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Soaking seeds????? HELP

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Soaking seeds????? HELP

Post  kryzzy124 on 3/7/2014, 6:37 pm

Hi i was wondering if anyone could tell me what their take is on soaking seeds?? If anyone recommends it how long would you soak them depending on their size?   Thank you for your time and HAPPY planting!!          
                                                   

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Re: Soaking seeds????? HELP

Post  recoush on 3/7/2014, 7:35 pm

Yes, soaking seed is a good idea, they after all have been dried out 

But check the package some seeds to be cold and damp to sprout otherwise 

myself only soak them for 5 minutes or less (clean water) filtered No chlorine) or until they sink to the bottom of the container then i fish them out with a plastic spoon and flip them into the germinating mix.

some seeds are really small you may to pour onto a paper towel with strainer underneath and container to catch the water. 

some seeds if you over soak will almost explode so try a few at a time 
good luck  Very Happy

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Re: Soaking seeds????? HELP

Post  quiltbea on 3/7/2014, 8:16 pm

If I am seed-starting, which usually means several types at one time, then I will soak them separately in bottle caps for anywhere from 5-10 mins, in warm water, depending on how long it takes me to finish sowing seeds of one kind before starting the next type.

For peas, which I direct sow outdoors, I usually soak them in a jar lid of water overnite.  For other crops being sown outdoors, I again soak them in warm water for several minutes before sowing in the soil.  I'm sure it makes a difference in germination time.

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Re: Soaking seeds????? HELP

Post  camprn on 3/7/2014, 9:19 pm

I usually try to follow the label directions as all seeds require different conditions for germination.

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There are certain pursuits which, if not wholly poetic and true, do at least suggest a nobler and finer relation to nature than we know. The keeping of bees, for instance. ~ Henry David Thoreau

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Re: Soaking seeds????? HELP

Post  Marc Iverson on 3/7/2014, 11:21 pm

None of the packets I've seen say anything about soaking, though.

A good guide might be a book or chart relating to sprouting seeds for eating as sprouts. Sprouting, of course, is exactly what that whole business is about. I have a sprouting book that gives temperatures and hours for pre-soaking. Works like a charm, and people might be surprised how many crops are eaten as sprouts -- the list goes on for a few pages. Beets, broccoli, sunflowers, peas, radishes, grains, nuts, grasses ...

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Re: Soaking seeds????? HELP

Post  camprn on 3/8/2014, 6:44 am

@Marc Iverson wrote:None of the packets I've seen say anything about soaking, though....
Then maybe they don't need presoaking before sowing.

Kryzzy, did you have any particular seeds in mind?

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There are certain pursuits which, if not wholly poetic and true, do at least suggest a nobler and finer relation to nature than we know. The keeping of bees, for instance. ~ Henry David Thoreau

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Re: Soaking seeds????? HELP

Post  Marc Iverson on 3/8/2014, 7:24 am

@camprn wrote:
Then maybe they don't need presoaking before sowing.

Then maybe nothing does.

There's a difference between what something needs and what something benefits from. How long it might take for something to germinate can be relevant when one is thinking of last frost dates. Pre-soaking is a way of speeding things up. Biological need is only one in a cascade of determinants, commercial or otherwise.

Few here are commercial growers, but they all have their needs and desires too.

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Re: Soaking seeds????? HELP

Post  camprn on 3/8/2014, 7:45 am

I stand by my comment, especially when giving new gardeners advice. Please read and follow all label directions for all gardening products. This includes the Square Foot Gardening recipe for Mel's mix as well as advice from the seed providers.

As the freshman gardener gains knowledge from research and experience, branching out and experimenting can be a wonderful thing. However, know this, fiddling with stuff will often yield mixed results.

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There are certain pursuits which, if not wholly poetic and true, do at least suggest a nobler and finer relation to nature than we know. The keeping of bees, for instance. ~ Henry David Thoreau

http://squarefoot.creatingforum.com/t1306-other-gardening-books

Outlander is outstanding!


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Re: Soaking seeds????? HELP

Post  quiltbea on 3/8/2014, 11:36 am

OK, I stand corrected.  I agree with camprn that its best to follow the information on the packets tho I've noticed that many packets now just give general advice, nothing specific to their species.

When you have gained some knowledge and want to experiment, you can do other things just to see what works better for you. When I'm in a rush, I often don't take the time to pre-soak any seeds at all and it still all comes up in the cells or garden.

