Hot water treatments

The best way to protect your plants against seedborne diseases

Therefore, the use of disease-free seeds is a first and important step for the prevention and control of many diseases. Some of the most devastating and severe diseases like Fusarium spp. can be successfully prevented by good seed preparation.

There are many methods to treat seeds, including the use of pickling agents but the hot water bath is the cheapest and most effective.

Hot water penetrates the seed for a short time and kills potential disease without killing the seed itself.

Before you decide to do a heat treatment, you should find out if the supplier has reduced and tested the exposition against seed-related pathogens. It is also important to know if the seeds have ever been treated with hot water - a second treatment of the seeds can have a negative effect on the vegetation.

Unfortunately, the hot water treatment does not work for all crops. Large seed cultures (such as beans, pumpkins, peas, etc.) cannot be efficiently disinfected with this method. The required temperature would damage the outer seed tissue and render the whole seed unusable.

The water temperature and length of treatment vary depending on the crop.

Therefore, it’s important to use the appropriate protocol for each type of seed to prevent damage. However, there is a risk that germination will be reduced if the water becomes too hot; so, it is recommended to use an accurate thermometer. Details of the treatment procedures for your culture and a list of the materials required can be found in the following table.

 Rice 125 / 52 15
 Tomato 122 / 50 25
 Pepper 125 / 52 30
 Banana / Plantain 122 / 50 25
 Potato 131 / 55 10
 Wheat 131 / 55 5
 Cucumber 122 / 50 20
 Eggplant 122 / 50 25
 Courgettes 122 / 50 25

The procedure

Wrap seeds in a permeable cloth

Soak well and pre-warm the seed in a water bath at 100°F (37°C) for 10 minutes

Transfer seeds to a new vessel containing tap water heated to the crop-specific prescribed temperature.

After that, place the seeds in cold tap water for five minutes

Allow the seed to air-dry on a paper towel or sieve in the shade or in full sunlight

In general, it should be noted that temperature and time may vary for the treatment of a specific disease.If you want to know how you can use this method to treat a specific seedborne disease, feel free to ask in our Plantix Community for detailed information.