Grow Plants from Seeds – Cheaply, Quickly and Efficiently.
If you want to grow plants, then knowing how to germinate seeds is a great way to increase the diversity in your garden as well as save money.
There are many ways to germinate seeds and methods depend on individual species. Some are quicker than others, and some produce better germination rates. We find that a heated propagation box provides seeds with the warmth that they need to germinate quickly.
We have created a series of videos that look at a quick and efficient way to germinate many type of seeds and propagate plants including vegetable and flower seeds.
Seeds all need different amounts of light, moisture and warmth to germinate, so you do need to do a little research before you start.
The basic requirements are
- Choosing the right time of the year for the particular seed.
- Choosing the right propagating media or soil.
- Providing the correct temperature, moisture and humidity.
Seed Germination Methods
We have been using a heated propagation box for a number of years, with very good results. Its fast, easy and a great way to introduce children to gardening as well.
The reason that a heated propagation box is so good is that many seeds require a soil temperature of 10C (50F) to put on good root growth and germinate properly.
The propagation box works by warming the soil, this not only helps with germination and root growth. If you use a cover, it also increases humidity which will also promote good growth once the seeds germinate.
A propagation box also allows you to grow seedlings to a good size before transplanting them into the garden or container, protecting them from slugs, snail, birds and even rodents.
You could use a simple heated propagation mat without a cover, however a dual purpose unit is more flexible.
When germinating seeds, the propagation mix is important, it needs to be light to allow for good root growth. It need to retain moisture, as well strain well. We use a simple 50/50 mix of perlite and coir peat or peat moss.
In itself, this has no nutrients, so as soon as the seeds germinate, you will need to provide a liquid fertiliser as well as a slow release general purpose fertiliser.
Some Common Terms
Some seeds will require special treatment and the terms scarification and stratification are often used.
Scarification simply means weakening the outer coating on the seed to speed up germination. The method will differ depending on the seed. Heat, abrasion and chemical methods are all used.
Stratification is a way of breaking the dormancy cycle of seeds that require a cold winter, this can be done through chilling the seeds. Basically the seeds are tricked into thinking that they have been through a cold enough winter to germinate. Warm stratification is the opposite of this.