Enhanced Germination

Home Garden How To

So many novice gardeners get frustrated because they are unsuccessful with sprouting their plants from seeds. however most are making very simple mistakes that prevent them from reaching success. IF you follow these basic steps below, you will increase your yields substantially.

  • Start with an aquarium/terrarium (or plastic tote if you must). This ensures a humidity and temperature controlled environment.
  • setup a heating pad on the bottom of the habitat. If you used a tote in the step above, make sure that it is a higher heat resistant material or you will have to line to bottom with something insulating.
  • place small planters, plastic cups, egg cartons, or some small cell divided tray inside that has good drainage holes on the bottom.
  • For growing medium you’ll need a finely sieved soil, fluffy peat or sphagnum moss mixed with perlite or Leca. You want it to be lightweight, aerated, and moisture absorptive but good draining.
  • Determine if the seeds you wish to plant like to be top dropped or buried in the medium and place accordingly.
  • Place 1 seed per cell for species with good germination rates or more for really small seeds or those with notably slim germination rates
  • for really thick walled seeds you may want to first soak them for 24-48 hours, dip them briefly in boiling water, or scarify their exterior to promote an easy access point for the sprout.
  • Mist your cups until the top 25% of the medium is moist. the seed can wick moisture from this range because it will be situated in this range and eventually place its roots below it so it can access the water as it drains but wont be kept soaked constantly.
  • Place a cover over the Terrarium like plexiglass or a metal screen. this will keep down insects, pets messing with them, as well as protecting them further from wind, foreign debris, etc.
  • Place a uv bulb on top of the setup. These can be purchased from any pet store or plant nursery. Make sure you pick one rated to distribute the UV to the distance you have it above your seeds.
  • Keep a mild diluted spray bottle of a fungicide like citric acid, or a weak solution of hydrogen peroxide to inhibit any mold growth you may get. If you see mold, your setup may be too wet and you can place some sea sponges between the cups or trays and try a screen cover instead of a solid plexiglass one.
  • Place the light on a timer to be on at least 12 hours a day and use the heater as needed to maintain adequate ambient temperature parallel or slightly above your plants natural habitat and germination season.
  • Different plants sprout at different times. Be patient. If you see no results in the stated germination range for your plant, you can dig up the seed to check its status. they respond well to disturbance when they’re unsprouted.
  • Seeds do not need fertilized, they’ve got self contained nutrients for their initial development. They will only need fertilized and transplanted into bigger containers and placed under conditions of their natural habitat after they get their second leaf or second set of leaves.