Up to 2 Years
Stored under optimal conditions, seeds can last up to five years. But, optimal conditions are often cited as around 42 degrees F and low humidity.
Tips for How to Germinate Seeds for Seed Starting
Seed planting depth: Most seeds will need to be covered in soil to aid germination. But, some seeds, like flowers, should only be lightly covered because they need light in order to germinate.
How quickly they do so is often dependent upon whether you’re giving them the optimal conditions.
The back of the seed packet will often list the best timeline for starting those particular seeds and can be a handy double check on your timing.
There’s various materials that people often wonder if they can germinate seeds in. We’ve covered each of them here.
Peat moss is ideal for sprouting seeds. If you decide to germinate them with this material then you have no need to transport them. Ensure that you leave the peat moss loose around the seed so it can easily reach the surface.
To be quite frank, there’s not much positive about starting them in soil in my opinion. The main benefits are that it’s a natural environment for your seedlings, but as with any natural environment it’s not the most sterile place. With that in mind, here’s the first drawback. Without a sterile environment, there’s always a chance that your seeds will become damaged by pathogens in the soil before they’ve even begun to sprout.
…In A Glass Of Water?
Transporting your seeds can be a pain as they’re so sensitive. With paper towels, once your seeds start to sprout you need to transfer them into some soil, this is the only thing I prefer about the soil method, no transferring! They’re the only two drawbacks in my opinion though, so let’s take a look at germinating seeds in soil.
Yes, toilet paper is an effective material for germinating seeds. It works nearly as well as paper towels but the only issue is that it can tear easily. When using toilet paper, you might want to use a few sheets to avoid this problem.
First of all, let’s get into the paper towel method. My personal favourite point about germinating seeds this way is that you can see exactly what stage they are at. Much like you can with home hydroponic farms, check them out here. They are completely exposed (which can also bring some drawbacks) so I can keep a close eye on them.
Many seeds do not need lighting to germinate while others do. You may need a source of heat and light as sunlight will most likely not suffice. Pick up a plant lamp to keep your seeds happy with lots of lights and heat. Please note: You may use a fluorescent lamp without trouble but you will need a white bulb to provide the right heat and light for your seeds without burning them. A heat mat may also be a good idea for plants that require extra heat.
Once you see the first shoot poking through, you will need to move the container into a sunny area. Ensure that the room temperature is above 70°F (21°C) and in bright light so that your plants can grow. You can now remove the plastic/paper covering, but ensure you keep the seedling moist by watering throughout the day. We advise you to water in the early morning and in the afternoon, but not any later in the day – as doing so can mean the water sits on top of the growing medium and can cause problems such as mould that are best avoided. At this point, it is also important to feed your seedlings with the correct fertiliser once they’ve gotten a few inches tall.
Garden soil can contain high levels of disease and insects that can cause harm to your seeds. Therefore, it is the safer option in most cases to start your seeds off indoors in ‘seed and cutting’ compost. Obviously, these conditions will vary from plant to plant, so make sure you check thoroughly before beginning the process.
6) Provide Heat And Lighting
You can purchase propagators which are designed for growing multiple fruit or vegetables from seed. These containers are perfect for the task at hand.
Now, that you’ve got your seeds ready – you will need to plant them. It is possible to plant seeds both straight away directly in your garden soil or alternatively in containers that can then be transported outside further down the line. This decision depends hugely on the species you wish to plant as some require more sensitive care than others. To do so, you will need to know the ideal growing conditions for your plant; the germination time, and also the earliest time from which you can transport your plant outside.
Normally, you should plant your seeds between 4-6 weeks prior to moving them outside, however, species do vary. Also, you may be required to plant your seeds indoors earlier than predicted or indeed later, all dependant on the weather at the time.
There are so many benefits to growing from seed that you may choose to start planting and growing flowers and vegetables at home rather than buying them fully grown in store.