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Re: Soaking seeds????? HELP

Post  yolos on 3/8/2014, 3:07 pm

Both varieties of my Sweet Shelling peas (on the packet of seeds) say to soak seed in water 12 - 24 hours before sowing.

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Re: Soaking seeds????? HELP

Post  camprn on 3/8/2014, 6:26 pm

@yolos wrote:Both varieties of my Sweet Shelling peas (on the packet of seeds) say to soak seed in water 12 - 24 hours before sowing.
yes, this is a good example. I soak my pea seeds and it works really well. I soak them and sprout them in a jar. I only plant the ones that actually sprout.

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There are certain pursuits which, if not wholly poetic and true, do at least suggest a nobler and finer relation to nature than we know. The keeping of bees, for instance. ~ Henry David Thoreau

http://squarefoot.creatingforum.com/t1306-other-gardening-books

Outlander is outstanding!


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Re: Soaking seeds????? HELP

Post  yolos on 3/8/2014, 7:45 pm

Camprn - I very rarely pre-sprout seeds because I cannot remember whether to plant the seed with the thingie that sprouted up or down in the hole.  Is the thingie that sprouts out of the seed the root or the stem.

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Re: Soaking seeds????? HELP

Post  camprn on 3/8/2014, 7:57 pm

@yolos wrote:Camprn - I very rarely pre-sprout seeds because I cannot remember whether to plant the seed with the thingie that sprouted up or down in the hole.  Is the thingie that sprouts out of the seed the root or the stem.
lol I understand that! With peas the emerging part is the root. The reason for this is that the plant only has a little bit of food in the seed so it puts down a root to start gathering nutrients first and then it puts out foliage.
If you plant them as soon as the root is emerging, the root will grow downward regardless of how the seed is places when sowing.

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http://squarefoot.creatingforum.com/t3574-the-end-of-july-7-weeks-until-frost

There are certain pursuits which, if not wholly poetic and true, do at least suggest a nobler and finer relation to nature than we know. The keeping of bees, for instance. ~ Henry David Thoreau

http://squarefoot.creatingforum.com/t1306-other-gardening-books

Outlander is outstanding!


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Re: Soaking seeds????? HELP

Post  FamilyGardening on 3/9/2014, 12:21 am

we too are finding little information on the back of some seed packets....some seeds we bought came in tiny plastic bags with just the name of the seeds  Shocked these seeds mostly came from online purchasing from like amazon and such....when we buy our seeds locally these seeds seem to have more planting info.....

to answer the opening post: 

this is my *take on soaking seeds*


generally we have found larger seeds do well to pre-soak....most of the time we don't have too because we are in WA state and usually get plenty of rain.....but if there is a warm spell and we need to plant our beans and corn....then we will soak them....

we also found soaking carrots seeds....which  are a tiny seed....did germinate a lot faster for us then when we haven't....

for us it all depends on how fast we need that seed to come up
I have also read that parsnips do better by pre-soaking....

you-tube has lots of video's on gardening and if you type in a certain seed and the word presoaking....you should be able to find some answers on what works for some and what doesn't....but you have to keep in mind....the climate you are in compared to others will make a difference.....

happy gardening
rose

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Seed soaking replies

Post  kryzzy124 on 3/9/2014, 10:36 am

I plan on doing celery, bell peppers and onion(seeds) at this time.  I too also noticed that some packets give lots of info and others not much at all!   Like my Strawberries, it doesn't even say how far to plant them or anything. Just that it is strawberry seeds.  Which may i say i am a bit freaked out by having them in my freezer, they are so tiny, i get why it is done but i worry!!  How many berries would yall recommend for one square foot???                                                                                                              HAPPY GARDENING EVERYONE!!



                           p.s. thanks for all the advice!!

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Re: Soaking seeds????? HELP

Post  quiltbea on 3/9/2014, 12:39 pm

krzzy....When is your last frost date?  I just wondered if it differed from mine since I'm a bit further south in Maine than are you.
My last frost date is May 15th after closely watching my weather cycle the last 4 years.

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Re: Soaking seeds????? HELP

Post  Yardslave on 3/9/2014, 3:57 pm

I soak all my seeds in a dilute kelp/water solution, usually overnight. The kelp has ingrediants tht help the encased seed's resistance to diseases. I figure that the hulls of the seeds will soften quicker and get the seed's germ going. With lettuce seed I place the seeds in the sun while they soak, to solarize, and plant them the next day- they usually sprout within three days.

