How To Improve Your Seed Germination Using Epsom Salt

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All seeds whether tiny or large, have the same germination requirements for them to grow healthy: air, water, and light. Most experts recommend using a soil-less mixture for starting seeds.

A “soil-less” medium helps in reducing fungal diseases which might lead to the eventual death of the seedling.

When you apply Epsom salt in the garden, the germination rates are likely to be higher because the seedlings will be much stronger.

Epsom salt is ideal during germination. It is very soluble in water and has a neutral PH. The salt provides a boost to the new plant as it emerges from its seed coat.

It provides the seeds more nutrients thereby adding more strength to the coat hence more energy to the seedling.

Most soils do not have enough supply of sulfur, which is a major component in Epsom salts together magnesium, which also becomes depleted when the plant is maturing.

Magnesium is vital as it helps in the germination of seeds. Epsom salts add these key micronutrient into the soil and these increases the germination rate of the seeds.

Numerous studies have shown that Epsom salt (Magnesium sulfate) is beneficial to the plants from early on. The component helps in strengthening the plant cell walls during germination.

Best Germination Conditions For Different Sprout Seeds

Although many sprout seeds have different growing time and requirements, they are easy to grow if provided with the right conditions. Only plant together sprout seeds with the same necessities so you can attend to them easily. See below sample of some seeds that you can consider choosing.

Mung Beans

Mung bean sprouts are the most consumed sprouts or seeds in the world. It is a legume native to India, and is frequently used as ingredient in Asian cuisines. Mung bean sprouts can grow in many conditions which makes them a better choice compared to other grains.

Most mung bean cultivars prefer 90 to 120 frost-free days annually making it an ideal sprout in warm or tropical regions. It requires full sunlight or 8-10 hours of sunlight daily. Provide these small seeds with a well-drained soil or a sandy loam with good drainage to thrive at its best.

Alfalfa

Alfalfa sprouts can tolerate many growing conditions. A wide variety is drought tolerant and hates wet soil. It loves direct sunlight so place it in areas that frequently receive full sun.

Alfalfa requires  a well-draining soil with pH level between 6.8 and 7.5. Wash the seeds and let them soak for up to six hours before transplanting them to the soil. Small leaves and sprouts will appear after 5 to 10 days.

Lentils

Lentils make a great sprout for garden especially if you love growing plants for your own food. While other can be eaten raw, these legumes require some steaming.

Compared to many sprouts, lentils love the cold season. You can sow these legumes two weeks before the usual last frost date. It requires 80-110 days of care before harvest. Prefers full sun but in a cool weather. Also, provide lentils soil with good drainage rich in organic matter.

Broccoli Sprouts

A member of the cabbage family, broccoli can give continual harvest if given the right kind of care and if you practice succession gardening. It is rich in vitamins and minerals making it a popular side dish or ingredient in main courses and salads.

The germination process of broccoli can occur in soils with less than 40 degrees Fahrenheit. It needs full sun and a moist, fertile soil. The soil moisture must be consistent for the sprouts to grow through dry season. Although they are heat tolerant, they require moisture all throughout.

Radish And Daikon

Both of these crops are cold-season vegetables and you can plant them four to six weeks before the usual last frost. For sprouts to grow, wash the seeds and soak them in water for 6-12 hours.

Radishes need full sun to thrive so avoid putting them in shady places. When sowing seeds, one must be sown an inch away from the next seed and their row should be a feet away from other row. When sprouts appear, provide another inch of space between the seeds. Choose a well-drained soil that will keep it moist but not log excess water.

Guidelines For Best Germination Results

1. It is advisable not to plant the seeds in regular soil. Use a soil-less medium… you can avoid many diseases from the word go.

2. Making your own soil less medium is much cheaper, and its quality is assured. The growing medium is made of:

  • Perlite
  • Vermiculite
  • Peat moss

… at a ratio of 1:1:1. The seeds already contain all the nutrients they need to germinate inside them.

Add epsom salt to the soil at a rate of 1 tablespoon for every gallon of water.

3. A container is necessary to hold the plants. Peat pots, flats or cell packs are readily available in the market.

4. Premix the planting medium with the Epsom salt solution and place your seeds in the planting tray.

We’ve found that applying epsom salt gives plants an extra boost during seed sprouting and while establishing themselves. Try on your next batch of seeds. More uses for epsom salts here.