During the last 2-3 decades professional weed breeders have focused on cultivating high yielding and potent strains. The resulting genetics are sold to dispensaries across the country and around the world. This process is incredibly expensive and time consuming.
Seeds can live for weed seeda . Some seeds have been excavated from a monastery in Denmark and found to have germinated after 600 years in the soil. More commonly, mustard seeds can live for a decade or more and common lambsquarters can live four decades or more. Other long lived weed seeds include curly dock, field bindweed and common groundsel.
Seeds of Green: A Guide to Selecting and Growing Your Ideal Weed Seeds
The weed seedbank is made up of many different species although a few species typically dominate the seedbank (Renner, 1999). A typical agricultural soil can have thousands of weed seeds per square foot. This number is influenced by farming practices and can vary from field to field. Intensive cropping increases the amount of weed seeds in the soil. Tilling the soil and cleaning tillage and harvest equipment reduces the amount of weed seeds in the soil.
Weed seeds are small and oval shaped with a hard light brown to dark brown shell that is marked on one end with a point where the root emerges and one flat end where the radicle grows into the cotyledon. They have a ‘tiger’ stripe style pattern on their shell. It is possible to tell seeds apart from appearance alone although this is very difficult. Seeds that are consumed as sprouts have higher concentrations of vitamins and minerals than dry seeds. They also have fewer phytates, oxalates and tannins which are nutrients that inhibit the absorption of healthy minerals.