Before seeds can be produced from vegetables it is necessary for the crop to flower. Flowering is required by the plant for sexual reproduction and maintenance of generation. The process of flowering is complex. Some plant species pass from vegetative phase to the reproductive phase with special requirement or stimulus, whereas in others such stimulus is not required. Species which have a special physiological requirement to pass from the vegetative phase to reproductive phase are generally either dependent on day length (photoperiod) or have a low temperature requirement (vernalization). Not only photoperiod and temperature but some other climatic factors, e.g. rainfall, wind etc. are also responsible for best yield of high quality seeds. The major environmental factors influencing vegetable seed production are: A. Photoperiod B. Temperature C. Rainfall D. Wind A. Photoperiod Photoperiod influences vegetable seed production by affecting photosynthesis and day length.Within the limits of each crop plant, the higher the light intensity, the higher will be the rate of photosynthesis required to manufacture the important constituents of the seed. Different crop plants have different requirements of photoperiodism. According to Thomson (1979) the transition from vegetative to the reproductive phase in some vegetable crop plants can occur only at the season when the days are of particular length, and if the plants are kept in the wrong day length, they remain in vegetative phase for longer time. Crop species of temperate regions tend to flower in the long days of summer while tropical crop species require shorter days. Plants can be classified into three main groups according to the specific duration of light and dark requirement in each 24 hour period or cycle in order to initiate flower, viz. short-day plants, long-day plants and day-neutral plants. Short-day Plants : This group includes species which will not flower unless the day light period is shorter than a particular critical time, which is between 10 and 12 hours, for example amaranthus sps, soybean, pepper (some varieties), kidney bean. Long-day Plants: These include plants which will flower only when the light period is greater than a critical time. The critical photoperiod for most long-day plants is between 12 and 14 hours, for example, spinach, radish, cabbage, cauliflower, broccoli, turnip etc. Day-neutral Plants: This group does not have a specific day length requirement for flowering, for example, tomato, brinjal, lettuce, cucurbits, carrot etc. B. Temperature Some vegetable species do not initiate flowers until the plant has received a cold stimulus. The requirement of cold temperature stimulus for flowering is called vernalization, e.g. cabbage, Brussels’ sprout, beet, biennial radish, carrot, onion etc. Depending upon the vernalization requirement, vegetable crops are grouped in to the following three classes:

1 T.K.Maity

Maity . tropical radish. such crops produce flower and seed in the first year. the prevailing temperature during growth and developmental phases of plant determined the final seed yield. 2 T. annuals and biennials. Most of the biennial plants require vernalization for flower initiation. shattering and shedding of seed. Strong winds during the reproductive phase can cause severe crop losses through lodging. Perennial: Perennial plants survive for several years producing flowers and seeds each year. Batisak (Brassica chinensis). beet. Not only has the flowering. prevents maximum activity of pollinating insects. C. Seed viability can be seriously affected by high rainfall during the seed ripening period. e. Most vegetables are. e. however. Sufficient soil moisture must be ensured during flowering stage when the crop is moisture sensitive.K.g. Biennial: Biennial plants tend to remain in vegetative stage in the first year of growth and they flower and produce seed in the second year. cabbage and biennial radish etc. carries wind-borne pollen over long distances and increases loss of seed by enhancing shattering during seed ripening (George. owing the reduced root growth. Temperature significantly influences the transition from the vegetative to the reproductive phase of the crop species having specific critical temperature requirements for flowering.g. Rainfall: An appropriate balance between sufficient rainfall for crop growth and establishment and sufficiently dry conditions for satisfactory pollination and seed ripening is the most important factor in the vegetable seed production. carrot. 1980). On the other hand gentle wind facilitates increased pollination in cross-pollinated crops. Wind : Excessive wind increases water loss from the crop and soil.Annual: Vegetable species which do not have vernalization requirements for flower initiation. D.

Sign up to vote on this title
UsefulNot useful