Germination is one of the most delicate moments in every urban farmer's experience. From the very beginning, from seed to the first leaves, certain precautions are needed to ensure that your seedlings can grow healthy and strong. But don't worry, we've prepared a handy guide for you to follow, guaranteeing successful results every time!
Four secrets for assured success
Before beginning the actual sowing phase, here are some secrets to increase your germination success:
1- Always start with a high-quality product: organic seeds ensure prosperous germination due to the nutrient content preserved within the seeds and ensure no chemical treatment. Remember that these are living products; storing them in a humid environment might make them start sprouting inside the packet.
Make sure you always have sealed packets and keep them in a dry place. Be careful not to use dried or very old seeds as they may have lost some of their germination power. Check out our cultivation kits where you will find mixes of organic seasonal seeds specially selected by our agronomists.
2- Moderation is key: whether it's humidity, heat, or light, it's always best to provide your seeds with the right amount of what they need. Remember the saying, "less is more" !
Seeds need a very humid environment to absorb water and come out of dormancy, mild and, if possible, constant temperature, and, last but not least, light, the source of energy for the famous chlorophyll photosynthesis. Timing is essential; dedicating the right amount of time to each phase of the process is crucial to achieving the desired results. Remember that during the winter season, it will take more time to see the first sprouts compared to the summer, so don't be discouraged if you don't see them right away.
3- The right growing medium: the substrate in which you intend to germinate your seeds should be soft enough to allow the small roots to penetrate easily and porous enough to ensure a constant presence of water and oxygen. In this step, if your seeds are organic, they won't need high concentrations of fertilizers since they already contain sufficient nutrients. Among the substrates most recommended and used with great success by Hexagro is coconut fiber, an inert organic substrate perfect for container gardening! If you want to know more, read the article: "Why choose coconut fiber as a growing substrate?"
Essential steps to follow to avoid mistakes
After following the four previous pieces of advice, we're ready to take action!
1- Start by placing a good amount of seeds on your pre-moistened substrate with a few drops of water. In this phase, you can use small pots or, to simplify your life and cultivation, use a dedicated propagator (don't worry; we'll explain later what a propagator is). There's no exact quantity; it depends on the variety. The important thing is not to plant the seeds too close to each other. Always follow the seed packet instructions, or it will be difficult to transplant them once they've germinated.
2- Planting more seeds in a single pot will ensure the germination of more seedlings. This way, if there are any issues with the growth of some seedlings, you can select the strongest and most beautiful ones to transplant into your final container.
3- Once this phase is complete, it's time to water your seeds with more water. Remember, the best method is a controlled droplet or a controlled spray (using a sprayer) to avoid the risk of moving the seeds and ruining the work done so far. Remember, the substrate should be wet but not soaked, or you risk that the just-sprouted roots won't be able to absorb oxygen and may rot.
4- Now it's time to place your seeds in a comfortable and dark place. Seeds need peace to root effectively. Light is very important for the sprouts, but the seeds can get damaged if they are exposed too early. The ideal temperature for this resting phase varies from 19°C to 23°C. Too much heat or too much cold can slow down or even stop this process.
5- Now comes the watering phase. It's important to keep the substrate with the seeds constantly moist in the first few days, being careful not to let it become too wet or too dry.
How to speed up germination
Urban farmers often lead an active and busy life, so it's normal to wonder if there are faster processes. In case the seeds you want to germinate are particularly large or tough, there is a technique that can help the seedlings sprout faster. Simply soak the seeds for 4 to 8 hours, depending on their size. This will help your seeds activate the enzymes responsible for sprouting the first leaves much more quickly. However, be careful not to leave them in water for too long to prevent them from germinating in water, where the roots won't have access to oxygen, causing them to rot and die.
Use the right tools for speed and to avoid problems!
If you want to be the fastest and coolest urban farmer in the city, we recommend having a user-friendly germination kit containing high-quality, unique organic seeds. The essential tools for germination include a propagator, a mini-greenhouse that helps maintain constant temperature and humidity, high-quality organic seeds, a soft and lightweight substrate to aid root development, water, and a pinch of patience!
Our cultivation kit is perfect for urban farmers. It contains everything I just listed (except patience and water), and you'll also find an instruction manual to help you better understand the process!
At Hexagro, we have carefully and passionately selected the components and every single element of our cultivation kits because we want agriculture to be relaxing, effective, but above all, accessible to everyone! With the cultivation kit, you'll have seeds different from the ordinary, strong and naturally organic, a propagator that will protect your seedlings, and you'll get results in the blink of an eye! Although germination is a bit more laborious, it brings great satisfaction. Keep in mind all the tips you've just read and start germinating right away!
In four simple steps, you can sprout easily and satisfactorily and continue to cultivate on your balcony with Poty, the vertical garden designed for those with limited space but a strong desire to cultivate!
Photo by Markus Spiske on Unsplash