its future, giving it the potential to grow another of its kind. Inside the ovary of apples, for example, are 10 seeds that will grow into new apple trees. These seeds are carried away from the parent plant by animals, wind or water to a place where conditions will encourage their germination.
From annuals like zinnias and marigolds to perennials such as peonies and climbing vines like clematis, you can find flower seeds to plant in your garden. Choose from heirloom and organic varieties, fragrant pollinator-attracting flowers and bold deer-repelling blooms.
Easy-to-grow flower seeds are a great choice for beginner gardeners. They are often easy to handle and germinate quickly with little attention from the grower after planting. Start seeds indoors about six to eight weeks before your projected last frost date or sow them directly outdoors in spring. Adding prepared potting soil or compost to the planting area can help provide nutrients for the seedlings and keep them free of weeds.
Vegetable seed is used to grow vegetables for home gardens. Vegetable seeds with hulls or shells should keep for months as long as they are stored in cool, dry conditions. Seeds that have been harvested and dried can be stored in labeled paper bags. Stored properly, vegetable seed can last for years.
Vegetative seed, a form of plant embryo surrounded by a protective coating, contains vital nutrients needed for a healthy diet. It is a great source of complex carbohydrates, protein and fats, essential vitamins and minerals and dietary fiber. Seeds also contain phytochemicals that promote cell health and reduce inflammation.
Vegetable seeds are usually planted in rows or in a station sowing method. The seed must be thinned as it grows to ensure that the plants have enough space to thrive. Vegetables are a good choice for beginners who are new to gardening because they are easy to grow. It is important to use a peat-free compost for optimal germination of the seed.
Herb seed gives gardeners a way to grow their favorite herb plants without having to purchase expensive plant starts from nurseries. Often, the herbs grown from seeds are stronger flavored and less costly than those purchased at the supermarket.
Herbs like basil, cilantro and chives are easy to grow from seed. Gardeners can sow them directly into the garden as soon as the last frost date occurs in their area. Or, if they prefer, they can start the seeds indoors six to eight weeks before the average last frost date.
To start herb seeds, University of Illinois Extension horticulture educator Nancy Kreith recommends using a soil-less seed-starting mix such as peat or coir-based mixes and pre-moistening it until it is the consistency of a wrung out sponge. When seedlings are ready to transplant, a 1- to 2-inch layer of mulch can help maintain even soil temperatures and prevent weed growth. Constant moisture can promote diseases such as damping-off, which is fatal to young seedlings.