The Q&A Archives: Forcing Seeds

Question: I have lavender, herb, vegetable and sunflower seeds I want to start indoors and out. How can I force or speed up the germination?

Answer: You can't force seeds to germinate, but you can give them optimal conditions and they'll germinate in the shortest period of time possible for that particular variety of seed. For instance, warm conditions are necessary for tomato and sunflower seeds to sprout. If you start them indoors and put them in a warm area, or provide bottom heat, they will sprout in 5 days instead of 8. If you start seeds of Cilantro, and keep them at 60F - 70F degrees, they'll sprout in 10 instead of 14 days. Lavender will take 15-20 days when kept at 70F - 75F. When sowing seeds outdoors, you'll have better germination if the soil has warmed up and dried out from winter rains. Hope this information helps get you started on a beautiful summer garden!

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