Should I soak herb seed before planting? For a lot of us, planting a seed and growing a plant simply means putting the seed in the ground, covering it up, and pouring a lot of water on it.
If it buds, we jubilate, and if it doesn’t, we just look for an explanation for that. However, there are valid explanations for our seed’s lack of germination.
Soaking of seed before planting is not a new trend and has been a method of planting for many years now, although it is not known to many modern gardeners. It is also done universally. Although it is known to be of personal preference, that is, a gardener gets to decide if he wants to soak his seeds or not, it’s not a standard of some sort, but it is advisable for a lot of reasons.
Benefits of soaking seeds before planting
You are probably asking already, why should I soak my herb seeds before planting, here are some of the benefits/ reasons for soaking seeds
1. Lock In Moisture
Most seeds need a level of moisture to germinate, planting the seed without soaking it makes the seed wait until it gets the moisture it requires before germinating, this is usually a long time. However, soaking the seed before planting, enhances the moisture, and indicates to the seed that it has the proper condition to grow.
2. Protective coating
Seeds naturally possess some protection around them, this protection is meant to prevent them from germinating in the wrong place. Soaking your seeds removes this protection and signals to the seed that it is safe to grow.
The seed also becomes soft as it is soaked, the shell, being the hardest part of the seed, is broken down as you soak it, hence allowing the inner seed a space to grow.
With these benefits, is it wise as a gardener to soak your seed before planting? YES! It is better to grow your herbs, the tested easy way than go through stress and waste time. The soaking seed is an excellent method to see your plant grow on time.
How long should you soak your herb seed before planting?
It is suggested that your plants be soaked for about 12-24 hours. This is enough time for the seed to swell.
Soaking more than this time can cause damage to the seed i.e, your seed may begin to get sour or rot. Your seed should be planted immediately after soaking.
Should I soak all the herb seeds?
While the soaking of seed is good for germinating, it is not for all seeds, some seeds get bad when they are soaked and some do great when soaked.
Small seeds do not need to be soaked before planting, they’re difficult to deal with when soaked, however big and wrinkled seeds are the ones that need to be soaked before planting.
How to soak herb seeds before planting
For soaking your seed, the basic things you need are Shallow containers, water, and of course, seeds. After getting these, fill your bowl with some water, pour your seed, and leave them to soak. Yes! That’s all. While this is easy, some herb seed may need some special care, be sure to pay attention to them.
Some herb seeds that you can soak before planting
This is one herb that is best soaked before planting. Dill is known and used for its medicinal and culinary purposes. Dill, like most seeds that require soaking, usually take time before germinating.
It may take two weeks, after sowing before it sprouts, while only taking 4-6 days when it is soaked. Soaking takes away the protective coating around the seed that may hinder moisture from getting in, it also saves the seed from dying from lack of moisture.
Soaking the seed in other liquids can protect the plant from diseases.
This is an easy to grow herb, it is known for its culinary and ornamental uses. The rosemary is one of the toughest herbs to grow in your garden because it is resistant to pests and drought. It, however, attracts insects that can help with Pollination.
Rosemary takes about 3 months to germinate, this is why most gardeners soak it before planting, with this condition, it should take about 15-25 days to germinate.
Finally, While the soaking of seed is good for your plant, it is important to know that each plant seed has its care routine. Not all seed can be soaked the same way, while some seed requires to be soaked in hot water and for less time, some do not. If you purchase your herb seed from a store, you must read it’s care routine, to know how it should be soaked.