Sowing is the placing of a specified quantity of seeds in the soil in the optimum position for germination and growth while planting is the putting of plant propagules (may be seeds, seedlings, cuttings, tubers, rhizomes, clones) into the ground to grow as crop plants. Seeds are sown either directly on the field (seedbed) or in the nursery (nursery bed) where seedlings are raised and transplanted later on.
Methods of planting
Planting methods may broadly be classified as follows:
1. Direct seeding
1. Direct seeding: It is the practice of using seed directly as the planting material. Direct seeding may be done by:
b. Dibbling and
Broadcasting method of sowing seed
Broadcasting is a very common method of sowing seed. Broadcasting is the process of random scattering or spreading of seeds on the surface of seed beds which may or may not be incorporated into the soil or covered with soil or similar other materials. Broadcasting of seed can be done both manually (by hand) and mechanically (mechanical spreader or aeroplane). Seeds are broadcast on the soil having sufficient moisture for the germination of seed. Seeds may also be broadcast in the wet field. The germinated (sprouted) rice seeds air generally sown by this method. In the wet land when broadcasting k done manually, the uniformity of scattering seeds depends on the skill of the man. Under dry condition, the seeds are to be covered with soil by planking or laddering or some other devices, just after the sowing is completed. When broadcasting is done mechanically, a machine is used for scattering the seed on the surface of seed bed at controlled rates. Broadcasting has some advantages and disadvantages as follows:
This method is suitable for close planted crops which do not require a specific geographic area for the optimum expression of their morphogenesis and development and are more plastic to compensate the morphological structures according to prevailing conditions. Under situations where the number of plants per unit area (per m2) is more important than that of definite spacing from plant to plant, broadcasting is the usual method of sowing. Crop plants not requiring special types of cultural practices (earthing up or picking) may be sown by broadcasting. Other advantages are as follows:
i. It is an easy, quick and cheap method of sowing seed.
ii. More land can be covered within a short time.
iii. No need of sowing implement. So, cost of sowing becomes less.
iv. Broadcasting is the usual method of sowing seed for mixed cropping.
v. Broadcasting needs less labour.
Though the method is an easy, quick and cheap method of seeding there are difficulties in uniform distribution, placing of seed in optimum and uniform depth of soil and in providing soil cover and compaction. As not all seeds are placed in uniform depth, there is no evenness of germination and uniformity in seedling establishment. Other disadvantages are:
i. The requirement of seed per area is more.
ii. ii. The cost of weeding and thinning in broadcast crop is more.
iii. iii. The intercultural operations such as earthing up, manuring, irrigation etc. cannot be carried out with ease.
iv. iv. Broadcasting needs planking for covering the seed with soil. On the other hand, drilling needs no planking.
v. v. Broadcast crops do not grow uniformly and desired yield is not possible. Moreover, prediction of expected yield becomes erroneous
Field condition for broadcasting
Broadcasting of seeds is done in dry, semi dry and wet fields. For sowing in wet fields, seeds must be soaked with water for eight to twelve hours and incubated for a few hours so that the radicle just begins to emerge from the seed. Crops such as upland and flooded rice, oats, wheat, millets, mustard, jute, black gram, fodder crops such as berseem, lucerne and jowar, spices such as coriander and cumin are generally sown by this method. For mixed cropping, broadcasting is the usual practice of sowing seeds.
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