Planting season is filled with growth, people that grow from seeds have that new parent feeling when we watch our seeds bust from their housing and spout a little root. Did you know that you can just plant a healthy new seed and likely have something grow. There is a lot of science behind seeds and growing. Grabs my science hat…
I don’t really wear a science hat.
But I love to read about things and science is fascinating. So a seed needs a few basics to grow, moisture, climate. Some like it warm to hot and others will enjoy a cool dark place and time. Each seeds sprout time varies. I have seen seeds take less then a day to weeks to sprout.
There are seeds that enjoy a light blanket of covering and others want to be on top of the medium to grow. All seeds need to have water and carbohydrates stored in the seed, so when and how the seed is gathered in the plants seed stage is very key to whether you will have a living viable seed.
Some tests I have read about to check if your older seeds are still good are stick some in water and see if they sink or float in 15 min. If you have some floating still you can soak them 12 hours if they still float your seed is likely ready to be compost. If it sunk you likely have a productive seed. They have a good chance under their ideal conditions to sprout. If they float it is probably because they lack viable embryos or nutrient.
Anatomy of a seed Taking a bit of time to learn about the seeds you want to plant can help the best outcome. Inspect you seeds, looking for mold or physical damage. Read the packs they came in sometimes will give you some great information. how deep to plant them, when, where and tips on planting them. One thing many of my seed packs don’t have in the expected germination time or the best temperatures to try to start them at. Having older seed does not mean you have useless seeds, so test them before tossing them out. I find they often need a more controlled setting to get your older seeds to sprout. If they get stinky and slimy once moisture is added they should be tossed out. I put ones like that in the compost. You can mist your seeds with a peroxide 1 to 1 mix to help them not get mold. I put mine in a Hydrogen Peroxide mix before trying to germinate them
Because some seeds don’t have enough carbohydrates to grow, I have read that putting in water that you have sprouted beans in it holds the carbohydrates that help a seed break out of its shell. The last thing I do in testing seeds is put 10 in a slightly damp folded paper towel. I tuck mine in a zip lock bag. You can also put it in a jar with a lid and leave it in a quiet place. I write a note on tape, type of seed, time and date that I put the seed in. If they are warm seeds like cantaloupe, peppers, tomatoes, watermelons I keep at about 70 degrees fahrenheit, or 21 degrees celsius. Some need to be warmer, some greens need to be cooler. Spinach, lettuce, bok choy. When to plant your seeds You can do less seed but if you want to test how many out of that batch will grow this will help to give you a percentage.
So this year to keep my seeds at a consistent temperature I gave a try to my yogurt setting on my multi cooker. So far I had a cucumber sprout and some licorice plants. I put in 8 different food seeds and a butterfly flower mix. I did this on April 21 2021.
As I was reading about seeds one of my favorite youtube gardeners shared a cool storage idea from a blogger he enjoys, sore your seeds in plastic photo storage boxes, I will be buying one. Kevin from The Epic gardener
I hope you have a great start to planting season, please share if you have ever grown a seed. Share your tips about seeds. Happy growing.