What is seed germination?
Gardening is a pleasing activity. It boosts the happiness level as the plants grow, and the greenery rejuvenates the mind. However, the propagation of plants is a bit tricky and a task to be “looked after.” Seed germination (propagation) is the first and foremost process, which, if done accurately, will give fruitful results.
Seeds germination is the process of developing a seed into a mature plant.
So, while seeding a plant into the soil, we need to raise awareness about different things.
Below, fundamental “plants sprouting” requirements are discussed:
Basic Needs – (Air, Water, and Light)
Like a human being, plants are also living things and need the same basic things to sprout(grow). Such as:
Soil Temperature Must Be According to the Requirement
Soil temperature is the undeniable factor in the plant’s propagation process. Make sure the plants are getting the adequate amount of warmth and light to grow. However, the amount of sunlight and heat that is to be attained varies from plants to plants. For example, spinach requires a low temperature than other plants.
Hence, seeds’ growth depends on the soil temperature. Proper sunlight intake by plant seeds helps them to come out of the soil and glow with green leaves. However, it depends upon the nature of the seeds like which seed needs more sunlight and which requires less sunlight to sprout and flourish.
Seeds Need Air
Plant seeds need air to breathe in the soil as their sprouting, and the formation of leaves depends upon the availability of oxygen. Most land has plenty of air for the seeds. However, in the case of over-watery surroundings, the seed becomes unable to inhale enough oxygen to germinate. So, be careful while sowing a seed in the soil and check the soil condition at first. The plants bloom well when all the necessary steps are undertaken.
Note: We talked about the seeds needing air above, but when it comes to “take care” of the root, then we have to be a bit careful, as the air pollutants can drastically affect the root growth.
Seeds Need Moisture to Grow
Like air and sunlight, water intake is also imperative in the seed germination process. Keep seeds sufficiently moisturized and do not “over water” them as an excessive water supply can stop the development of the seedling. Also, the amount of water supply depends upon the characteristics of the herb seeds.
Basic needs are explained above, now let’s dig-in to some Important tips and tricks that can help to improve seeds germination process.
Here, we will discuss some easy-to-go tips to make seeds germination process feasible.
1. Re-consider the best place to sow seeds – Inside/outdoor
First of all, if your seeds are not sprouting well, then you have to re-consider “the area” to plant the seed. It can be an indoor or outdoor location. For instance, some people who have kitchen gardens in the backyard of their home, sometimes forget to take care of the seeds that were sown there because of plenty of reasons like:
- No presence of nutrients in the soil
- Ignorance towards seeds’ water supply
- Not enough light intake by seeds
So, wherever you are going to plant seeds, it’s essential to make sure whether the sown seeds are getting enough amount of everything that is bulleted above or not.
Do you Know?
The priming of seeds also depends upon Polyethylene Glycol treatments, especially the (PEG-6000) treatment that can increase seed germination rate by reducing the waiting period between sowing and sprouting plus improves the synchronization of germination.
2. Use Soil Thermometer – The soil condition matters
Soil temperature helps you to decide when and which seeds should be sown. It is a mandatory factor for improving seed germination. Undeniably, the more suitable the temperature is, the speedier the propagation would be. A good quality thermometer will tell the accurate temperature of the land and helps to plant seeds with respect to their heat requirement. For example,
- If the temperature is 50°F or higher, you can sow onions, leeks, and turnips.
- If the soil temperature is higher or equal to 40°F, you can easily plant lettuce, spinach, kale, or peas.
- If the garden’s soil temperature is 60°F or higher, you can choose beans, cabbage, broccoli, carrots, and many others.
- If your land temperature is 70°F or higher, you can plant squash, peppers, melons, cucumbers, and corn.
To check Soil Temperature:
Just dig the specific part of the soil, and insert the thermometer into the land by covering it with your hand (to shade it from sunlight). Take the thermostat to the level of the earth where seeds would be sown (make sure it is 6cm at least under the ground) and check the temperature to sow the seeds accordingly.
3. Use safely stored Seeds
While propagating seeds, you often forget to check the quality or usability date of the seeds that end up with the “no-grow process.” To avoid such problems, one should check that the seeds that were bought from the market are not expired and of suitable conditions. For this, always opt for seal-packed seeds and use them within the days of expiry.
4. Pre-soak the seeds
Sometimes, the seeds take time to grow due to less moisture in the soil. In such a condition, the germination gets slower, and seeds do not sprout well. To not let this happen, pre-soaking the seeds in the water would come in handy and will give a quick-start to them. The plant seeds proliferate under the soil, and wouldn’t lie dormant.
To-Do Tip: Just soak the seeds into the water before sowing them down the earth. It will help to penetrate the seed’s outer surface, so the plant gets a sign that it’s ready to cultivate.
