Sometimes seeds that you think should be easy to germinate seem to not want to awaken or other seeds you have just always had trouble with.
I found a tips around the internet talking about different tricks you could use to see if old seeds are viable; the same tricks can be used to up the likelihood success of difficult to germinate seeds. Tricky seeds are usually the ones which require out of the ordinary environment – higher heat and/or humidity; long germination time; high light.
This year I have been having trouble with melon seeds (and surprisingly some tomato varieties) and decided to test one of the methods.
Melon seeds require very high heat compared with most seeds so I chose put wet paper towel in a ziplock bag and placed it directly on the heat mat.
First, cut or tear up square of paper towel enough to fit a couple of seeds in – for each variety of seed; I just cut a rectangle and folded it over the melon and tomato in turn.
If doing more than one type at a time write on the paper towel in pencil before you wet it (pen ink will just run)
Then put the paper towel in a ziplock bag; you can wet after but I find the seeds stay put if you wet before they are in the bag. Leave a small bit of air in the bag and seal up.
Place on top of heat mat or radiator if high heat is needed (such for melons or chillies) or raise slightly with a plastic lid or something light for others so they still receive some heat if the room is cold.
Check each day (for short germination) or every couple of days for longer germinating seeds such as celery or holy basil. Hold up to the light and you should be able to see little tails (root) coming out of the seed
I put these melon seeds in on Wednesday and by Friday I had success (Tomato two days later)
I then made a hole in the soil the depth of the root and gently pressed the seed in
The seed has now opened and is on its way to being a melon seedling (hopefully)
I will now try this method with seeds that need to be constantly wet/humid for a long germination period. Holy Basil (Thai basil) and celery both have very long germination times, they are also tiny seeds so it is hard to keep the soil constantly moist for 21 or more days and not wash the seeds away. Celery also needs light to germinate so if the soil washes over them they will delay germination. This method will be useful in supplying a constant moisture level and let the light through the plastic bag. Hopefully, I will have equal success with the celery as I have had with the melon seed above.
Have you ever tried this method or have another that works well for tricky seeds?