What does "scarification" mean? Seed scarification
The term "scarification" is derived from the Latin "scarifico", which means "scratching", "notching." In botany, the scarification of seeds means partial damage to the shells of solid seeds in order to prepare them for sowing and to increase the germination rate. Such superficial damage to the shell allows the seeds to better absorb water, swell and germinate faster.
What seeds need scarification
Scarification is required for solid seeds of plants, the embryos of which do not have a dormant period, but are protected from germination by strong armor - a solid waterproof shell.
Under natural conditions, the shell of hard seeds is gradually disturbed by moisture and temperature changes in the period from autumn to spring. In spring, seeds germinate naturally. For the cultivation of such plants, artificial scarification of seeds is used.
Hard seeds include the seeds of such plants as clover, lupine, alfalfa, sweet clover, kobeya, ipomeya, pelargonium, sweet pea, dogrose, hawthorn, etc. Unlike seeds of their own collection, they do not need to be scarified.
There are mechanical, chemical and thermal scarification of seeds.
Mechanical scarification of seeds
When mechanical scarification seeds fray with sand, iron filings and other materials. Also for mechanical scarification use special machines-scarifiers. At home, seeds can be scraped or punctured with a hard, sharp object, such as a needle, a file, or rubbed with an emery paper. Some seeds can be rubbed on a fine grater, some crushed with shears, and some crushed in a mortar. For example, dry nasturtium seeds will emerge more quickly and harmoniously if their skin is slightly broken by a nail file (top photo). On the bottom photo are lupine seeds that require scarification.
Chemical scarification of seeds
In nature, for the germination of some seeds, the acid of the digestive tract of birds is used, which breaks their hard shell. For example, hawthorn and wild rose seeds can germinate only after eating them by birds. This method of seed preparation formed the basis of chemical scarification of seeds. In chemical scarification, seeds are treated by etching, for example, with sulfuric acid. At home, this method is not used. After chemical treatment, the seeds are washed with water.
Thermal scarification of seeds
This method of seed scarification is the alternation of exposure to seeds of high and low temperatures. At home, the process may look like this.
Place the seeds in a fabric bag, alternately lower for a few seconds in boiling water, then in ice water. The contents of the pouch to view, burst seeds to lay out of the pouch. Usually, the procedure is repeated up to 3 times.
After the scarification, seeds are soaked for better germination.
On the video examples of scarification:
In the preparation of some seeds for planting also use stratification, freezing, treatment with growth regulator.
Another meaning of the term "scarification"
The term "scarification" has other meanings. For example, "soil scarification"Means cutting the layer of soil in order to saturate it with air. In this case, the term "scarification" means plowing. Scarification is important in lawn care. There are special scarifiers for lawn scarification. They allow you to increase the flow of air to the roots of lawn grass.
«Skin scarification"Means scoring the skin.