Seeds are the foundation of agriculture. Technology has modernized much of farming’s day-to-day operations, but without a steady supply of high-quality seed, yields and crop quality would be greatly decreased.

Seed quality plays an important role in the production of agronomic and horticultural crops. Characteristics such as trueness to variety, germination percentage, purity, vigor, and appearance are important to farmers planting crops and to homeowners establishing lawns and gardens. Achieving and maintaining high seed quality is the goal of every professional seed producer.

Quality Characteristics

The selection of the best planting material is basic to good crop production practices. The role of seedling is crucial for the advancement of agriculture. Good seeds have a high growing ability, can grow simultaneously, are of a good quality and always available as well. The use of good seeds is essential to promote the food security program and also develop agro-industries. Good seeds must be consistently used and its supply in the community should be guaranteed in both quality and continuity. In order to produce quality seed, a good drying is needed. Although the sun light is available abundantly, in the rainy season, a drying machine is still required to maintain the quality, quantity and continuity of good seeds.

Quality seed must be high in germination, relatively free from insect or mechanical damage, pure for the crop variety, and contain little or no inert matter or weed seeds. For maximum profit quality seed must be used in conjunction with good cultural practices, correct fertilizer rates, and adequate control of plant pests.

The best flower seeds to grow in your garden

Sweet Pea Seeds

With softly-ruffled blooms this RHS Award of Garden Merit variety makes an excellent investment in a south-facing part of your garden.

Excellent cut-flower variety. Grow this variety up a sunny wall or scrambling up an established evergreen tree or shrub to give some colour in the summer months.

Place canes or a trellis above where you want to sow your sweet peas. Your seed pack will tell you how far apart to sow seeds. Position two seeds at each station and pick out the weakest seedling when the two start to grow, leaving the strongest seed to grow on.

If you want your sweet pea seeds to germinate quickly you can put down a horticultural fleece over the soil – this helps retain the heat in the soil, and doubles up as protection from hungry seed-eating mic.

Poppies

Although the traditional red poppies are a weed and will grow anywhere soil has been disturbed there are so many different sorts and they are very very easy to grow. Plus once you start growing them because they self-seed the area you can guarantee that for many years to come you will have lots and lots of poppies in the garden.

Sunflowers 

Each day over the summer holiday as a child my brother and I would race outside after breakfast as we took part in our annual sunflower growing competition. Which one of us would grow the biggest sunflower? We cared for those sunflowers and measured them daily. Then when they were grown and they got tall the flowers would appear, providing seeds for the birds for the autumn and winter.

Antirrhinums

Antirrhinums, (otherwise known as Snap Dragons), were originally thought to be a genus of the Scrophulariaceae family, but DNA studies have led antirrhinums to be included in the Plantaginceae family.

The common name for antirrhinums – ‘Snap Dragon’ is derived from the dragon face shape of the flowers. When the flowers are gently squeezed the dragon’s mouth opens then snaps shut.

The word antirrhinum comes from the Greek word ‘anti’, meaning ‘like’ and ‘rhis’, meaning ‘nose’. The name antirrhinum translates to ‘like a nose’ in Ancient Greek.

On the wholesale flower markets antirrhinums are sold in wraps of 10 stems. The stem length of good quality antirrhinums is usually around 75cm tall.