Germinating Seeds - The Basics

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The 'Very' Basics

All seeds will grow provided they meet certain criteria.  The basic one is age. Are the seeds past their shelf-life.  This can range from a few weeks (Cocoa is a good example here) to any thing out to 10 years or beyond, Lotus are known to be viable after 100's of years.  The conditions for germination must be there too - some seeds have 'inbuilt' clocks and will only germinate at certain times of the year (Astrophytum cactus for example have a peak around Mar - May where almost 100% of the seeds will germinate in this period if sown and outside of this rates decline, until the following March).  Some seeds need a period of chilling before they will grow (most temperate trees and many perennial wildflowers). Some seeds need to be 'eaten' before they will grow - of course we cant do this, but nicking the seed coat, soaking in water (or even treating with boiling water or chemical soaks) all mimic this treatment.  It is all about giving the seed what it needs to grow.

What Does a Seed Need to Grow

In much the same as the plant it will grow into a seed has some basic needs.
Soil - yes you can grow seeds on all sorts of things, but by using good sterilised soil you can overcome all sorts of issues there other media have - mainly the lack of nutrients so the seedling quickly runs out of food if it doesn't get put into a proper growing medium.
Water - very important - too little, your seeds will just sit there and 'wait', too much and the seeds will drown or rot.
Light - some require light to germinate, some require darkness and some 'don't care'.  Get in wrong, however, and you may get reduced germination.
Heat - all seeds need some heat to germinate - few seeds germinate in winter, so Spring like temperatures are required.  Each seed has its own range of optimum temperatures and will grow well in this range.
All details of this are in our care sheets, details of which are in the next section.

Detailed Guides

We provide several detail guides to help you grow your seeds.  All of these are kept online, where we can easily update them and they are readily available to you. The link to these guides can be found on my main shop page which is here, right at the top under the care sheet sections.  There are many guides on this page which cover all the types of seed we stock and many of the germination techniques we have found useful.  Because they are online, we do not send out written instructions any more, we have found this to save weight (and you postage) and it does our bit to reduce the use of precious natural commodities.

Final Thoughts

Every thing you need to grow seeds should be in our guides, we can't store them on eBay and we cannot link directly to them here because of the rules with writing guides.  So once more here is the link that will get you going.  If you do have any problems, ask us a question or send us an email.  Our details are on every single listing page under contact details.
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