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.
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.
How to Pre-Sprout Seeds
I had pepper seeds that were several years old. I hated to throw the package away without checking to see if they were still good. I checked the viability of the seeds by doing a seed germination test.
Pre-germinating seeds with a damp paper towels is a great gardening hack that speeds up germination by providing the seeds with ideal environment. Plus you can see the seeds sprout and not have to wonder what is happening under the soil.
Place the sprouted seed on top of your growing medium and cover with dry seedling mix. Mist with your spray bottle and place under your growing lights.
A seed is defined in the dictionary as being ‘the unit of reproduction of a flowering plant, capable of developing into another such plant. We recently spoke about how plant cells grow and how to sow seeds indoors , so we thought we would expand on that a little bit.
We suggest covering your container lightly with plastic sheeting/damp newspaper. This will act as a way to regulate and trap moisture and temperature. This is important as if your seeds dry out they will not germinate properly.
Benefits Of Growing From Seed
Once you see the first shoot poking through, you will need to move the container into a sunny area. Ensure that the room temperature is above 70°F (21°C) and in bright light so that your plants can grow. You can now remove the plastic/paper covering, but ensure you keep the seedling moist by watering throughout the day. We advise you to water in the early morning and in the afternoon, but not any later in the day – as doing so can mean the water sits on top of the growing medium and can cause problems such as mould that are best avoided. At this point, it is also important to feed your seedlings with the correct fertiliser once they’ve gotten a few inches tall.
Garden soil can contain high levels of disease and insects that can cause harm to your seeds. Therefore, it is the safer option in most cases to start your seeds off indoors in ‘seed and cutting’ compost. Obviously, these conditions will vary from plant to plant, so make sure you check thoroughly before beginning the process.
You can purchase propagators which are designed for growing multiple fruit or vegetables from seed. These containers are perfect for the task at hand.
Seeds remain dormant or inactive until conditions are right for germination. All seeds need water, oxygen, and proper temperature in order to germinate. Some seeds require proper light also. Some germinate better in full light while others require darkness to germinate.
Many things can cause poor germination. Overwatering causes the plant to not have enough oxygen. Planting seeds too deeply causes them to use all of their stored energy before reaching the soil surface. Dry conditions mean the plant doesn’t have enough moisture to start the germination process and keep it going.
When a seed is exposed to the proper conditions, water and oxygen are taken in through the seed coat. The embryo’s cells start to enlarge. Then the seed coat breaks open and a root or radicle emerges first, followed by the shoot or plumule that contains the leaves and stem.
Some seed coats are so hard that water and oxygen cannot get through until the coat breaks down. Soaking or scratching the seeds will help break down the seed coat. Morning glories and locust seeds are examples. Other seeds need to be exposed to proper temperatures. Apple seeds will not germinate unless they are held at cold temperatures for a period of time.