In Yardener's Tool Shed we offer a complete range of seed starting devices and supplies; click here.
Tips For Success With Vegetable Seed-Starting
TWO PRESOAKING TRICKS
Presoaking Seeds With Vinegar
To speed the germination of hard-to-sprout seeds, such as morning glories and moonflowers, after sanding them lightly with a nail file or sandpaper, soak them overnight in a solution of 1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar to 4 tablespoons water.
The same solution can be used to soak flower, herb and vegetable seeds.
Presoaking Seeds With Seaweed Extract
Virtually all seeds presoaked in a dilute seaweed-extract solution for 30 minutes have a better germination rate than untreated seeds. Scientists think that something in the seaweed may increase the respiratory activity of the seeds. To treat seeds, stir 1/4 teaspoon of extract into 1 quart of luke-warm water. Do not use a more concentrated solution and don't soak for more than 30 minutes, or the benefits will be lost. In some cases, it may be easier to simply mist the seeds with that same mixture, about 30 minutes before planting. Seeds presoaked in a seaweed extract tend to have faster root growth after they sprout, as well.
Boosting Seedlings and Transplants With Seaweed Extract
It is beneficial to give seedlings a dose of dilute liquid seaweed extract (1 teaspoon to a gallon of water) once before they are transplanted. The kelp solution reduces the problems caused by transplant shock and speeds up root development. Before setting out a plant received bare root from the nursery, try soaking the bare roots in a solution of one teaspoon dry seaweed extract per gallon of water. An alternative to treating seedlings before transplanting is adding seaweed extract (1 teaspoon per gallon of water) afterward, for the thorough watering after the plant is planted.
For more information go to Using Seaweed In The Landscape in Yardener’s Helper and Seaweed and Kelp Products in Yardener’s Tool Shed.
Starting seeds either indoors or outdoors is probably not one of the most common activities for a yardener. The yardener is much more likely to buy plants all ready to place into the landscape. At the same time, we have had enough questions about this technique to decide to include in Yardener's Helper.
The real secret folks is that starting seeds is not all that big a deal. So give it a shot. It really doesn't take much time and it is definitely not an expensive endeavor.