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Garden with Insight v1.0 Help: germination

Germination is the expansion of a seed through absorption (imbibing) of water and its growth into a seedling. The seedling leaves, which are already in the seed, expand and emerge from the soil to begin the photosynthesis that will help the plant grow other leaves.

In this simulation germination depends on two factors: soil temperature and soil moisture. Soil temperature affects seed germination in the same way that air temperature later affects plant growth: by affecting heat unit accumulation. The number of degrees Centigrade the soil temperature is above the best temperature for germination (a parameter) is accumulated until a threshold is reached. On the day the heat unit threshold is reached, the soil water is checked; if it is above the amount needed (another parameter), the seed germinates. Of course it is not very realistic to check the soil moisture on only one day, since the seed imbibes water over a longer period of time, but it is assumed the soil moisture is buffered enough to be similar on other days.

There is a variety of special germination requirements in nature. Some seeds cannot germinate until their seed coats have been cracked by freezing and thawing. Some must be scorched in a fire. We don't simulate any of these mechanisms here; germination is assumed to depend only on temperature and moisture.

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Updated: March 10, 1999. Questions/comments on site to
Copyright © 1998, 1999 Paul D. Fernhout & Cynthia F. Kurtz.