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how to get seeds to germinate

A seed is triggered to sprout by warmth and moisture. Normally, you sow a seed into a growing medium, such as damp seed starting mix or peat pots. Then you cover the seed with soil, water, place in a warm spot, and wait for the seed to sprout and break through the soil surface.

Step 7: Transfer sprouted seeds to growing medium. Some seeds will sprout quicker than others. As soon as a seed shows tiny roots it is ready to plant. Carefully transfer your sprouted seed to your prepared seedling containers or soil blocks. Be very careful not to damage the root. If you do, the sprout will die. If the root has grown into the paper towel, snip around it and plant paper towel and all.

How to Pre-Sprout Seeds

I had pepper seeds that were several years old. I hated to throw the package away without checking to see if they were still good. I checked the viability of the seeds by doing a seed germination test.

Wondering whether your garden seeds will sprout? You can eliminate some of the wait time by pre-germinating seeds. Pre sprouting seeds germinates seeds before planting. This saves time, eliminates thinning, and conserves space.

Pre-germinating seeds with a damp paper towels is a great gardening hack that speeds up germination by providing the seeds with ideal environment. Plus you can see the seeds sprout and not have to wonder what is happening under the soil.

This article was co-authored by Andrew Carberry, MPH. Andrew Carberry has been working in food systems since 2008. He has a Masters in Public Health Nutrition and Public Health Planning and Administration from the University of Tennessee-Knoxville.

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If you’re a gardening enthusiast, you know there’s nothing more thrilling than seeing the first tiny green shoots come up after you’ve planted seeds. To germinate seeds you will need to give them the correct type of soil and make sure they get the right amount of sun or shade, plus regulate the temperature so they don’t get too hot or cold. Read on to learn how to give seeds the right environment to germinate and grow.

If you’ve been foiled by your seeds in the past because you don’t quite understand how to germinate seeds evenly and quickly, I have good news!

You likely already know that some vegetable plants prefer the cooler temperatures of spring and fall and others thrive in the long, hot days of summer.

Tips for How to Germinate Seeds for Seed Starting

Up to 4 Years
Beans
Carrots
Peas
Chamomile
Cilantro
Dill
Lavender
Marjoram
Mint
Oregano
Rosemary
Thyme

If you look around at different sources for seed storage life, there is some conflicting data. But, here’s a basic guideline:

Don’t use this mat with seeds like lettuce or onions because you may make the soil too hot for them to germinate well. (Been there, done that…)