3 methods of seed germination

If you want to accelerate the germination of your plants, you can apply some home methods that promise good results. They are easy to do, although in certain cases you have to be very vigilant so that they do not spoil.

Whether you are a collector or not, it is likely that on some occasion you want to grow species that you do not yet have. Therefore, it is important that you know that, depending on the type of seed, it can be very useful to know different germination methods.

Table of Contents

  • 1 Different types of methods to germinate seeds fast
    • 1.1 Tupper method
      • 1.1.1 How is it done?
    • 1.2 Thermal shock
      • 1.2.1 How is it done?
    • 1.3 Scarification
  • 2 What are the advantages of pregerminative treatments?

Different types of methods to germinate seeds fast

Lettuce seeds germinate fast

Tupper method

One of them is featured in the book Planning The Organic Vegetable Garden, dedicated to the orchard and launched a few years ago. The name of the method is a pregerminative treatment and it is a technique that accelerates seed germination.

How is it done?

Take a sheet of absorbent paper and place it in the base of a container. Later add a little water so that the sheet is moistened without it being submerged. Finally, spread the seeds in groups on the leaf and close it. Close the container and wait 24 hours.

After that time you can open it and you will discover that the seeds that have been moistened the most have already begun to germinate. Depending on the seed in question, the speed with which it will germinate as there are species faster than others. For example, broccoli, cauliflower or lettuce are very fast while pepper can take up to 5 days and tomato or onion seeds an average of three days.

As soon as the seeds have sprouted, they must be transplanted to the garden otherwise the roots will be very long and it will be difficult to detach them from the paper. You can do it with your fingers or help yourself with a toothbrush. Once extracted, plant 1 to 2 seeds per hole and moisten the soil daily. In the blink of an eye the seeds will have settled into the new habitat and will give away their first firm leaves.

Thermal shock

Thermal shock consists of making the seed pass heat, or cold, for a (very) short period of time. The objective is to try to imitate the conditions that the seed would go through if it were in its natural habitat. For example, the fruits of acacias (genus Acacia) are often eaten by herbivorous animals, such as elephants. As these animals are warm-blooded, the temperature that reaches the inside of their stomach can be very high. Once they defecate, the seeds germinate quickly, as they also have a good dose of organic compost.

How is it done?

The way to do it is as follows:

  • Heat: if you want the seeds to heat up, you have to fill a glass with water at room temperature, and put it in the microwave for 2 or 3 seconds. Then, put the seeds in a small strainer, and this inside the glass for 1 second (it is VERY important that it is only 1 second, since if it is longer they will burn). Then you will only have to sow them in pots so that they germinate the next day or a few days later.
    This method is very effective for sowing round and hard seeds, typical of leguminous plants (acacia trees, albizias, flamboyan, locust, Gleditsia, etc).
  • Cold: the step by step to follow is the same, but instead of putting the glass in the microwave, you have to put one or two ice cubes in it until you feel the container very cold, and leave the seeds inside for a few minutes.
    This method is not really done much, as there is another that is much more effective although it takes longer (stratification in the cold refrigerator, for 2-3 months). In any case, it could be interesting for plants that need a bit of cold to germinate, such as blueberries.


La scarification it is another method that allows the seeds to germinate early. It is made with, for example, sandpaper. You have to be very careful, and pass the paper only as many times as necessary until you see that the seed changes a little color. That is, suppose the color is dark brown; then you will have to stop sanding when you see a slightly less dark brown.

It is a method used for seeds that are hard, and have smooth ‘skin’, like those of legumes. If they are flat, and / or very light, or if they are the kind that break easily, they cannot be scarified.

What are the advantages of pregerminative treatments?

Seeds germinate fast with heat shock

There are several advantages of pregerminative treatments that we have seen. One of the most important is that they take advantage of all the seeds without any loss. By offering your seeds an initial incentive, almost all of them will germinate and grow, especially if they are of good quality. Then you ensure the success of the entire consignment.

But that is not the only advantage because it is a great method if you want to use old seeds. It is enough to wait 24 hours to discover which ones are in good condition to germinate and which ones have lost their virtues. Remember that if you have stored the seeds in a cool and well-ventilated place, they can have a long life.

Another, which is closely linked to the previous one, is that allows to have better control over seeds and seedbeds. Not only can you know which ones will germinate and which ones will not, but you can also sow them using the appropriate seedbeds, without having to spend more land or more water than necessary.

What do you think of these methods? Have you put them into practice?

3 methods of seed germination

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