Steps to Germinate

Here are the steps (with photos) I take to germinate my seeds.

  1. I take regular tap water (you can use RO or Distilled, whatever your comfortable with) and I fill a small cup. I drop the seeds into the cup and let them soak for 12-18 hours.
  2. After 12-18 hours (These were left for around 15 hours). I lightly punch the seed with my finger to see if it drops to the bottom of the cup. I find that generally when they drop to the bottom they are ready to go!
  3. Get a small flat Tupperware container or a plastic baggie and a piece of paper tower.
  4. I prefold my paper towel over, so it’s easier to handle.
  5. I open up the paper towel, and pour the entire contents of the cup onto the paper towel, seeds and water.
  6. I drain off the excess water in the container, you do not want standing water. Just a wet paper towel.
  7. Fold other side of paper towel over the top of the seeds.
  8. Put the cover on the container, but don’t close it. We some exchange of fresh air! (With a ziplock bag, close most of the bag, but leave a small gap to breath!)
  9. I like to use a heating mat or seedling mat from my germinating seeds, so I place the container on it and set the temp to 78 degrees.
  10. I cover up the container with a towel, we don’t want a lot of light to get in while germinating. We are trying to emulate the conditions of soil to pop these babies! So dark, damp, and relatively warm!
  11. After a few days (can be as early as one day), the seeds will crack, emitting a white taproot. Many people say to wait until the taproot is half an inch long to plant. I personally have never an issues planting them shorter, your usually safe once you see the taproot poking out.
  12. Its time to plant your germinated seed! I make a small hole for the seed in the middle of the pot. Not too deep, maybe 1/4-1/2 inch.
  13. This step isn't necessary, but I like to sprinkle some mycorrhizae in the hole before I put the seed in.
  14. Very gently, grab the seed husk with a tweaser or your fingers if your feeling nimble. I find tweasers to be much more sanitary and easier to use. Place the germinated seed into the hole. I try to place the taproot facing down as much as possible, with the seed husk facing up. This doesn't need to be perfect, seedlings find a way.
  15. Gently push soil over the top of the seedling in the hole, but do not pack it down. We want the seedling to be able to easily burst through the soil.
  16. I take a spray bottle after the seed is covered and heavily spray the top of the soil. During germination, we really want a moist environment, but not too moist. I suggest using a dropper or spray bottle very lightly each day to make sure the soil is still moist. Drying out is one of the most common ways of killing a seedling before it breaks through the earth.