Have you seen special germination instructions on the back of our seed packets? Don’t worry! These extra steps are easier than you may think.
Seeds with a hard, almost impenetrable seed coat (“testa”) need some help breaching the seed coat to allow the seed to absorb (“imbibe”) water so it can germinate. In nature, these seeds would go through a process of freezing and thawing that would naturally break this seed coat. Here are a few easy ways to mimic the natural process (with most seeds you can choose any one of these three).
Scarification should be done just before sowing, since this treatment leaves seeds vulnerable to decay.
Stratification is a cold, moist period that breaks seed dormancy. In nature, this process occurs in winter, keeping seeds from germinating until conditions are more ideal in the spring. Perennials (plants that live for several years) are more likely to require stratification.