This happens every year guys. It is absolute TORTURE waiting the 7-14 days for my seeds to peek through the soil. You can’t SEE what is happening underneath the dirt, you just have to wonder if it’s actually growing. You agonize over whether or not you gave it the right amount of water, or if it was the one seed in the packet that won’t sprout. Or what if, heaven forbid, an animal came up from underneath and ate your tiny seed without you even knowing! If you’re like me, you have even considered digging up the seedling carefully to see if it’s growing. And when your babies don’t show their tiny green leaves after day 7 you want to go replant everything because you are sure you did something wrong….. Ahhh it’s awful!!
Does this sound familiar to any of you or am I the only crazy one? Maybe next year I will buy one of those nanny cams and point it at my garden, so I can watch the dirt from my air conditioned house without running back and forth to my garden 20 times.
But, after careful testing, I am pleased to announce that I have discovered a way to get my seeds to come up 24-48 hours earlier then they would have. Like I said, I tested it out so I KNOW it works. If you don’t believe me, try it with your seeds and see what happens.
There are two steps to this process. The first step can be done with any seeds, but in order to do the second part, only larger seeds will work. You will see why in a minute.
These are the lemon cucumber seeds I am using in the pictures.
And as you can see, on the back of the packet it tells us that they will germinate in about one week if it’s warm, and up to two weeks if it’s not.
Well currently it is NOT very warm at our house. It’s been in the 60’s during the day and the 40’s at night. So we can predict that it will take roughly 10-14 days for my seeds to germinate when planted outside.
I planted 6 seeds with no special treatment, in the ground, and watered them with cold hose water. Then I got another 6 seeds and gave them the special treatment to compare.
1. Get two paper towels and fold them up inside a Tupperware or dish.
2. Thoroughly wet the paper towels with WARM water.
3. Put your seeds inside the paper towels and close it.
4.Place the lid on top but leave it open so you don’t cook your seeds.
5. Put your container in a warm sunny spot outside. Keep them warm inside if it’s really cold out that day.
6. Check them often to make sure they don’t dry out. Bring them inside over night and give them a little more warm water.
7. The following day, when you are ready to plant, open the paper towel to inspect your seeds. If you are planting small seeds, go ahead and plant them like normal. The soaking will have jump started the germination process. If you are planting larger seeds, take a close look at them and find the end where the plant will grow out of. The seed comes to a point, and that is where it will open up, it might be opening just a tiny bit after 24 hours of soaking in warm water.
8. Normally when you drop a seed in it’s hole, it lands on it’s side or sometimes upside down because of it’s shape. This causes the plant to have to grow in the wrong direction first, all the way around the seed, causing it to take LONGER to get to the top of the soil. To fix this problem, all you have to do is place your seed facing the right direction …. up! The easiest way to do this is to set it on your finger, and then push it into the side of your hole so it stays in the right spot while you cover it with dirt. Am I making any sense here??
9. Finally, top your newly planted seeds with more WARM water. They need to be tricked into thinking they live in the Bahamas.
Now for the results! The first “warm” seed popped up on the 9th day, a full 36 hours earlier then any of the “cold” ones. All but one of the warm seeds were up before any of the cold ones were. And the difference between the first warm seed and the last cold seed was 4 days! That’s a lot of time to not have to spend watching the dirt carefully for baby seedlings!
How about you guys? You got any secrets to getting your seeds up earlier?