How to Use Scarification on Your Seeds

Sometimes, to get more consistent results when planting seeds, you must use scarification on them. This is a process or breaking or reducing the coat on the seed so that it can be penetrated with moisture and the embryo can start the process of germination. If you have a seat with the dense or hard shell, scarification is often required. The seeds of a lot of trees do not need scarification, and when they do, a simple water soak is the most common treatment.


When a seat has a hard coat there are a few ways that it can be broken down. Below are the methods and how they are done.


  1. Water soak: simply places seeds and water and allow them to soak for 6 to 24 hours. This is normally done with water that is room temperature. Glass containers are best used for this method. Only use hot water if required per the instructions.
  2. Mechanical/physical: for this method, you will need to rub the outer layer of the seed with a small file or sandpaper to reduce the density of its, thus allowing more moisture to penetrate and reach the embryo. You must be careful to not damage the embryo in this process.
  3. Chemical wash: this method is normally only used by commercial growers and not for home gardening. The basic guidelines for this are as follows:
    1. Always wear goggles and gloves, as well as other protective clothing. If any of the chemicals spill on your skin, was immediately.
    2. Find a large glass jar to use
    3. Put seeds in the jar
    4. Add a concentrated sulphuric acid that is around two times as much as the seeds volume
    5. Stir well with a glass rod
    6. Check the seeds periodically for the thickness of the coat by pulling out a few seeds and cutting them in half.
    7. After the seeds are finished soaking, rinse them well with cold water
    8. Spread the seeds out well on paper and let them dry to room temperature.


Only use scarification if the seed packet says it is required. Otherwise, the natural method should work just fine for your seeds to germinate.

Best Practices for Seed Planting

There are many ways that you can go about planting seeds. One thing you should always do is make sure that you plant the seeds at the recommended soil depth. Generally, tree seeds require a shallower depth than most other annual seeds do, but that is dependent upon the size of the seed as well. The best thing to do is to follow the directions printed on the seed package to know the right depth for planting. You should use vermiculite or peat moss, or some other well-drained medium, to plant your seeds in.


When you’re ready to sell your seeds, fill the seed tray or container up to around half an inch from the top with the moist soil. Shake our tap container gently to level the medium.


If you are working with a larger seed, those that are over one third of an inch tall, push half of it into the soil. If you are working with smaller seeds, lightly sprinkle them over the soil surface. Use a fine layer of sand to cover the seeds that is about the same thickness of the seed itself.


Once the seeds are planted, you will need to water them gently and keep them moist. Do not allow them to get too wet. You will need to maintain relative humidity and high moisture to germinate the seeds. To increase the humidity, you can enclose the seed tray in a tent of plastic. Be certain to put some holes in the plastic cover, though, to keep good air circulation. The trays will need to be kept in a warm location that is dimly lit.


Some seeds will germinate quickly as in a few days, but others can take several months. This depends both on the species and on the conditions in the environment. After the seeds have germinated, move the small seedlings to a location that is bright. You may need to keep the seedlings inside for several months before you plant them outside. Tried to give the seedlings as much sunlight as you possibly can.


By following these steps in seed planting, you should be able to get good results. The most important thing is to follow the directions given for each package of seeds that you use.