Seed Germination Techniques

November 07, 2018

Seed Germination Techniques

In this blog we will cover a quick overview of germinating seeds and a few tried and proven techniques for high/successful germination rates!

Seed germination is the process of getting your seeds to sprout, and you know they have germinated/sprouted when a little white tendril pops out of the seed!

The little root tendril that emerges from a seed during germination is your plant’s first root, it is known as a “taproot.” All the other roots made by your plant during it's lifetime will emerge from the taproot!
The taproot and maybe a handful of tiny early offshoots of the taproot will eventually get longer, pushing the seed up, and the seed shell will break through the surface of your growing medium, and the first leaves will emerge shortly thereafter!

Most seeds need a few things to germinate properly and they are as follows:

  • Warmth - Keep your environment warm kind of like spring time, but not to hot, seeds can still germinate in cooler temps/areas it will just make the process last longer, any kind of light will help or a seedling heating mat.
  • Moisture - Warmth + moisture are usually the key signals to tell a seed to start the germination process. never let your seeds dry up, keep them moist but not soaking and if you are using the cup method never let them soak in direct water longer than 36hrs. *Propagation domes work wonders
  • Be Gentle - Be gentle when handling your seeds and don't disturb them too much especially after the tap root has emerged!
  • Use Healthy seeds - always try and use viable/healthy seeds for greater success, the healthier the greater chance your plant has!

Germination methods:

Rapid rooters plugs/seed starting plugs - These work great for germinating your seeds and most of them come in some sort of kit/starter kit, following the manufacturers instructions are always your best route when using these.

Paper Towel Method - Moisten a sheet of paper towel ( try and use a brand that is not as porous as the taproot tends to stick/grow into them) , gently place your seeds on top, spray /moisten another sheet and delicately place it on top of the seeds, gently pressing where you can see the seed(s) so it makes contact, place both sheets or you can fold one sheet and just use one sheet for the whole process, put them between two plates or a container with a lid place in a warm/dark place. Check on them every 12/20 hours and re-spray them as needed, don't let the paper towels dry up, this is key, and they should sprout within 1 to 7 days, as older seeds tend to take longer!

Cup of water method - This method involves soaking them overnight in room temp warm water, red solo cups work perfect for this but any drinking cup will do. This method is excellent for seeds which have extra hard shells, or seeds which are older (more than a few years old). Most healthy/viable seeds will start out floating, and then eventually sink to the bottom of your glass after a few hours of soaking, you will see when the little white tap root first breaks through the shell. Some seeds might take longer than others to sprout, especially older seeds. However, if seeds are left soaking too long, and haven’t yet sprouted, they can drown so do not let them soak longer than 36 hours. Keep them in a warm/dark place and if after 36hrs they have not sprouted move them to a moist paper towel and follow the above method.

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