Germination: Garden seeds are usually treated by one of the following methods:
1. Those which are reasonably hardy are sown directly into the open ground at the appropriate period: e.g. Lettuce, Beans, Lupins.

2. Fine seeds which must be sown on the surface or with very little covering and would be difficult to keep moist in the open, are concentrated into seed beds, seed boxes or containers of seed-raising mixture, where they can be protected if necessary from heavy rain and, at the same time, conveniently kept moist.

3. In cool climates early spring soil temperatures are too low to germinate many summer crops, and here hot beds, polythene or glass covering will assist.

Germinating seeds require:
1. Warmth. Little grows in the coldest period of winter and although germination requirements vary a temperature between 12.7 C and 15.5 C. is appropriate for a wide range of plants. Nothing germinates much below 7 C. and 43 C. can destroy even tropical seeds with high moisture content.

2. Air. Oxygen is needed very early on in the life of the young plant, so unless the soil is porous and well drained, it may suffocate at birth. Waterlogged soil is fatal to seed germination, except in the case of aquatic plants.

3. Moisture. While the seed is kept dry it remains dormant.

4. Light. Light is vital immediately the shoot comes through.

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