Table of Contents
- What Is Seed Germination?
- Why Are Your Seeds Taking So Long To Germinate?
- Methods To Germinate Seeds Faster
- The Best Way On How To Speed Up Seeds Germination QUICKLY
- Common Mistakes To Avoid When Germinating Seeds
- Final Thought
- FAQ (Frequently Asked Questions)
We found out that combining the dampen towel method, seed-starting mix soil and soaking the seeds prior to planting is the best method to speed up the germination process of the seeds.
Germination is a process of seeds or spores becoming new plants (seedlings). In general, seedlings consist of three main parts, namely the radicle, hypocotyl and cotyledon. This process is important for plant propagation, especially for farmers or gardeners who expect their crops. But unfortunately, they often encounter problems in the push germination process, such as unpredictable weather conditions. Hence, we are here to cover the best tips on how to germinate seeds quickly.
Some important tips for fast seed germination are to adjust the germination conditions, such as moisture, light exposure, and temperatures. You can do this by germinating seeds in a greenhouse, using heat mass for quick seed germination, or promoting seed germination with light exposure. These methods will result in shortening seed germination time and eventually maximizing seed germination success.
Interested in discovering more rapid seed germination techniques? Let’s dig in!
What Is Seed Germination?
Before we further discuss how to germinate seeds quickly, we must have an insight of seed germination and how the process evolves. Basically, seed germination is a biochemical process that involves imbibition, respiration, mobility of reserves, and growth hormones and nutrients that play an important role in this whole process.
Moreover, several crucial factors must also be taken into account in accelerating seed germination. What are those? Let’s take a look!
1. Factors That Affecting Seed Germination
You have to pay attention to the factors that affect the germination process of the seeds in order to optimize their growth. By having this knowledge, you are able to determine which quick seed germination methods you can use to stimulate the development.
There are four factors that highly influence the germination rate, including water, light, temperatures, and oxygen.
Not only for the established plants, water is also crucial for germination. This nutrient-less material can dissolve nutrients, especially minerals, in the soil. Hence, your seeds can have better nutrient supply along their growth stage.
Besides, water can also activate an enzyme called alpha amylase that can break down carbohydrates in seeds, making them grow faster. No wonder that one of the popular germination methods is by watering the seeds for faster germination.
Promoting seed germination with light may be useful to increase the germination rate. Generally, 8-12 hours of sunlight or artificial light exposure is necessary to enhance strong and healthy root growth.
Nonetheless, not all seeds require light to grow. In fact, one of the most popular rapid seed germination techniques is germinating in a dark room. It’s because the light tends to break down carbonic acid gas, which is useful for germination.
One of the most popular tips for successful germination among gardeners is combining warmth and moisture for quick seed germination. Warm temperatures, around 68°F to 86°F, help increase chemical reactions and trigger the formation of new cells for the growth of seeds. Meanwhile, moisture will help soften the hard coat and activate enzymes that initiate germination.
However, some plants require cold stratification for seed germination. The temperature needed for this method is about 40°F. It is crucial to let the seeds enter the dormancy before sowing seeds for fast germination.
Like well-established plants, seeds need oxygen to produce energy. The embryo will further utilize this energy to develop. Besides, oxygen is crucial to ensure the mobilization of food to all parts of the seed goes well and the cell division that occurs in the embryo during the germination process also goes smoothly.
2. Germination Process
The seed germination process includes imbibition, respiration, and various metabolic processes. At first, the seeds will go through an imbibition phase, where water penetrates the seeds, making them swell. The hard coat will soften, and the enzymes will start to activate.
This stage is also inseparable from the role of temperature according to the type of grain you want to germinate. You can include your best quick seed germination methods in order to maximize seed germination success, for example, germinating seeds in a greenhouse so that temperature and moisture are more maintained.
Moreover, the imbibition process will be followed by respiration and mobilization of stored food in the seed. Next, the radicle and plumule will appear by rupturing the coat. Then, the shoot will start growing. After that, the seedling will emerge as the cells of the seeds become active.
3. What Are the Conditions Necessary for Germination?
You can find the best tips for successful seed germination by referring to the factors affecting the germination process. Understanding those factors allows you to adjust the conditions for germinating seeds. The first thing you can do is provide adequate water for the seeds.
Water is the first door for waking the seeds from long dormancy by stimulating seed germination with hormones such as gibberellin, cytokines, and ethylene. It will soften the outer coat of the seed and access the enzymes and hormones involved in metabolic processes. No wonder people often use watering seeds for faster germination. But please don’t overwater because it can decay your seeds.
