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In Seven Waters: Soaking Tomato Seeds - When and How You Can Do It

 In Seven Waters: Soaking Tomato Seeds - When and How You Can Do It


Novice gardeners often ask questions - is it necessary to soak tomato seeds before sowing, and if so, how to do it correctly and what kind of drugs are needed for this. Let's help them figure it out.

Do I need to soak tomato seeds

If tomato seeds are inlaid (covered with a brightly colored pelleting shell), then they have gone through a cycle of pre-sowing treatments in production conditions and do not need soaking. If the seeds are unprepared, including those collected independently, then it is advisable to process them before sowing. Why do they do it:

  • to increase the percentage of germination;
  • to accelerate the emergence of seedlings;
  • for the prevention of diseases.

The soaking procedure is simple, but it has some nuances.

Determining the terms

Seed soaking is a stage of pre-sowing treatment, therefore it is performed before sowing for seedlings. This can be done both immediately before sowing, and in advance - 1-2 weeks.

Favorable days for soaking seeds

For those gardeners who, when performing agrotechnical work, adhere to the recommendations of astrologers, we present data on favorable days according to the lunar calendar for 2019:

  • in February it is 15-18 and 23-26;
  • in March - 8-12; 15-19 and 23-26;
  • in April - 1-4; 7-9; 11-13; 15-17; 20; 21; 24-26;
  • in May - 3; four; 8-14; 17; eighteen; 21-23; 26-29; 31.

Preparatory work

Seed dressing, as a rule, is carried out by short-term immersion in a disinfectant solution. For this, the seeds are preliminarily placed in gauze nodules so that they can be quickly removed from the solution after treatment. Then the seeds should be thoroughly rinsed under running water - it is convenient to use a strainer for this.

For dressing, the seeds are preliminarily placed in gauze nodules so that they can be quickly removed from the solution after treatment

What water to take

Tap water should not be used to soak seeds, as it contains chlorine, which is harmful to plants. In extreme cases, you can use tap water that has been settled for two to three days, but it is better to use melt, rain or bottled water.

Melt water is best for soaking seeds.

What can you soak tomato seeds in before planting

There are many different options for these purposes. Let's dwell briefly on the popular ones.

Disinfecting treatments

Their goal is to eradicate possible infection with which the seeds can be contaminated.

In hydrogen peroxide

This composition is not only an excellent antiseptic and disinfectant, but also a plant growth stimulator. For processing, a 3% solution is used (this is what is sold in pharmacies), diluted with two parts of water. The seeds are dipped into it for 3-12 hours.

Pharmacies sell 3% hydrogen peroxide solution

In potassium permanganate

For processing, a 1% solution of potassium permanganate is used. The duration of the procedure is 15-20 minutes.

For seed dressing, a 1% solution of potassium permanganate is used

In boiling water

Such treatment, if carefully performed, will effectively disinfect not only the surface of the seeds, but also kill the infection inside. To do this, use water heated to + 51-52 ° C, which is poured into a thermos, where the seeds are placed for 30 minutes. It is very important to maintain the specified temperature range, since colder water will not have a disinfectant effect, and hotter water will destroy the seeds.

For disinfection, water heated to + 51-52 ° C is used, which is poured into a thermos, where the seeds are placed for 30 minutes

In boric acid

To prepare a working solution, take 0.2 grams of the drug per 1 liter of water. Soaking time is a day.

To prepare the working solution, take 0.2 grams of the drug per 1 liter of water

Stimulating treatments

These treatments are needed to increase germination and accelerate seed germination.

In potato juice

To obtain juice, several potatoes are placed in the freezer until completely frozen, after which they are allowed to thaw, grated and squeezed out. Tomato seeds are kept in the strained liquid for 6-8 hours.

Tomato seeds are kept in potato juice for 6-8 hours

In aloe juice

After this treatment, the seeds are said to germinate on the third or fourth day. For these purposes, you need to cut off the lower leaves of aloe at least 3 years old and place them in the refrigerator for a week, then grind and extract the juice. It is diluted with water 1: 1 and tomato seeds are soaked for 18-24 hours.

Aloe juice is a growth biostimulant

In vodka

Alcohol dissolves the essential oils that cover the seeds, which significantly speeds up their germination. Fifteen minutes is enough to achieve the effect, and a prolonged stay of seeds in vodka can destroy them.

Vodka can be used for seed treatment of tomato seeds

In solutions of ready-made growth stimulants

The industry produces quite a few different plant growth stimulants that can be successfully used to soak tomato seeds before sowing. Here is a far from complete list of effective drugs:

  • Epin;
  • Heteroauxin;
  • Zircon;
  • Energen;
  • succinic acid, etc.

When using them, you should be guided by the instructions attached to the drug (it can be stated on the package).

In the ash infusion

For its preparation 2 tbsp. l. wood ash is poured with a liter of boiling water and insisted for two days. It is believed that soaking in such an infusion improves seed germination. The duration of the procedure is 5-12 hours.

