Saturday, April 6, 2013

Soaking Seeds Before Planting

As the garden season approaches, I wanted to share a quick tip that I adopted that has helped speed up the process of planting seeds.

24-48 hours before planting, soak seeds in water.

Moisture is needed for a seed to germinate.  Soaking the seeds will help better prepare them for germination, which results in them coming up quicker once planted.

I have especially noticed the difference with my summer crops: (melons, squash, beans, etc.).  When the soil is dry and hot, this helps cut down on continual watering when the seed is first planted, and I have a better success rate for seeds that come up.  

I like to put them in plastic sample cups with the variety written on the outside - that way I can re-use the same cups every year.

These are my cool weather crops that I just planted outside a few weeks ago, as well as my tomatoes and peppers that will be started indoors.

Seeds do not actually need soil to germinate, so if you leave them in water long enough, you can actually watch the process.

Below are basil seeds.  After a few hours they started swelling and a white "pocket" surrounded them as the seed absorbed the water.

As you can see from this picture, one of my broccoli seeds has already started to open.

And here you can see that my Winter Green Jewel Romaine seeds have already germinated.

And here we are, less than 4 days after planting my soaked seeds, and I already have tomato seedlings coming up!

I hope you keep this in mind as you prepare to plant.  It definitely makes a difference for such a small amount of work!

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