Small Thoughts on Planting From Seed

I really subscribe and believe in the mantra of never stop learning. Just about everyday in the garden and absolutely every season in the garden, I learn new things.

I was just reading an article today about seed orientation when planting. Granted, I wasn’t actually in the garden when reading the article, it’s related to gardening and expanded my knowledge, so it still counts as learning from gardening, I think.

Now, I knew that seeds had the ability to orient them selves properly when planting, but I didn’t realize that ability had a name, geotropism. This rotation that I’m talking about is when you plan a seed, the roots come from the radicle of the seed, also something I didn’t know, and if the radicle is pointed sideways or upwards instead of down, the seed has to expend energy to orient itself properly so it can have roots growing downwards, and the sprout (aka the plant) growing upwards.

The radicle, or part of the seed that was attached to the parent plant and during natural dispersion from a parent plant or flower, the sides would typically have gravity do the work and the radicle would more likely end up downwards, as needed.

The tl:dr is, if you can identify the radicle on the seed, plant it downwards, it’s only likely to help your plants and your germination rate.

The article doesn’t specifically say, and of course I haven’t tested this theory yet, but it seems to might this might also improve overall survival of the plant. The extra energy, instead of being spent rotating the seed properly underground, can be used to grow the roots and/or sprout stronger, earlier.

If you want some good pictures of what some seeds look like and how they should be oriented, head to the original article. I’ll leave you with just one image, of some melon seeds, that I took, with the radicle pointing downwards.

Group of five melon seeds with radicle pointing downwards