Seed vitalization

a revolutionary, ecological method with unique storability

As a result of years of extensive research to optimise techniques for improving seed quality, a new revolutionary, ecological method has developed. The invention makes it possible to achieve the benefits of seed priming while at the same time maintaining the vigour and germination capacity of the seeds over time.

The method, which works for most species, has been developed from laboratory scale to a prototype of a machine that can perform the seed vitalization in a mechanical environment. This work was supported by the Swedish innovation agency Vinnova. Now the company continue to scale up the equipment to commercially viable volumes. Vitalized seeds will be marketed globally under the name Optigrow® and are aimed at both proffesional growers and hobby gardeners. The seed vitalization also opens up new, excellent opportunities for the organic market.

Seed vitalization

The seed vitalization method enhances the germination performance. Vitalized seeds germinate faster and more uniformly than untreated seeds, and the germination capacity is often improved as well. There are many advantages with the Optigrow® seeds, such as:

• Superior shelf-life allows for long storage

• Faster emergence and earlier crop development

• More uniform crop stands

• More vigorous seedlings

• Stronger weed competition

• Improved germination and seedling emergence under sub-optimal conditions (unfavourable temperatures and deficiency or excess of soil moisture)

• Improved yield potential and quality of the harvest

• A method to overcome seed dormancy

Tomato plants - untreated seed and Optigro seed.
Tomato seedlings - untreated seed and Optigrow seed

 Early emergence and crop establishment may enable earlier harvest, or extend the growing season with possibilities for extra production cycles in fast crops and in transplant production. Improved germination capacity and more vigorous seedlings also increase the final population and percentage of usable transplants. Uniform crops facilitate crop management and in some crops also the harvest and quality of the harvested products. Vigorous seedlings are better equipped to cope with stress. The seed vitalization washes away fungi and bacteria from the seed coat and reduces primary infections of seed-borne diseases. Stronger seedlings and healthier stands decrease the need for chemical crop protection. Strong weed competition and uniform crops favour efficient weed control and reduce the use of herbicides. These factors all contribute to improved productivity and profitability in plant production.

Vitalization effect in sweet pepper

Germination speed and capacity for vitalized and untreated seeds

Shelf-life results for onion

Germination speed and capacity for vitalized and untreated seeds
after 18 months storage at room conditions

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This project has received funding from the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme under grant agreement No 739254.

About the project

What makes the Optigrow® seeds unique?

The developed method is fully ecological and it does not only enhance the vigour, but also maintains seed storability over a long time. To distinguish this technique from current priming practices, the innovative, patent-protected method is called seed vitalization. Competitive advantages with seed vitalization method compared to traditional priming:

• The vitalization process is optimised to prevent deterioration of the seed quality over longer time. The unique shelf-life makes it possible to store vitalized seeds longer.

• The vitalization is conducted without adding any chemicals; with only water and air involved, the method is completely ecological and can therefore also be used for treating organic seeds.

• The process is both time- and resource efficient, which makes it commercially viable to treat a broader range of species and varieties from different market segments.