The next thing you must consider is temperature. Despite most seeds needing warmer temperatures (68°F to 86°F) to germinate faster, some require cold stratification for seed germination with temperatures around 40°F. This is one of the most vital pre-germination treatments if you will not germinate them anytime soon. Low temperatures will make the seeds dormant and grow better when planted in warm weather. Some people also use the seed scarification method for quick sprouting.
Moreover, your seeds will also require oxygen. It is crucial as the metabolic process includes mobility of reserves, respiration, and energy production. Generally, oxygen is available in the soil. But if you plant the seed too deeply, it will struggle to breathe. We recommend only burying the seeds to about two times their diameter.
Last but not least is light. Just like plants in general, light is vital for the germination process of seeds. They need approximately 8-12 hours of light exposure to thrive.
However, it doesn’t apply to all seeds. Most of them are actually germinating faster in the dark. Such seeds will utilize their stored foods (carbs, proteins, lipids) instead of producing their own. Some examples of dark-loving seeds are those from Calendula, Gazania, and Nemesia.
4. Which Seeds Are Best for Faster Germination?
Seeds from fast-germinating plants, such as cucumbers, pumpkins, beans, lettuce, spinach, melons, and basils, are those high-germination-rate seed starting. Most of them can begin germinating without soil. Gardeners usually use a mix of peat moss, vermiculite, and compost as an alternative growing medium for soil.
However, you can’t just rely on certain fast-germinating plants to determine whether the seeds can rapidly grow. The best way to do it is to understand the growth factors and know about seed characteristics that can grow faster.
In general, small seeds have the opportunity to grow and develop more quickly than big ones. It’s because water will be more easily absorbed into the seeds and stimulates seed germination with hormones and enzymes. Water also helps boost seed germination with nutrients as it will break them down during the imbibition process.
Tiny seeds also facilitate heat transfer from the environment where they grow into the seeds. No wonder many start using heat mass for quick seed germination. Those who want to raise the tiny seeds later can also apply seed scarification for quick sprouting.
In addition, flat or round seeds are also beneficial for high-germination-rate seed starting. The wider surface area allows better water absorption, light exposure, and even temperature distribution over the grain.
Why Are Your Seeds Taking So Long To Germinate?
Despite germinating seeds without soil or with soil, some troubleshooting germination seeds can occur during the process. Again, we always remember that germination depends on the factors that support it, especially environmental factors.
We also always refer to those factors for our plant’s seeds before boosting seed germination with nutrients or trying various methods on how to germinate seeds quickly. If your seeds don’t develop properly, something is wrong with the environmental conditions.
Several reasons for this condition to occur are a lack of water supply. Water is a very crucial part of seed germination. Even if you have applied various seedling emergence techniques or even tried seed-starting mixes for quick germination, they will only grow if you provide adequate water for the seeds.
Water helps soften the hard coat structure of seeds which will lead to breaking down stored nutrients that seeds can use to germinate and sprout and activate enzymes and growth hormones. But remember, anything in excess is not recommended. Too much water can lead to the seeds rotting. You can offer daily watering by misting the seeds. If you live in warm climates, do it twice per day.
Besides, you don’t maintain the room temperature according to the seeds you want to germinate. Most seeds like a warm and humid environment because it speeds up chemical reactions and growth. If the conditions are not suitable, it will inhibit germination. You can try seedling heat mass for speedy germination that will help you track the warm temperatures.
Methods To Germinate Seeds Faster
We assume that you already understand the factors that support seed germination and what causes seed germination troubleshooting.
Now, we would love to share some of the best tips on how to germinate seeds quickly with several growing mediums. Most of them encourage you to sow seeds for fast germination without soil, for example, germinating seeds on paper towels. Check them out!
1. Germinate Seeds with Paper Towel
The first method of seedling emergence techniques is germinating seeds in paper towels. It is relatively easy! All you need to do is prepare a damp towel, airtight container, and seeds. Soak the towel in the water quickly while ensuring it is evenly wet. Do not leave puddles as it will potentially decay your seeds!
Next, arrange the towel inside a dry airtight container and put the seeds on top. Tips: We love to soak the seeds around 8 hours first before putting them on the towel to boost the germination process. After that, you can place the container in a warm, humid, and dark area with minimum sunlight exposure.
