Garden With Me: Should You Soak Your Seeds?

Here, we were will discuss the process of soaking seeds and the precautions one can take to make sure we do not plant bad seeds.

Growing up, I remember seeing my family soak seeds and leaving them on a napkin to sprout. I also remember the infamous at-home science projects at home that most of the time involved a bean as the experiment. So, I find the element of fun in this process of germinating seeds. The point of soaking seeds is to soften the outer shell of any seed and allow a root to form.

Are you interested in soaking seeds for your garden?

Well, let’s get started then!


CHOOSING THE SEED

There are so many seeds one can choose to soak and each one has its own time and process in which to do it in. This makes gardening a bit time consuming, but we promise it will be worth it!

If you purchase your seeds, make sure you know the most details about them. This includes if they are NON-GMO (which we recommend) and what their germination rate are. One online store that has always given me high success rates in their seeds is SEEDSNOW.com .

Secondly, always store your seeds in the refrigerator. Even if you plan to use the seeds quickly, I suggest always storing them in the refrigerator. This keeps them fresh and prevents them from going bad.

In what many call the “Doomsday Seed Vault,” seeds for future scientific use are stored in “Artic cubes.” I do not store my seeds in the freezer, although there is certain strategies used to speed up germination time by freezing and defrosting seeds to “wake them up.” Personally, I have not used this method yet. But, if you have, please let us know how it has worked for you!

I generally store all of my seeds in a container (no lid) with all my seeds in separate small plastic zip-locks. Then, when I am ready to plant or soak them, I take them out 10- 15 minutes prior.

Be very careful when soaking seeds because it can potentially lead to a bacteria and, unfortunately, a sick plant.

And most important of all, you need to be aware that not all seeds can be soaked!

Never soak melon seeds, oreganos seeds, or thyme seeds!! Plant these seeds immediately into your pots or soil.

Now, you are ready to do it on your own!

Below is a list of possible seeds to soak and the possible time you can soak them for. Please do not exceed the times provided because it can also result in a sick plant.

SOAK TIME:

  • Asparagus – soak overnight (8-12 hours)
  • Basil – soak overnight (8 – 12 hours)
    • Be careful, these seeds are very small which make them a bit hard to work with.
  • Broccoli – soak overnight (8 – 12 hours)
  • Cabbage – soak overnight (8 – 12 hours)
  • Carrots –
    • soak for an hour;
    • place in damp kitchen towel;
    • Fold it and enclose it in an air tight container at room temperature for 5 days
    • Plant immediately (you will notice small roots in some)
  • Cilantro –
    • soak for 24 – 48 hours
    • allow them to dry
    • plant in soil
  • Cucumber –
    • soak for 5 – 10 hours
    • place in damp towel
    • fold into a plastic container or zip-lock bag
    • Check daily for roots and plant immediately
  • Dill – soak overnight
    • Make sure to plant this seed deep in the soil
  • Onion –
    • Soak for 15 minutes to a few hours
    • Let them sit to dry for a bit
    • Plant into the soil when seeds are dry
  • Spinach –
    • Soak for 24 hours
    • Put seeds onto a towel to dry ( 1- 2 days)
    • Then place them into an air tight container for a week
    • Plant into soil
  • Parsley – soak for 24 hours

Tips:

  • You can soak the seeds in at room temperature or warm water.
  • You can try warm chamomile tea. This is a great option because it will get rid of any desease found in the disease (if any).
  • Plant your new seeds in the morning to make sure they get sun for at least 6 hours of the day. This will initiate the germination process because the soil must be warm, not cold. So never plant your seeds at night for that reason.

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