How to Accelerate Seed Germination

When spring comes, that is when the planting bug bites and you want to plant and sow seeds. You prepare the soil and plant those seeds, but sometimes it seems to take forever before the seeds germinate and grow. If you want to accelerate the germination process of your seeds, why not try this extra step to trick the seeds into germinating faster. If you do this before you fill your seed pots or flats with soil, you can trick your seeds into thinking that they have been in the ground growing for a week. This will push your garden further ahead in the season in less time.

Soak the Seeds

Soak your seeds in water or milk first. Some seeds that do well with this method are peas, watermelon and bean. This will soften the outer shell. allowing seeds to germinate faster when planted in the ground.

Prepare a Coffee Filter

Take a coffee filter and press it open into it’s full circle. Cut the coffee liter in half. Pick up on half and fold this section three times in half and then the tip folds up. When you are done, it should resemble a V shape. Undo the last two folds of the coffee filter. Wet the coffee filter with a spray mister to dampen the paper on both sides. You only want the paper damp, not soggy. If you do get too much water onto the filter, simply wring it out.

Place the Seeds on the Coffee Filter

Put the seeds you are about to sow in a single layer on either the left or the right top portion of the filter. Leave just a little space between each seed. Refold the filter to cover the seeds. Press down on the coffee filter with your hands so the sides of the seeds are in contact with the wet filter.

Insert the coffee filter and seeds into a baggie. Close the plastic three-fourths of the way, but leave a portion undone to allow for air circulation.

Place Under Grow Lights

Set up a grow light and a heat mat. If you don’t have a grow light or heat mat, find a bright window in a warm room. The air temperature should remain around 70 degrees F. with at least 12 hours of light per day. A warm place speeds up the germinating process.

Check Daily

Check the filter daily to make sure it is moist. When the seeds sprout, remove them from the filter, being careful to not hurt or knock off the sprouting growth. Make a hole in soil with a pencil or dibble. Lightly firm the soil over the seeds and water. Your seeds will grow and you will be ahead of the season.


Rob’s Plants: Germinating Seeds in Baggies

Trade Winds Fruit: Seed Germination Tips

Washington State University: Gardening in Western Washington

Science Made Simple: Science Projects About Plants and Botany

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