So I want to start out by one of the best ways to germinate seeds. There are several different methods to germinate seeds. The most common you will see is taking a cloth and a bowl of water.. and a heating pad and putting your seeds onto the cloth… Before getting water its best to test the PH of your water, because to high or to low will make your seeds not germinate properly when they pop open. If you are going to be growing hydroponicly you want a pH of 5.0-5.5 for soil grow you want a pH of 6.0-7.0. Some people will argue that 7 is to high… its neutral.. I grow and use 7.0. The best way to test your pH is to get a pH meter. You can get them at a local Hardware store or garden place. Wal-Mart also sells them for about $11. Now make sure the cloth is saturated but not submerged in water, then place your seeds onto the cloth in your bowl. Now take a heating pad and place it underneath your bowl and put your seeds into a dark plac. Turn your heating pad on the lowest setting and let it set for 15 or 24 hours…. Make sure you check in on your seeds to make sure the water is not evaporating. When your seeds do germinate use tweezers to pick up your seedlings and then place them in whatever medium you are going to use. Example: Rockwool, pot, peat pellet or other hydro growing mediums.
1) A side note that I have noticed also, is that people like to or tend to use paper towels…. I have noticed a lot people have had problems with using paper towels… why? Because paper towels have a lot of dye and other chemicals in them that can be harmful to seedlings… so it’s best to stay away from using paper towels.
A clean cloth or hand rag that hasn’t been used in fabric softener is good enough.
Another way people use to germinate seeds is by using peat pellets.
Peat pellets tend to have a pH of 6.5 which is just right where you want it. Taking your peat pellet and your water place the pellet into the bowl of water and wait for it to absorb. A lot of people will add one drop of superthrive to help boost seed germination rate! That will work and I recommend it if you are having problems with seeds germinating, However using to much will cause the seedling not to grow so use with caution its very strong stuff. You can buy superthrive at Wal-mart or your local Hydro shop. Now you have your peat pellet all absorbed making sure your hands are clean before picking up your peat pellet… you want to squeeze out the excess water carefully, NOT too much you still want it to me very moist. Now take 2 toothpicks and make a hole about 2 cm deep and then take your seed and place it in the hole and cover a small bit of the dirt over it .
Also if you are going to grow hydroponicly and use Rockwool you want to make sure you soak your Rockwool cubes in water for 24 hours to adjust the pH of the cubes! Then taking a nail or pencil & making a hole in the middle is good enough take your plant and seedling and place it in the Rockwool!