The ecological relationship between seed and soil is like a symphony; there are natural cues that promote germination.
One of the major cues is moisture level! When the conditions are right, the seed will follow its own instinct and begin to swell. Once the seed coat is soft and moist the new seedling erupts into life.
The germination time for seeds varies greatly depending on the species. Some seeds can take years for germination (peonies) and others germinate in less than three days (cabbage family). We can use a mechanical force to speed the germination time (soaking).
Large seeds with hard coats (sunflowers, honeywort, peas, beans, corn and sweet peas) will appreciate a longer soaking- up to 24 hours.
Larger seeds with softer coats such as pumpkins, squash, chard, beets, nasturtium and cucumber are perfect to soak overnight.
Small seeds like lettuce, radish, carrots and tomatoes can become mushy and sticky if soaked too long (15-30 min) is appropriate.
Find a shallow bowl, place your seeds and top with water. Set away from pets, kids and spouses out of direct sunlight and in a warm location. Warm water is best but any water will do (what would nature do).
Once seeds have soaked and swelled…it is time to plant! Follow your seed packet guidelines for planting depth or reference our write up: https://seedsandsoilorganics.com/…/seed-starting-simply/
When in doubt…ask the question: What would nature do?