Easy seeds to germinate at home
The best way to acquire an interest in gardening is by starting with growing vegetables. Its rapid growth and usage in daily life act as dual motivators. Here is the detail of a few vegetables that can be quickly grown at home from grain.
Leafy vegetables – The plants for which leaves are edible are the perfect diet food rich in fibers, low in calories supplying essential minerals. Often they make news about how the chemical residues left on the leaves are harmful to the consumers. To tackle this issue, leafy vegetables that could easily germinate through grains are-
- Spinach (Spinacia oleracea)- The iron-rich leafy vegetable has round-shaped grains with serrations on the surface. The leaves can be harvested within 45 to 60 days, and few varieties allow multiple cuts (Provided nutrition enables the leaves to resprout without resowing the seeds).
- Corriander (Coriandrum sativum)- It is a daily used leafy vegetable in most Indian households adding a unique taste to every dish it has been added. Its grains are round to oval, brown with vertical stripes. Grains purchased for grocery stories to use as a spice can also be used for sowing. For fast growth, a practice called scarification means splitting grains into two using rolling a pin without causing any damage to the spouting region. The plant can be uprooted 45 to 60 days before flowering.
Similarly, Fenugreek (methi, Trigonella foenum-graecum), Amaranthus (Amaranthus Viridis), and other leafy vegetables can be taken up from grains.
Tomato, Chilli, and Brinjal will germinate rapidly at home, but sowing them in structures called pro-trays which allow one seedling per cell, is recommended.
Now coming to flowers, when grown in the backyard add aesthetic value. Even though vegetative propagations like stem cuttings, bulbs, and rhizomes are popular types of propagation among flowers, the below-mentioned flowers can be raised from grains.
Pansy flowers (Viola tricolor var. hortensis) – The most desired garden plant is the annual tri-colored flower available in multiple patterns. The plant demands partial shade to tolerate cool weather. The bright-colored, overlapped flowers are a feast to the eyes.
Petunia’s (Petunia alba) tolerance to hardy conditions makes it be found commonly on streets of India, between the divisions of road, flowering throughout the year. The fragrance is a bonus for attracting pollinators.
Celosia (Celosia SPS) is an annual plant belonging to the Amaranthaceae family. Its name has Greek origin depicting its burning flame-like appearance. There are more than 40 species of it. Based on the shape of the flower, celosia can be broadly classified into three types – Plumose, Cristate, and Spike. The flowers remain fresh and shiny for a long time, and the plant can avoid fewer pest and disease problems with proper aeration within the foliage. The grain, small and black, can be collected from the capsule after the flower is dried.
Marigold (Tagetes SPS) is one of the easiest growing flowering plants blooming within eight weeks. After sowing, germination is seen within the week. Replanting into bigger pots can be done after the plant reaches 3- 5 inches. Pinching off the tips enhances foliar growth, branching, and blooming.
Benefits of Germinating Seeds at Home
Starting your garden from grains offers several advantages. It allows you to cultivate a wider variety of plants, including heirloom and rare species. You gain better control over the growing conditions, ensuring healthier, more vibrant plants. It’s also a cost-effective way to grow plants while enjoying the entire lifecycle, from germination to harvest.
Essential Supplies for Seed Germination
Before you begin, gather your supplies. You’ll need grains, suitable containers, a grain starting mix, water, and labels. Ensure everything is clean to prevent disease and mold issues.
Suitable Containers for Seed Germination
Choose containers with drainage holes to prevent overwatering. Small pots or grain trays work well. Use clear plastic domes or plastic wrap to create a mini greenhouse effect, maintaining the right humidity.
Selecting the Right Seeds
Opt for seeds that are known for their ease of germination, such as marigolds, zinnias, or beans, especially if you’re new to seed starting.
Seed Soaking and Scarification
Some seeds benefit from soaking overnight, while others may require scarification, which is a process that breaks the seed coat for better germination.
Proper Temperature and Humidity
Most seeds germinate best at temperatures around 70-75°F (21-24°C). Humidity is essential, and you can maintain it with a plastic dome or by misting the soil.
The Role of Light in Germination
While some seeds need darkness to sprout, others require light. Always check the specific requirements for the seeds you’re working with.
Caring for Germinating Seeds
Maintain consistent moisture without overwatering. Check your seeds daily for signs of germination. As soon as you see sprouts, remove the cover to allow for better airflow.
Common Mistakes to Avoid
Avoid common mistakes like overwatering, using poor-quality soil, and neglecting to label your containers.
Once your seedlings have developed a couple of true leaves, they are ready for transplanting into larger pots or your garden.
Germinating seeds at home is a rewarding experience, and it’s easier than you might think. With the right supplies, careful attention, and a bit of patience, you can watch your garden come to life from tiny seeds. Happy gardening!
-by Anusha Velamuri (Content writer Intern)