Jul 7, 2021
Starting trees from seed can be one of the most rewarding gardening activities, but tree seeds often require a little more preparation than many common flower or vegetable seeds. Here are some tips and tricks for seed germination for all kinds of plant seeds.
Seeds have been sprouting and trees have been growing for an awfully long time without any help from humans. The “natural way” to germinate tree seeds, then, is to allow nature to take its course. Most seeds, when sown in the fall without any pre-treatment, will begin to germinate the following spring. Be sure to sow the seeds at the recommended depth.
Although natural germination is an acceptable way to start most tree seeds, sometimes better and more consistent results can be achieved through forced or “assisted” germination. Basically, it means using various techniques to mimic the role nature plays in causing tree seeds to germinate.
There are several techniques that may be involved to force the germination of any given tree seed. Please carefully read the recommended steps listed on each individual seed package.
Many seeds require one or more treatment steps to stimulate the germination process. The three steps are:
1.Soaking seeds: Soaking seeds before planting is an old-time gardener’s trick that many new gardeners are not aware of. When you soak seeds before planting, you can significantly decrease the amount of time it takes for a seed to germinate.
2.The Bag Method: This bag method is ideal for difficult varieties that have problems sprouting using the traditional seed-starting mix.
Here’s how you do it:
Fold a paper towel or coffee filter in quarters and then spray it with water until is damp.
Place your pepper seeds in between the fold.
Position your towel and chili seeds in the ziplock bag. Seal it up.
Place your bag on top of a warm spot such as a heat mat.
Spray your towel and seeds each day with water to keep it damp.
Check for sprouting seeds. When they germinate, bury them under a light layer of sterile potting soil.
3.The Cup Method: As crazy as this sounds, this can work too. Here goes:
1.Place your seeds in the freezer for two days. Yep, we said freezer.
2.Remove the seeds and position them in a folded-up paper towel. Dampen the towel with water.
3.Place the towel on a plate and cover it with a dark bowl. Situate it on top of a warm spot.
4.Check your seeds each day and dampen the towel when needed.
An ideal germination temperature is usually between 80 to 90 degrees Fahrenheit.
Don’t use just one germination method on all of your seeds. Try a few seeds at a time to see what works best for you.
Make sure the seed towel never dries out. Check it daily!
So there you have it. We hope the above germinating techniques help you speed things up. Happy growing ?
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