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Seed Starting Tips - Soaking Seeds

It's a fact! Many seeds, sprout faster, if soaked in water prior to planting. Soaking seeds before planting, also increases the germination rate. Soaking seeds is helpful for both indoor and outdoor plant starts.

In general, seeds with hard seed coats, larger seeds, and slow to sprout seeds, will benefit by soaking them in water.

Small seeds can benefit from soaking, too. The problem with soaking small seeds, is that they are hard to handle, and plant when dry. When they are wet, it is even more difficult to work with them.

Soaking seeds prior to planting, helps water to soften and penetrate the seed coat. Water penetration is essential, to awakening the seed germ inside, and causing it to sprout.

Note: Water penetration is one essential ingredient to begin the seed sprouting process. The other is warmth. Once the seed has sprouted, other factors are important, among them air, light and nutrients.


How to Soak Seeds

It's easy!

For most seeds, just place them in a container of warm water. As a rule of thumb, soak seeds for 2 hours. That should be enough. It's okay to soak them a little longer. If you lose track of time, don't worry. The seeds should be fine.

Larger seeds, and those with hard and thick seed coats (also called "jackets"), can be soaked longer. We recommend soaking them for 4-8 hours. Giant pumpkin growers will soak their large, very hard shelled seeds for up to 24 hours!

Seed Soaking Tip: Put 1 teaspoon of hydrogen peroxide into one quart of water, to improve germination and sprouting times.

Soaking seeds is often done in conjunction with nicking seeds.

After soaking the seeds, immediately plant them indoors or out.


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