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a very young plant produced from a seed
Collins Discovery Encyclopedia, 1st edition © HarperCollins Publishers 2005
The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.



a young plant raised from seed for subsequent transplanting in a permanent location.

Seedlings are used in vegetable and seed culture, floriculture, forestry, and the cultivation of certain industrial crops. The use of seedlings is most common in vegetable culture. The planting of seedlings makes it possible to shorten the period of vegetation in the open ground, to grow valuable crops and varieties having a long vegetative period in regions with a short summer, to obtain earlier vegetable harvests, and to economize on planting material (three to five times fewer seeds are needed than when sowing in the open ground).

Seedlings to be transplanted in open ground are raised in hotbeds, heated plastic-covered greenhouses, seedbeds, and tunnels and portable plastic-covered shelters. For subsequent transplantation in sheltered ground (winter and spring green-houses), seedlings are prepared in pots (10×10 or 12×12 cm) in winter shelf greenhouses and plastic-covered hotbeds. Seedlings set out in greenhouses in January and February are provided with supplementary electrical lighting, which accelerates production by seven to 15 days and increases the yield of cucumbers by 15–20 percent and the yield of tomatoes by 20–30 percent. Seedlings to be set out in glass-enclosed or plastic-covered spring greenhouses in March or April are grown in pots (8×8 or 10×10 cm) without supplementary lighting.

Cucumbers, early white cabbage, early cauliflower, vegetable marrow, eggplant, peppers, and melons are sown in pots. Tomatoes and lettuce are sown in flats but are transplanted into pots when the first true leaves appear. Seedlings of celery, onion, and medium and late varieties of cabbage are not raised in pots but directly in the ground of greenhouses or hotbeds.

To obtain high-quality seedlings, the plants must have a nutritive medium (soil mixture, nutrient solutions). The seeds must be disinfected, and protective measures against insect pests and disease must be taken. Before seedlings can be planted in the open ground, they must be hardened off, that is, exposed to lowered temperatures (at night and in overcast weather, to - 14°C), moderately watered, and treated with phosphorus-potassium fertilizers. In hotbeds the frames should be removed five to seven days before the plants are transplanted in order to improve the light regime.


Markov, V. M. Ovoshchevodstvo. Moscow, 1966.
Rubtsov, M. I., and V. P. Matveev. Ovoshchevodstvo. Moscow, 1970.




a one- or two-year-old plant grown from seed in the sowing section of a fruit or forest nursery (without transplanting). The seedlings of fruit plants are used as stocks for propagating cultivated varieties; they are often called grafting stocks. In plant selection, hybrid seedlings are grown to develop new varieties. Tree seedlings are used for forestation.

The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.


A plant grown from seed.
A tree younger and smaller than a sapling.
A tree grown from a seed.
McGraw-Hill Dictionary of Scientific & Technical Terms, 6E, Copyright © 2003 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.
References in periodicals archive ?
The site should also be near a water source for watering the seedlings. The soil should also be fertile and consider the previous crop to prevent the spread of pest and diseases.
Since seed P remobilization may be affected with sowing depths, therefore (i) seed P reserves and phytomass remobilization, and (ii) their translocation towards developing seedling roots and leaves is of prime importance.
Training topics among others were: seed treatment, plant raining, substrate preparation and mixing and transplanting of seedlings in the field.
Some of the promising results of this training were that male and female participants wanted to establish their own vegetables seedling nurseries in the Districts with the help of AusABBA and Haji sons in 2018.
Water extracts of sorghum plant parts considerably suppressed seed germination and seedling growth of Amaranthus retroflexus [17], Echinochloa colonum [18], Phalaris minor, Chenopodium album, Senebiera didyma, Cyperus rotundus and Rumex dentatus [19].
Series of manual practices during seedling culture promote nutrient utilization by seedlings, therefore nutrient wastage through leaching events could be alleviated through practical manipulations, such as fertilization method, type, and facility manipulations (Juntunen et al., 2003; Park et al., 2012).
Results have shown that interactions between the luminosity levels and seedling development were significant over time only to parameters stem diameter and root dry mass.
Selective browsing by overabundant deer reduces species richness and overall abundance of tree seedlings (Rooney and Waller, 2003; Collard et al, 2010; Tanentzap et al, 2011), as well as abundance and growth of individual species such as sugar maple and northern red oak (Quercus rubra; Tilghman, 1989; Waller and Maas, 2013).
The seedling recipients should be: (1) members of organizations ready to use the seedlings; (2) organized into clusters of at least 100 hectares each for post-harvest facilities and economies of scale; and (3) have the financing to nurture these plantings until maturity.