Quick Tip: Plant Seeds to Best Encourage Germination


planting seeds

By Jennifer Poindexter

Did you know there’s a right and wrong method when sowing seeds directly into the ground? I’ve faced more of a learning curve over the years when sowing seeds directly than when starting them indoors.

The reason being is seeds are smaller which creates some challenges during planting. Though seeds aren’t mature plants yet, they still have certain specifications which must be met to sprout properly.

Here are a few tips to help you plant seeds correctly to encourage sprouting:

Quick Tip: Plant Seeds Using Methods Which Encourage Germination 

When starting plants from seeds, there are a few things you must take into consideration to encourage germination:

1. Watch Your Spacing and Depth

When planting seeds it can be difficult to tell how far apart the seeds are sown and at what depth. Carrot seeds, for example, are extremely tiny. This makes planting them more difficult than larger seeds.

To avoid planting seeds too closely or deep, start by using a trowel or garden hoe to make a row in the soil. These tools generally dig at an appropriate depth. 

Then sprinkle the seeds along the row. Cover them lightly (if the seeds desire this) and provide care. When the seeds sprout, this is the best time for thinning to ensure each plant has room to reach its full potential. 

2. Soak, Scarify, or Stratify

There are some seeds which have a harder outer coating. This can make it difficult for them to sprout, so they need some assistance from you.

A few examples of harder seeds include nasturtiums, sweet peas, and morning glories. These seeds do best when their outer coating is scraped with a butter knife and then left to soak overnight in water prior to planting.

Other seeds need to go through a stratifying process prior to planting for faster sprouting. This includes seeds for St. John’s Wort and pincushion flowers. These seeds must be placed in a sealable plastic bag filled with damp sand.

From there, they should be left in your refrigerator for up to three months prior to being transplanted. This mimics the seeds going through a winter in the ground. Ensure you know your seeds and what they require prior to planting. 

3. Watch the Temperature and Moisture at Time of Planting

Seeds need certain temperatures to sprout. Some plants can handle cooler temperatures while others cannot.

Ensure you understand at what temperature your seeds will sprout. Then don’t plant outside of these temperatures. 

Also, ensure you keep the soil evenly damp after planting. If the soil dries out or is overly drenched, this could cause your seeds not to sprout or lead to rot. If the seeds are planted outdoors, too much water can wash them away all together.

4. Ensure You Grow in Quality Soil

The next tip is ensuring you grow your seeds in quality soil. The soil should be nutritious, well-draining, and aerated.

If it holds too much moisture, your seeds will rot. Also, if it’s too heavy, the seeds won’t be able to poke through when sprouting. This could cause your plants to suffocate. 

Growing seeds in quality soil is a vital step in starting your garden on the right foot. 

5. Cover Seeds Properly

This final tip is important as every seed doesn’t need the same amount of dirt placed on top of it after planting.

There are some seeds which need only a light dusting of soil, some prefer no soil covering them, and others need a little more insulation.

It’s important to understand how much light the seeds you’re planting need for germination to occur. By missing this important information, you could hinder your seeds from growing.

These are five important tips when growing plants from seed. Some people assume starting seeds consists of placing them in the soil, covering them, adding water, and walking away.

This isn’t always the case. For this reason, utilize these tips to ensure you give your seeds every opportunity to germinate in your care. 

More About Sowing Seeds

https://extension.psu.edu/sowing-annual-seeds

https://extension.umn.edu/planting-and-growing-guides/starting-seeds-indoors

https://extension.psu.edu/starting-seeds-in-winter

closeup of carrot seeds in hand with text overlay gardening quick tips planting seeds: methods to encourage germination

The post Quick Tip: Plant Seeds to Best Encourage Germination appeared first on Gardening Channel.

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