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Re: Soaking seeds????? HELP

Post  quiltbea on 3/23/2014, 1:03 pm

Immah.....use that date to start your seeds indoors or sow them outdoors.  There are online sites that give you the dates to start them, whether sowing seeds indoors or sowing them outdoors, or you can look in Mel's Square Foot Garden books for that information.

As a note of interest, I have pre-soaked these seeds and they have all germinated in from 2-4 days.

These are Romaine lettuce, Tokyo bekana (a mini Chinese cabbage green) and Baby's Breath flower seeds.  I only soak them about 30 mins as I prepare my cellpacks and starting soil and thoughts ready for sowing.  I know that my sugar snap peas will benefit greatly by pre-soaking them at least 12 hours before sowing outdoors when the time comes.  Too cold here now.  Garden is still buried in snow.

I'm finding that there isn't much difference whether I start the seeds on the heat mat without any light or under the lights without a heat mat.  My grow room is our furnace room where temps stay pretty much at 63*F. 

So far I'm only starting cooler weather crops so maybe that makes a difference as to using the heat mat or not.  All are popping up in 2-4 days.  The only thing taking longer is the spinach.  I'm trying some on the heat mat and some not.  After 6 days they still haven't germinated and I pre-soaked those seeds overnite after reading about that technique making spinach germ faster.  Normally I just sow seeds outdoors and not indoors but with the season running behind so far this year, I thought I'd try starting some indoors this year.

I have others germinated and now moved under the lights without a dome including some broccolis, cauliflowers, kale, chard, and pansies.

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Re: Soaking seeds????? HELP

Post  quiltbea on 3/23/2014, 2:02 pm

Ooops, false information give above.  Sorreeeeee! 

I listed my spinach under Bloomsdale instead of 'spinach' and I find that they have germinated.  The ones on the heat mat in 4 days and the ones not on the heat mat but under the dome, in 3 days. 
I'm thinking pre-soaking seeds works very well.

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Re: Soaking seeds????? HELP

Post  catbranch on 4/18/2014, 9:17 pm

I realize this topic is a month or so old, but came across it when I was searching for people's actual experiences with presoaking seeds. Since there seemed to be some differences of opinion, I thought I would add what Mel recommends in the All New Square Foot Gardening book, found in Chapter 6:  How to Plant Your All New Square Foot Garden...

"PRESOAKING
Before planting your seeds, give them a jump-start by presoaking them. While some can be soaked overnight, some fall apart after only an hour; it depends on the seed. Big seeds should be soaked for only about a half hour to an hour. Bean and pea seeds, which might look shriveled up, swell up and break in half if you soak them too long. Beware, water makes some seeds slippery. A plastic spoon can help you handle them."

Bartholomew, Mel. All New Square Foot Gardening, Second Edition: The Revolutionary Way to Grow More In Less Space

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Re: Soaking seeds????? HELP

Post  plantoid on 4/19/2014, 6:30 pm

For the small seeds say cabbage seed size or smaller that are being started off in plant pots I stand the mm filled pots in room temp rain water 1 & 1/2 inch deep  for 24 hrs in a 2 inch deep seed tray ( 32 mini pots at a time ).
 
Then the next day push a pencil in the middle of the pot to cover the wood and almost fill the hole I've made with fine horticultural vermiculite , slip a seed in the middle of it and then sprinkle a fine layer over it .
 The peat is so wet it immediately transfers water to the vermiculite , the covering over the seed is also suitably wetted .
 
 I've had to develop this method as I have diabetes and because of it have now got reduced sensation in my finger tips ..  Wet seeds  don't work for me I tend to crush them in my fingers or in my  tweezers .   I'm getting about 99% germinations from this method , I can't remember when I last had a failure .

Fine dust type seeds like celery needs a slightly different approach .. Use a MM rainwater soaked filled plant pot so it is about 1/2"  below the top , add 1/4 " of fine vermiculite  sprinkle a pinch of the fine seeds on the dampening vermiculite . cover the pot with a sheet of white paper and cover the paler with a sheet of clear plastic or glass topped pot . place in a warm room sun lit room away from direct sunlight .  check every three or four days  moisten as needed ..I used a clean trigger pack room temp rain water filled sprayer.

 The strange use of paper & glass is to help stop damping off the paper helps keep a diffused light on the seeds the glass helps keep the humidity constant .

Celery can take 21 days or more  to show and another 14 to 18 days before it is big enough to sensibly handle ( untangle when sopping wet with a pencil point )  for potting up into three inch pots .

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