Soaking seeds is one of the oldest methods to increase the chances of a seed into germinating. It’s also great for decreasing its time to sprout, making it more convenient for growers to hasten the time it takes to plant them.
It does sound easy as all you need to do is to soak these seeds with water, though the variety of seeds differ from each type of plant.
You need to know which type of seed should be soaked before planting and the different processes you need to do for handling each seed.
Here we will show you the necessary steps you need to take when soaking a seed before planting it.
Table of Contents
Steps in Soaking a Seed
1. Small Seeds
Use a paper towel or coffee filter to place the seeds with so you won’t easily lose them.
Apply water onto the seeds and its surroundings to thoroughly soak them, increasing the area to improve the rate of water that the seed can absorb.
Use another piece of paper to cover the seeds and properly soak it for better absorption area.
Leave the seeds to soak the water for over 12 hours. Check is the seeds have started to swell while also applying water to it if the surface starts to dry up. When they have doubled from their original size, you can proceed to plant the seeds.
2. Hard-Shelled Seeds
Create a scratch in one area of the seed using a small file or a knife. This allows water to easily penetrate the seed to end its dormant phase and allow it to start growing.
Find a bowl and fill it with water so you can soak your seeds in it. You need to do this for about 3-4 hours before you’re going to plant the seeds.
If some seeds aren’t able to exit its dormant phase, use acids like sulphuric acid or gibberellic acid to stimulate its germination phase. Soak them in the acid for 1-2 hours, depending on its size. Avoid overexposing the seeds with the acid as it will kill them.
Steps in Sprouting the Seeds
Evenly distribute the seeds that have been thoroughly soaked in water for more than a day into your garden. Try to use the best soil or moss in your area to increase the chances of the growth of the seed.
Transfer the soil which contains the seed into a tub and place the tub into a refrigerator for 5-6 weeks. Make sure to spray water into the seed to provide moisture.
The best way to encourage a seed to germinate is when it’s in a cold and moist environment. If you have the time like a few months, you can place the seeds into a plastic bag while covering it in a damp paper towel and place it inside a freezer. This method can replicate the conditions where seeds can fully germinate.
Seeds That Need to be Soaked
In general, almost every type of seed should be soaked before planting. Giving the seeds a good amount of moisture allows the coat to rupture, helping the seeds start its germination. Soaking the seeds with water also lets it germinate at a faster rate, letting you plant your seed into the soil a bit earlier.
The best type of seeds that you want to soak first before planting is big and wrinkled ones. These types of seeds have a very hard coat in its outer wall where it needs a good amount of water to increase the time it needs for germination.
How Long Should I soak my Seeds
The amount of time it takes for you to soak your seed will usually depend on how thick the skin of the seed is. If the skin is thinner then it would usually take only a few hours while thicker-skinned ones will take about 12 hours to over a day.
A general rule of thumb when doing this is to watch your seed every few hours. If it has already grown twice its original size then it means that it has absorbed the perfect amount of water for it to start germinating.
Also, make sure to use warm water when you’re soaking the seeds to decrease the time it takes for the water to fully seep inside the seed.
Why do some seeds float while another sink?
You will notice that when you start soaking your seeds, there are going to be some seeds that float while others will sink.
Although most people have said that floating seeds are “bad”, it just means that they don’t contain enough nutrients making them less dense. Meaning there’s still a reasonable chance that the seeds will still germinate.
This lack of weight causes them to float compared to “good” seeds that are densely packed with nutrients which makes them sink.
Some seeds float as it contains a few air pockets. This means that these seeds are still okay as these air pockets don’t have any effects on the seeds’ chance to properly grow.
Are there seeds that you should not soak?
Although most seeds can germinate much faster when soaked in water, some aren’t worth it to soak in. Tiny seeds are one of them as the disadvantage outweighs the benefits. It’s also quite difficult to handle them whenever they’re soaked.
Some of these seeds include:
Once your seeds are done with its germination, you can proceed to plant them in your garden and maintain it until it fully grows. You should always properly take care of your plants for them to look beautiful, healthy, and attractive especially when you’re growing flowers.
Water them every day and try to remove as many insects as possible to prevent them from damaging your garden.