Giving Seeds a Boost

As the season progresses it won’t be long before we start thinking about seed starting again for next years blooms. For greater success it is important to know if the seeds your planting require any special treatment before you start. Usually your package of seeds will comment on what treatment they need.

Sensible Gardening and Living
Sensible Gardening and Living

See and seed germination can be controlled by chemical inhibitors that respond to temperature, other seeds are protected by a hard seed coat that must break or crack, and others require an alternating cold and warm cycle before they will germinate.

Seed Treatment:

Soak Seeds

For many seeds an overnight soaking in room temperature water encourages germination. Seeds with chemical inhibitors and large thick-coated seeds should be soaked.

 Seed Scarification

A fancy word which means to break the seed coat. This allows extra moisture to enter the seed which will speed up germination. You can nick large seeds with a knife or rub them with sandpaper. For small seeds try placing them in a jar lined with sandpaper and shake.

Seed Stratification

Many seeds of shrubs, trees and some perennials require an exposure of several months of cold before they will germinate. You can fool mother nature by covering the seeds with damp peat moss in a plastic bag and placing them in the refrigerator crisper compartment. Check often to make sure no mold is developing.