|What is Emergence?|
Emergence is mentioned frequently in talking about growing from seed, so you might want to know exactly what 'emergence’ is. Emergence occurs as the baby plant breaks out of its seed coat, and the stem rises out of the soil. The first leaves that appear on many seedlings are the so-called seed leaves, or cotyledons, which often bear little resemblance to the later leaves. Shortly after the first true leaves, which are more or less typical of the plant, appear, the cotyledons will drop off. Don’t worry when this happens! They have served their purpose of providing nourishment for the seedling until it can produce some normal leaves. Some plants, like corn and lilies, are monocots; with them, the first thing to emerge are true leaves, and they do not drop off but remain and grow.
These little ‘seed leaves’ make a great handle for holding the plant when transplanting. Grasping the fragile stem will damage a small seedling, but the cotyledons can be slightly damaged and not affect the plant’s growth.
NASA Seeds in Space
"Planting a garden of annuals is like discovering the fountain of youth-at least for a season. Their bright flowers remain relatively unchanged until they are snuffed out by frost."