April 5, 2023

Seeds need love too

How chitin can be the answer to your seed treatment needs

The final part of our chitin blog series has arrived. How sad, I know. Please, hold the tears - if you start crying then I will too.

Today, we’ll be discussing how seeds can benefit tremendously with the help of chitin.

Seeds of success

Seed treatment essentially is the process of adding chemical or biological substances to seeds (coating them) that are beneficial for the plant. The properties of seed treatments vary quite significantly; some are focused on being anti-fungal, antiviral, antibacterial or insecticidal, whereas others are all about promoting plant growth and germination.

The main benefit to seed treatment is to give the seed the best chance of survival when it’s in this vulnerable stage of its life. It protects the seed from diseases and pathogens and improves germination.

Stronger seeds with skeletons

If you thought you saw the last of chitin, think again. Not only does chitin provide nutrition to plants, helps fight off pathogens and diseases, and acts as a biostimulant, but it’s also an effective seed treatment. Chitin has demonstrated both the capacity to improve germination rates and also protect the seed against pathogens. 

Chitin packs a serious punch when it comes to improving seed germination. In both wheat and maize, the germination of seeds was improved following treatment with chitin. Germination also improved between 16 to 34% for tomatoes, capsicums and eggplant when treated with chitin and chitin-derived compounds.

Chitin also has incredible properties in controlling seed pathogens. Chitin combined with fungicides outperformed fungicides alone for controlling pathogens of chilli seeds. Seed coating of wheat seeds with chitin-derived compounds also lead to improved defenses against root rot. These are two of several examples of chitin being an incredible seed treatment - both for improving germination rates and fighting off nasty seed pathogens.

Buzzin' about black soldier flies

When people get asked who their favourite superhero is, the answers are usually Superman, Batman, or Spiderman. However, at Bardee our answer is quite different - black soldier flies. They’re the powerhouse behind our vertical farming system, which processes tonnes of food waste a day and transforms it into certified-organic fertiliser and insect protein.

If that wasn’t enough, the husks of black soldier fly larvae and the exoskeletons of black soldier flies are rich in chitin. We blend this chitin in all of our Superfly fertliser range - Superfly, Superfly Pellets and Superfly Low Odour. For chitin-lovers we have Superfly Chitin Concentrate, which is made from 100% milled exoskeletons.

If you’re looking to give your garden a chitin-kick, check out our range! If you have some unanswered questions or would like to find out more about our products we’d love to chat.

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