- Seed company
Seed companies produce and sell
seeds for flowers, fruitand vegetables to theamateur gardener. The production of seed is a multi billion dollar business, which usesgrowing facilities and growing locations world wide. While most seed is produced by largespecialist growers, large amounts are produced by small growers that produce only one to a fewcrop types. These larger companies supply seed both to commercial resellers and wholesalers.The resellers and wholesalers sell to vegetable and fruit growers, and to companies who packageseed into packets and sell them on to the amateur gardener.
Each seed company or reseller that sells retail, produces a catalogue – generally publishedduring early winter for seed to be sown the following spring. These catalogues are eagerlyawaited by the amateur gardener, as during winter months there is little that can be done in thegarden, so this time can be spent planning the following year’s gardening. Most companies run a
mail ordercatalogue business, some also supply their range of seeds to gardencenters and other retailers.
Seed companies produce a huge range of seeds from highly developed
F1 hybrids to openpollinated wild species. Many gardeners like to stick to old familiar varieties but each year seedcompanies produce new varieties for gardeners to try. They have extensive research facilities toproduce plants with better genetic materials that result in improved uniformity and gardeningappeal. These improved qualities might include disease resistance, higher yields, dwarf habit andvibrant or new colors. These improvements are often closely guarded to protect them from beingutilized by other producers, thus plant cultivars are often sold under their own names and byinternational laws protected from being grown for seed production by others. Along with the growth in the allotment movement, and the increasingpopularity of gardening, there have emerged many small independent seed companies. Many ofthese are active in seed conservation and encouraging diversity. Theyoften offer organic and open
pollinated varieties of seeds as opposed to hybrids. Many of these varieties areheirloom varieties. The use of old varieties will continue to maintain diversity in the
gene pool. There is a good case for amateur gardeners to useolder (heirloom) varieties as the modern seed types are often the same as those grown bycommercial producers, and so characteristics which are useful to them (e.g. vegetables ripeningat the same time) may be unsuited to home growing.
Seed packets and seed information
Generally, seed packets labels includes:
* Common plant name and the
botanicalname (in parentheses).
* Space and deep: how deep to place the seeds in the
soil, space between plants (from one rowto the other one and from one plant to the other one in the same row).
Height: approximate heightthe plant will reach when mature.
Soil: type of soil the plant prefers.
Water: It can indicate "keep the soil lightly damp", "bottom water the plant", " drenchthe soil with water", "daily mistingof water" and "almost dryout before re-watering".
Sun: full direct sunlight, partial sun, diffused sunlight, or grows well in the shade.
* Door: if the plant is best suited for growing
Indoor, Outdooror Both.
* Live: Perennial or annual.
Planting, germinationand harvestperiod: This information can be indicated by months or quarters of the year.
* Special requirements, if necessary. This information can be represented graphically.
* [http://dmoz.org/Shopping/Home_and_Garden/Plants/Seeds/ Directory of Seed Suppliers]
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