It is believed that soaking seeds in ash infusion improves their germination.

Video: how to soak tomato seeds

I usually use my own picked tomato seeds for sowing. Since they are always fresh and there are a lot of them, I have a question about increasing the germination percentage. Acceleration of the emergence of seedlings is also irrelevant for me - where is the hurry? I try to prevent diseases in the garden (I use regular treatments with Fitosporin), and therefore my seeds are always healthy. In this regard, I do not use any pre-sowing treatments and soaking, but I do not remain without a crop. So whether or not to soak the seeds before sowing is a matter of choosing a gardener (in my opinion).

Presowing treatment of tomato seeds is not a mandatory procedure, but in some cases it will help to avoid diseases and increase seed germination. There are a lot of soaking compositions (both industrial and folk), and the gardener can always choose the remedy he needs from among the available ones.

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Vitalizer NV-101 was developed by Japanese scientists and is in great demand in different countries of the world, and in Russia. Due to its nutritious and beneficial composition, it increases the percentage of seed germination, as a result you get strong and friendly seedlings.

This product is available in two forms - liquid and granular. The liquid preparation is universal and suitable for the treatment of seeds of all garden crops.

How to properly prepare a solution from a concentrate - 1-2 drops of a substance per liter of water.


How to dilute

The manufacturer produces the drug in 3 forms:

  • liquid It is very convenient to use for soaking the roots of seedlings, seeds, cuttings before planting.
  • paste or gel It additionally contains fertilizers, vitamins, trace elements that stimulate root growth, which is very important for seedlings and seeds.
  • powder It is convenient to use in large areas and greenhouses.

Important! Fitosporin is most effective as a preventive agent. If the plant is sick and a large degree of damage is visible, then you need to use Fitosporin Resuscitator. In addition to bacteria, it contains natural antibiotics and growth stimulants.


The composition of succinic acid

In another way, this substance is called ethane, or discarboxylic acid. It is a colorless crystal that easily dissolves in water, alcohol or ether. It is obtained from natural amber. The substance is used not only as a plant growth stimulator, but also in medicine. It tastes a bit like citric acid. The substance is ecologically absolutely harmless - succinic acid. For plants, or rather, for their processing, you can use it completely without fear. Moreover, being introduced into the soil, succinic acid stimulates the development of natural microflora in it, which positively affects, among other things, the quality of the crop.


  1. The seeds must remain moist during hardening, so it is recommended to lightly moisten them with water if necessary.
  2. Old seeds are not suitable for the procedure, most of which, after hardening, lose their ability to germinate; only 1-2-year-old grains are suitable for hardening.
  3. Before hardening, the seeds must be held in water to swell.
  4. Sorting is necessary before the procedure, due to which small irregular grains will be eliminated.
  5. To obtain the maximum effect from hardening, it must be combined with disinfection, bubbling and soaking.
  6. If you use purchased planting material, then you need to carefully study the information on the label, maybe the seeds have already been hardened.
  7. The time spent for the planting material at low temperatures should be gradually increased, then the grains quickly adapt to the cold. Also, do not forget about the temperature regime for seedlings.

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How to properly soak tomato seeds before planting

Why do you need to soak

Experienced gardeners rightfully consider the correct preliminary preparation and processing of seeds before planting, from which good quality seedlings will grow, as the basis for a good and rich harvest of tomatoes in the future. Experts say that soaking tomato seeds can perfectly disinfect them and increase yields by 25 - 30%. First, you need to select the seeds, removing all the weak and empty. After sampling high-quality tomato seeds, they are necessarily warmed up, then disinfected, after which they are treated with nutrients and soaked.
If you sow tomato seeds that are not properly prepared, then the seedlings may well appear at the same time, and the seedlings will become very sick with such ailments as root and stem rot, white and gray, phomosis, black leg and many others. Pre-sowing soaking can reduce the likelihood of disease by 50%. That is, answering the questions of novice gardeners, we can safely say - the seeds must be soaked! Since after carrying out this procedure, the seedlings will be more stable, and the faster they germinate, the less likely the seeds will die in the ground - they are quite capable of being eaten by pests.

How to do it right

You need to select seeds that are large in size and heavy in weight - this will mean that they have many useful substances, which means that strong and viable tomatoes can grow from them. Before proceeding with the selection of tomato seeds, it is necessary to prepare a solution of table salt - a tablespoon in a glass of water. Then you need to pour the seeds there and let them stay there for a short amount of time. Empty ones will be on the surface, and suitable ones will certainly fall down.

They should also be warmed up before soaking; at home, you can do this on a battery for a couple of days. Also, before soaking, you need to disinfect the seeds. You can do this by placing them in a potassium permanganate solution for 20 minutes or in a hydrogen peroxide solution heated to a temperature of 40 degrees. Now you can soak the tomato seeds. It should be borne in mind that the volume of water should be 50 - 100 times greater than the volume of seeds. The likelihood that the seeds can suffocate, being under the water column, is small, since they do not need oxygen when they swell.

