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Soaking seeds?

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Soaking seeds?

Post  castoral on 5/21/2010, 8:44 am

I re-read Square Foot Gardening book last night and noticed that is mentioned soaking seeds (how could I have missed that before?) However, it didn't go into much detail, just saying some seeds are better soaked and some are not. So far I'm having pretty good luck with my seeds coming up anyway, but that could explain a few of the lettuce/spianch/carrots not coming up as expected.

Anyway, this weekend is our first break from rain in almost 3 wks, so I'll finally get to finish up the garden (I'm in zone 5b). I've still got these to plant:
-pole and bush beans
-more carrots (frost free variety this time)
-more marigolds
-squash and zuchinni
-and some herbs (basil, cilantro, etc)

It specifically said in the book not to soak beans I thought, because they'll open up and start sprouting, but maybe I misunderstood.

Also, do you just put them in a little bowl of semi warm water? Put them in a wet paper towel out in the sun? (I remember this from my childhood)



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Re: Soaking seeds?

Post  herbarium on 5/21/2010, 10:03 am

I rarely soak seeds and then only the larger ones. If you choose to soak them don't do it for long. The purpose is just to soften them enough so they sprout sooner. I start most of my seeds in the compressed peat pellets but I start a few in vermiculite.


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Re: Soaking seeds?

Post  castoral on 5/21/2010, 3:01 pm

These will all be seeds I'm starting directly in the garden. Very few of the seeds I happened to get this time said they needed to be started inside, so I just waited. Guess I may try a few, just to see how it goes. Who knows?


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Re: Soaking seeds?

Post  miinva on 5/21/2010, 3:16 pm

I saw it posted somewhere that soaking seeds in tea (black and chamomile were mentioned, I believe) increased the germination rate in old seeds and I'd been told by a friend last year that she always soaks her peas in chamomile tea, so I tried it with some seeds that someone gave me that are a couple of years old. We'll see if it works Smile I soaked them in a shallow dish for about 10 hours because I put them in in the morning and planted them when I got home. So far they haven't sprouted, but my friend swears by soaking hers in tea. Unfortunately I can't help you with the exact details of how to do it, but I'll try to reach her and see if I can get more information on how she does it.


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Re: Soaking seeds?

Post  mckr3441 on 5/21/2010, 3:49 pm

I just planted my beans and cucumbers today. I used old seeds because that was all I had and didn't have time to go out and get new ones. On page 196 in Mel's book (for beans) it says, "presoak seeds thirty minutes for faster sprouting." You can find that under Starting, then Seeds Outdoors. I did that.

Then I read on http://urbanext.illinois.edu/veggies/beans1.html, "Seeds (beans) of most varieties tend to crack and germinate poorly if the soil's moisture content is too high. For this reason, never soak bean seed before planting. Instead water just after planting or plant right before a heavy rain." Go figure!!!! I soaked the soil and the seeds!

For the cukes, page 207 in Mel's book says, "place pre-soaked seeds at proper spacing." Idid that. The other site doesn't say anything about soaking cuke seeds!

Castoral, I'm in 5b also. Could you put your zone in your profile so that it appears under your avatar? It makes it easier for those who wish to respond to know your location. Thanks.



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Re: Soaking seeds?

Post  chexmix on 5/21/2010, 5:17 pm

I soaked lima beans, green beans, watermelon, squash and corn for about 30 minutes before planting them in my sons garden. They all sprouted amazingly quick compared to my garden that I didn't soak the seeds.

So I say it works. The smaller the seed the less time you need to soak it. I used warm water (didn't know about the tea then).


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