Speeding Up Seed Germination: 4 Methods To Try

Last Updated on June 12, 2023 by Real Men Sow

If the right conditions exist, most seeds will germinate in two weeks. It can take longer if the conditions are not ideal. There are many things that you can do by speeding up seed germination. You can use these techniques with any type of seed and they are extremely effective. These techniques will work regardless of whether you’re trying to germinate vegetable, herb, or flower seeds.

4 Methods to Speeding Up Seed Germination

Use Paper Towels to Start Seeds

  1. Dampen the paper towel and place it in a dish
  2. Place the seeds evenly on the damp paper towel. Gently press the seeds onto the paper. 
  3. Place the dish in a dry, cool place. You can heat the dish on a heating pad if it is very cold.
  4. Your seeds will germinate in 3 to 5 days. 

Seed Scarification

Scarification refers to the use of a tool, or abrasive materials to weaken the seed’s shell. A file, nail clipper, or sandpaper are all options. You’ll need a file for larger seeds. A nail clipper is sufficient for medium-sized seeds. For small seeds, sandpaper is the best choice.

Rub the seed’s surface with the tool of choice. You want to break the tough shell but not damage the embryo. Therefore, you must be careful. To confirm that the shell is not worn out, inspect the seed.


The seed coat is very resilient and it only breaks down when the conditions are favorable for the plant to grow. The shell raptures when there is enough moisture around the seed. The seed will not germinate if the conditions for germination are not met naturally. 

Therefore, you can soak the seeds in water to absorb moisture. The seeds will swell and their shells will rapture, allowing them to germinate. Some seeds also have germination inhibitors. Break the barriers down by soaking them in water. Once the inhibitors have been removed. After the removal of the inhibitors, you’ll have seeds that you can germinate.

Cold Treatment

Cold stratification involves exposing seeds to cold temperatures. These conditions can cause seeds to think they are experiencing winter. This mimics nature.

This technique requires that the seeds are soaked in water for at least 24 hours. Put them in a sandwich containing moist soil. Place the bag in the refrigerator. Keep an eye on the seeds. Once they have germinated, transfer them to the preferred medium for planting.

Conclusion to Speeding Up Seed Germination

Here we have a hierarchy of techniques to allow speeding up seed germination, with how much they should work and how much time they can save you. These techniques are not only effective but will also save you a lot of time if you want to get plants in the ground faster. The key is finding the right combination of techniques that will work best for you.

Real Men Sow
Real Men Sow

Hello, I’m Pete and I’m currently based in the west of Scotland, in a small place called Rosneath, where I’m exploring my garden adventures. I personally started gardening around 6 years ago and initially, I started out by growing my favorite fruits and berries, such as strawberries, Raspberries & Gooseberries. Since then I’ve added a lot of vegetables and working closely with my neighbor, it’s been a lot of fun.