Tomato seeds should be placed in a small gauze bag and immersed in warm water, the temperature of which does not exceed 20 - 25 degrees. Stir occasionally while soaking tomato seeds. The time depends on how quickly the seeds will swell. If brown matter is released from them into the water, it must be changed. Typically, tomato seeds can take about 18 hours to swell. Do not soak before planting in ash extracts, saline solutions, as this can inhibit the plant. After soaking, the planting material is slightly dried, and then either laid for germination, or sown in seedling boxes prepared in advance.

What is the best way to soak? In addition to water, today there are solutions that contain bioactive substances (solution of humate, zircon, epin). For example, epin is a herbal preparation that will help the seeds to adapt before planting and will stimulate their normal growth. Humate is a salt of humic acid, which is obtained as a result of alkaline hydrolysis of peat or brown coal. It also has anti-stress and stimulating effects. Zircon will help tomato seeds grow a strong root system and vigorous germination.

Other processing methods

In addition to the well-known pre-soaking, there are some other methods of processing tomato seeds. Bubbling is the soaking of seeds in water that is saturated with oxygen. To carry out this procedure at home, it is advised to use compressors - the same ones that are used for aquariums. Air or oxygen is supplied to the bubbler under the required pressure - for tomatoes, the time is approximately 18 - 24 hours. After this kind of processing, an excellent rich harvest can be expected from future seedlings from which strong tomatoes will grow.

In the course of pelleting - the creation of granules by building up mixtures of protective, nutritious and stimulating substances around the seeds. Drageeing planting material begins 3 - 6 months before the intended sowing. Most often, it is customary to carry out this procedure for large batches in production conditions.

Stratification is another method of preparing tomato seeds for sowing. It is best suited for those seeds that tend to grow for a long time. Indeed, under natural conditions, in the fall, seeds fall on the soil, then they are covered with a layer of leaves, and in the winter season - with snow, they are overcome by frosts. It is in these conditions that they are until the onset of spring, after which they already germinate. The same, close to natural, conditions are created artificially in the course of stratification. For this, the seeds are mixed with wet sand; peat is also suitable due to its good air permeability and ability to retain moisture.

Then all this is placed in a container in the cold - the temperature will be from minus 3 to zero. The duration of the procedure is from three to six weeks. If necessary, the seeds are mixed in a bowl and slightly moistened. Immediately before sowing, the planting material must be slightly dried.

Seeds, which have a fairly hard shell, should be dipped in a gauze bag in boiling water for 10 to 20 seconds.

After that, they need to be quickly placed in a cold one for a couple of seconds. Or vice versa - first freeze it, and then scald it several times with boiling water.This procedure causes the shell to burst and the seed is able to germinate normally. It is permissible to slightly cut or file the shell; grinding such seeds with gravel or coarse sand has also proven itself well.

Seed Soak Video

On the record, the man talks about the correct soaking of tomato seeds before planting and about the procedure for planting in the ground.


Seed soaking preparations

What is the best way to soak seeds (such as a tomato) before planting and should you do it? You can soak seeds in pure water, but it is much preferable to do this in solutions containing biologically active substances, for example, in solutions of epin, humate or zircon. Epin is a brand name for a plant-derived substance that is a versatile adaptogen and growth stimulant.

It helps seedlings to adapt to fluctuations in temperature, light, humidity, increases resistance to negative influences - to hypothermia and overheating, lack of light, waterlogging and drought. Humate is a potassium or sodium salt of humic acid, which is obtained by alkaline hydrolysis of brown coal or peat.

Like epin, it has a stimulating and anti-stress effect. Since humates that are obtained from some types of coal are not highly active, it is better to use those made from peat. If the seeds are soaked in epine or a solution of humate, then in most cases this will accelerate their germination and have a beneficial effect on the growth of seedlings.

But even in those cases when the seedling rate does not increase, such treatment greatly reduces their sensitivity to negative conditions and increases their resistance to various diseases. Zircon is the brand name of the drug that is secreted from the echinacea plant, and its active ingredient is chicory acid.

This drug is a powerful stimulant with a pronounced increase in germination and high root-forming activity. Today there are more than five dozen growth stimulants. You can soak seeds in energy and even in aloe juice, but we did not choose the ones listed above by chance.

The preparations epin, zircon and humate are not only ecologically safe, they are healing and beneficial for plants and humans. Treatment of seeds with biologically active substances should be carried out at t 20 ° and above. A lower temperature (below 15 °) reduces the processing efficiency.


When to plant soaked seeds

Soaked seeds can be sent to open ground if the ground has warmed up to + 28 ° C. The immersion depth is 4 cm. To be sure that the morning frosts will not kill the sprouts that have hatched, the surface of the garden can also be covered with foil or burlap.

Under the condition of a suitable temperature, seedlings appear by the end of the first week. Throughout this period and in the future, basil must be actively watered. The growing season lasts 40-70 days, depending on the variety.