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how to germinate

One of the most frustrating things about starting vegetables from seed is waiting for them to emerge from the soil. Pre-germinating seeds is a great method for the impatient gardener, because it lets you see your seeds sprout before they are covered with soil.

Step 1: Line your container with paper towels. I like several layers of paper towels, so I fold them in half and cut to fit. If you are using plastic bags, fold and cut your paper towels to fit.

Benefits of Pre-Sprouting Seeds

Whether you are new to growing your own food or have been growing a vegetable garden for years, you will benefit from some planning each year. You will find everything you need to organize and plan your vegetable garden in my PDF eBook, Grow a Good Life Guide to Planning Your Vegetable Garden.

Step 6: Check seeds daily. Examine your seeds each day for germination and to make sure the towel stays damp. Spray the towel if needed.

Step 5: Place in a warm area. Locate your seed containers in a warm area away from drafts. Also consider choosing an area where the container will not be knocked over or forgotten.

A busybee (yup, pun intended)? Water is an essential element when you’re still trying to germinate seeds. If you don’t have time to water it regularly, you can try doing this simple process. The self-watering technique involves cutting a plastic soda container about two-thirds and a third. Fill the two-thirds container with soil for your seeds while you place water into your one-third container. Put the two-thirds container in your one-third container. That’s it! The roots will consume whatever amount of water it needs, so you add more only when there’s little to none left.

Wide soup bowls are perfect for growing fruits and veggies that also tend to be huge once they grow like pineapples, for instance.

I love using toilet paper rolls or cartons to organize my wires, but you can also use them for seed germination. They’re scalable, which means you can add as many toilet rolls as you like in a container depending on how many seeds you wish to sprout.

3. How To Germinate Seeds And Not Water It Often

One of the first processes of seed germination is called imbibition. This is when the seeds “drink water.” By imbibing water into the seed, it starts off and even speeds up the metabolic processes need to make the seeds sprout and grow. If you’re starting learning how to germinate seeds in water, you can achieve the best results with an avocado seed (hello, guacamole!).

A very popular method of sprouting seeds is by using tissue paper or a paper towel. Germinating seeds in a paper towel is a viable option when you have a lot of seeds with you, and you have no idea which of these will grow successfully.

Learning how to germinate seeds fast involves knowing the factors that affect its growth. These include water, light source (sprouts grow toward the light), type of germinated seed, type of soil, and season. Different seeds require different quantities and needs for each of these elements, so doing your research FIRST before you start the process of seed germination is important. Needless to say, this guide will give you the basics.

If you can germinate seeds in a cup of water, you can also sprout them using a sponge! This is a great idea if you are thinking of having fast-growing seeds. Note, though, since a sponge doesn’t have a lot of space available, you can’t have too many seeds in one.

After 7-14 days you should be able to see how many of the seeds have germinated. This will help you decide whether you want to replace them with a new packet.

The vegetables we often think of in spring, like onions, lettuce, and kale, like cooler soil temperatures for germination. Their optimal temperature is 65-70 degrees F.

The purpose of a seed packet isn’t just so you can look at a pretty picture of the vegetable you’re growing. There’s also a lot of useful information on the back!

Tips for How to Germinate Seeds for Seed Starting

But, if you’re starting cool weather seeds in an unheated greenhouse outside in cold weather, or in a basement that’s damp and cold, you might want to think about providing some supplemental heat. (We’ll talk about that below.)

If you look around at different sources for seed storage life, there is some conflicting data. But, here’s a basic guideline:

Let’s get started in learning five tips for how to germinate seeds successfully every time.

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