The Q&A Archives: Nicking Seeds

Question: Is their any easy way to nick the large seeds of morning glory and moon vine seeds? I have lost patience and cut myself many times. Would a second or two in a mini blender do the trick?

Answer: Nicking, or abraiding the outer seedcoat of hard seeds allows water to penetrate in a matter of hours instead of weeks or months, resulting in speedier germination. But, nicking individual seeds can be a tedious procedure, especially if you have many seeds to treat. To streamline things, spread a shallow layer of builder's sand in a tray, sprinkle the seeds on top, and use a block of wood to roll everything around in the tray. The length of time it takes to scuff up the seedcoating will depend upon the pressure you use when scraping the sand and the seeds together. It isn't necessary to remove the seedcoat, just to scuff it up enough to allow water to penetrate. I'd be concerned that using a blender, even for a mini-second, would result in fractured seeds that would not germinate at all. Give the sand treatment a try instead.

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