2. Germinate Seeds In Soil
This may be the common method to germinate seeds. You can simply choose the seeds and seed trays and prepare seed-starting mixes for quick germination. It will be best to make your own seed-starting mixes with soil, peat moss, compost, perlite, and vermiculite.
Add the mix to the trays. Make holes in the soil mix and put one seed in each hole, then bury them. Ensure the holes are not too deep, only twice the width, for better oxygen and nutrient absorption. Next, place the trays in a warm location to speed up the germination.
You can also apply heat mats for speedy germination. Also, remember to mist the soil regularly to keep it moist but not too wet.
3. Germinate Seeds In Rockwool
Rockwool is commonly used as a growing medium for hydroponic systems. It has excellent water and oxygen retention, ensuring the plant roots grow healthily. With these features, you can also use rockwool to start germinating seeds. This growing medium also has holes which allows you to put seeds without making ones.
To grow the seeds, take two for each hole and pinch the seeds down the bottom with a toothpick until they are covered. Put the rockwool in a warm and humid location. You can introduce a humidity dome to lock the moisture and maintain temperatures. Spray the medium with water every once in two days. Once the seedlings appear, remove the dome and relocate the rockwool in a lighter area.
4. Germinate Seeds In Fridge
While most seeds love warm and humid conditions to germinate fast, some seeds prefer cold temperatures to boost their growth. It is called cold stratification. Wildflower seeds from Lupine, Milkweed, and Perennial Sunflowers favor this kind of fast-germinating method.
If you want to try it, you can keep the seeds in plastic bags with soil and store them for about 4-5 weeks in the refrigerator before planting them in your garden. Make sure the temperature doesn’t fall far below 40°F. The best seasons to rewake the seeds are spring and summer where the temperatures get warmer.
5. Germinate Seeds In Microwave
There is a report that the microwave radiation positively affects the germination of seeds, making them grow vigorously. Nonetheless, germination using a microwave is only a pre-treatment step before the actual germination occurs. You can combine it with the damp paper towel method.
First, cut aluminum foil (20×16 cm) and paper towels (18×15 cm) in rectangle shapes. Then, arrange the towel in the center of the aluminum foil and spray the towel with water until it gets damp. To make it proper for germination, make a line for about 10 seeds. Then, fold the edges of the aluminum foil around the towel.
Now, prepare the microwave. You MUST put a cup of water inside the microwave to make it a bit moist. Then, put 10 seeds into this microwave. Make sure it is dry. Turn on for about 15 seconds then remove the seeds to each spot on the towel you have prepared before. Next, put the towel in a box and place it in a room with little sunlight exposure.
The Best Way On How To Speed Up Seeds Germination QUICKLY
Among all methods we discussed earlier, we want to find out the best way on how to germinate seeds quickly. We have tried some, and we found out that combining the dampen towel method, seed-starting mix soil, and soaking the seeds prior to planting is the best method to speed up the germination process of the seeds.
Here is the step-by-step guide to germinate seeds quickly:
- Prepare the seed-starting mixes for quick germination. This one will provide plenty of nutrients for your seeds, keep the soil moist, and ensure good drainage.
- Take out your seed trays with lids. Even though you can use pots, seed trays are better for providing suitable space for the seedlings to grow. They also make it easy for you to move them to a room that suits their growing conditions.
- First, soak the seeds for around 8-12 hours, depending on the size. The bigger the size, the longer it takes for the water to penetrate the seeds.
- Second, add soil mix to the seed trays and mist them with water. You can use a spray bottle or mister. It is crucial to provide moist growing conditions, so the seeds can grow faster.
- Third, make holes in the seed trays. You can use a toothpick to create one. Make sure the hole is not too deep to allow oxygen, water, and nutrient absorption better.
- Fourth, put one seed in each hole and bury them. Then, close the trays with the lids to maintain temperature and humidity, creating a mini greenhouse environment for the seeds to speed up germination.
- Fifth, place the trays in a warm area without direct sunlight. It is essential as most seeds love humid and warm temperatures to boost germination.
- Next, regularly mist the soil to maintain moisture.
- Lastly, if you notice seedlings, open the lids. Remove them into a small pot and let them grow.
- And oh! Don’t forget to label the plant’s name and date of your seed planting so you know how long they start germinating!
Common Mistakes To Avoid When Germinating Seeds
No matter how perfectly you prepare for germinating your seeds or applying the best methods on how to germinate seeds quickly, some things still need to be corrected.
Our experience has summed up 7 common mistakes you can avoid when you grow your plant’s seeds. Let’s take a look!
