Whether you’re planting indoors or outdoors, sometimes soaking your seeds before planting can help them germinate faster. Here’s how to do it.
Soaking seeds before planting can help them to germinate faster, as it fools them into thinking they’ve been planted longer. When you soak your seeds in water, they can absorb more water in one day than they would in a full week in the ground, meaning you can really speed up the sprouting of your seeds, and see your seedlings pop up a lot sooner!
For most seeds, you will want to soak them in slightly warm water – not hot. This will help soften the outer hull, so that the water can penetrate the seed more easily. Generally you should soak the seeds in a glass or jar filled with at least 3 inches of water, for about 24 hours.
After 24 hours, check to see if they are ready to plant. When a seed is fully soaked, it will swell and appear lighter in color, and may also feel slightly softer (don’t squeeze them hard though, or you can damage the inner kernel).
If your seeds are ready, you can go ahead and plant as usual – either in indoor seed starting trays, or out in the garden – and watch for your seedlings as they should pop up much more quickly than usual.
If you feel your seeds need a little more time, it is okay to soak them for a few more hours, but generally you should not go more than 48 hours, or the germ may start to decompose and use up the nutrients, or they may sprout too soon, and not make it to the surface of the soil after planting.
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