For Your Information: Pre-soaking is best for bigger and hard-shelled seeds as it softens the outer layer and allows the moisture to reach the inner baby seed – the plant embryo.
5. Check the Planting Calendar
If you are new to planting seeds and have no idea about planting and plant care, or even if you have been into gardening for some time, several questions arise in your mind:
- When should you sow a plant seed?
- How much time will it take to sprout?
- Which seeds plant should be sown in what climate condition?
For this, you can check the What To Plant Calendar, so your task would become easier, and you can get results in days as these small tips would help in the seeds germination.
6. Look after the plants/seeds that are rooted down into the earth
When you are done with sowing seeds, you must take care of them and check whether the growth of plants is actually in process or not. For this, just watering them on time is not enough; giving attention to the following points would help in a better way, too.
- Damping-off: It is a fungal disease that can result in contaminated soil and gets worst by irregular watering practice. It can cause many tiny sprouting plants to die and wither.
- Nutrition: check for proper nutrition intake by the plants.
- Temperature and Light: As discussed above, check if the plant seeds are getting an appropriate amount of light and whether the temperature is in accordance with the plant’s nature or not.
Let’s Make Gardening an Easy Task for You 😉
While sowing seeds, it is imperative to look for the best tools for planting seeds because they help you to perform gardening activities professionally and efficiently. Many people use ordinary kitchen tools, but those can’t help you that way. Right?
Above, we have elucidated some key tips, now, check out some more interesting tips to improve seeds germination downwards:
7. Use of Epsom Salt
Mixing up the soil with Epsom Salt is an ideal way to the perfect germination of seeds, as it has a neutral PH and is easily dissolvable in water.
The Epsom Salt can easily stop earth-worms like snails or voles from attacking the seeds. Also, it helps the plants to grow larger and germinate seeds faster. So, applying Epsom Salt in the garden can help the propagation rate to reach a high point as well as makes the seedlings strong.
You can mix 1 tablespoon full of Epsom Salt with a quart of water and apply it over the soil as a drench. Furthermore, you can spray the same quantity on foliage (leaves).
Do you know?
Epsom Salt is enriched in sulfur and magnesium, and that’s why also called magnesium sulfate. This component helps in strengthening the seed walls during germination.
8. Seeds Nicking (Scarification)
Seeds Germination rate can be improved by doing the scarification of the seeds. Nickking (or scarification) of seeds is the process of opening the seed jacket(coat) before planting them into the soil.
To nick, first, take a knife and cut each seed. Make sure the opening is small because the deep cut can damage the plant’s embryo (baby seed). Moreover, you can choose an alternative way to scarify the seed’s coat, for example, sanding through the seed’s jacket with a bit of sandpaper can come handy.
Nicking is mostly done in conjunction with soaking seeds as it goes well for hard-shelled plant seeds. Moreover, right after nicking, you can soak the seeds in the water (before planting). Nicking makes water absorption by plant seeds easy and faster.
After nicking and soaking them in water, sow them in the soil right away.
Don’t store scarified (nicked) seeds (to use them later) as they lose the ability to germinate quickly.
9. Indoor & Outdoor Practices To Improve Seeds’ Germination
· Germination Mats Are Perfect For Indoor Planting
Germination Mats are explicitly used for indoor planting and help to raise the soil temperature in the seed trays due to which the propagation of the seeds speeds up. These mats are often used to germinate seeds or roots cuttings but, try not to use them for seedlings growth (as seedling growth starts with the germination of the seeds).
· Use of Plastic Mulch
You can use plastic mulch (a layer applied to the surface of the soil) to improve the seed’s propagation process.
For your Knowledge: Plastic Mulch was first used in 1960 to grow vegetables.
A variety of vegetables are grown with the help of plastic mulch. The plastic mulch use has improved the quality of vegetable plants and increased the total yield. Additionally, it aids in raising the soil temperature to speed up the germination process. For better results, use black plastic, and don’t forget to remove the mulch before the seeds sprouting.
10. Stratification (Freezing & Thawing)
The process of stratification is considered as the most modern seeds’ germination improvement method. Stratification means: placing in layers. (According to some people) It is invented by modern pioneers to grow seeds faster.
Stratification involves placing seeds in layers of sands and then putting them where they can easily be frozen. Furthermore, stratification treatment helps to alleviate seed dormancy.
We have thoroughly discussed the ten tips and tricks to improve the seeds germination process, and we hope that this article would help you in the plants’ seeds germination process. The presence of the garden in the home is the most relaxing and joyful feeling, ever. As Francis Bacon said:
“God Almighty first planted a garden. And indeed, it is the purest of human pleasures.”
So, having a green yard in the home is a blessing. Take care of your garden, and enjoy healthy food and herbs.
Happy Gardening 😊