1. Start Planting Seeds In The Wrong Seasons
Seeds love humid and warm conditions, so you better not plant one in the cold winter when they are dormant. Otherwise, your seeds will not germinate. Spring and summer are the best times to germinate the seeds.
2. Lack of Nutritious Growing Mediums
Even though seeds can quickly grow in a damp towel or other non-nutrient mediums, it is always better to opt for the best ones to get the best results. You can add seed-starting mixes that contain peat moss, compost, and perlite or vermiculite to provide a nutrient supply while ensuring good drainage.
3. Sowing Seeds In Wet Soil
While seeds prefer moist growing mediums doesn’t mean they can thrive in wet ones. Instead, you can expect decayed seeds in such a germinating condition.
4. Burying Seeds Deeply
You may think that planting seeds deeper allows them to get more nutrients from the soil. Well, that’s a mistake! They cannot breathe in this case as the oxygen is lacking. Besides, they cannot germinate appropriately if you plant them deeply. Make sure to only bury the seeds a maximum of twice their diameter.
5. Forget to Label The Seeds with Name and Date
This is a common mistake as you get too excited about planting seeds. Having the label will ease you into tracking their germination rate and period.
6. Improper Light Exposure
The germination process doesn’t need abundant light; seeds love darker rooms to speed up the germination process. However, seedlings favor adequate sunlight exposure to produce energy. So, relocate the seed trays once you notice the seedlings.
7. Not Removing The Seedlings from Trays
When the seeds sprout and start seedlings, you need to remove them to small pots to provide a larger growing space. From that point, you must also give much care, like ensuring soil moisture, light exposure, nutrient supply, and checking on temperatures.
The seed germination process is like caring for a baby. It’s a bit tricky, but it will be worth it once you know the tips and get the results. All you need to consider to take care of the seeds and speed up germination is understanding the factors affecting the germination process.
Once you know and apply them when you plant the seeds, you will likely have successful germination. Besides that, having proper knowledge of the factors makes you avoid mistakes that might occur during germination.
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FAQ (Frequently Asked Questions)
Do seeds germinate better in warm or cold weather?
Even though some plants need seed stratification for quick germination, most of the seeds germinate better in warm temperatures. The chemical process within the seed accelerates well in higher temperatures, resulting in faster cell formation and growth.
You can also combine warmth and moisture for quick quick seed germination by providing a warm paper towel.
Does soaking seeds speed up germination?
Seeds have strong and hard coats that sometimes make them difficult to germinate. However, you can try seed soaking for faster germination. Not only that, this method is also beneficial for enhancing germination rates, and thus, shortening the germination time.
In addition, soaking increases chances of germination success. That way, you will have strong and healthy plants once the seeds sprout.
Why are seeds soaked overnight before germination?
With a hard seed coat, it is pretty tricky to activate seed for accelerating seed germination. Therefore, farmers or gardeners commonly use a seed soaking method for faster germination, as the water can penetrate the seeds well prior to the germination process.
We recommend soaking the seeds for around 8-12 hours to soften the coat. Any soaking period longer than 24 hours will decompose the seeds.
Does salt water help seed germination?
Enhancing seed germination rates doesn’t need salt water. In fact, salt can inhibit water absroption of your plant’s roots due to osmotic stress. Besides, adding salt to the water can cause cation imbalance that may inhibit seeds germinate faster.
Salt water also reduces the harvest of your crops since the seeds cannot grow well.
Should you refrigerate seeds before planting?
You should refrigerate your seeds in the plastic bags if you won’t plant them right away. It is important to store them and induce seed dormancy.
Interestingly, some hardy plants that thrive in the winter need such extra pre-germination treatments or seed stratification for quick germination. They will start germinating faster in the warm temperatures, like in spring, after the seed dormancy period ends.
Does sugar in water help germination?
Many conducted experiments to speed up seed germination by adding sugar to the water. It is because they assume that sugar solution can penetrate the seeds and give them energy to push germination.
Unfortunately, adding sugar is not one of the best ways to have faster germination.Sugar turns out harmful to the seeds as it is an unnatural material that is not commonly found in the soil. In one study, sugar caused stunt growth in coriander seeds.
Do seeds need light 24 hours?
One of the best tips for the fast seed germination process is to provide adequate light exposure. Nonetheless,exposing the seeds with the light for 24 hours is not necessary to speed up the seed germination process.
Instead, such a technique will put the seeds under stress. You can provide around 14-16 hours for the seeds to grow vigorously and healthily.