It seems improbable that a dry, hard seed coat will ever crack and allow the embryo of a new plant to emerge. Catalysts as gentle as moderate soil temperatures and moisture can be game changers.
When you plant a seed and water it, keeping it warm and moist, The “insides” of the seed swell and crack the seed coat. This allows the root and then shoot to push through.
The Seed Coat Protects the Nutrients Within
The young seedling needs no nutrients at the beginning of its life, as the nutrition contained within the seed provides enough energy for the plant to begin growing.
When the plant opens its first set of “true leaves” (which look to us like its second set), then it’s time for the seedling to absorb nutrients from the environment, either from the soil itself or from the mechanical application of fertilizer.
Soaking Helps the Root and Shoot Break through the Seed Coat
There are some seeds that benefit from a little help to escape their seed coat. Morning glories are one variety that germinates more successfully if soaked in water overnight.
For more tips on starting your own seeds, read our post on growing your own garden plants.
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