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marijuana seed scarification

Scarification

Scarification is a process that involves the weakening or altering of a seed's coat to accelerate the process of germination. Scarification makes the seed's coat more permeable to gas and water.

Through scarification, one can facilitate the controlled and uniform germination of seed lots. This process is useful for both large-scale plant operations and for small-scale growth including personal gardens. In comparison to unaltered seeds, seeds that have gone through the scarification process germinate earlier and thus save time for the horticulturalist.

Maximum Yield Explains Scarification

There are different types of scarification, including:

  • Thermally, which involves soaking the seed in hot water
  • Chemically, through an acid treatment
  • Mechanically, through abrasive action where the seed is scratched

Some plants must undergo a specific type of scarification to propagate properly.

chemical seed scarification

Recent scientific studies back up the effectiveness of chemically scarifying seeds by soaking them in a solution of hydrogen peroxide and water. Hydrogen peroxide is thought to increase germination rates by breaking down the seed coat, thus allowing the seed to take in more oxygen. In a study reported in the journal "HortScience," aged corn seeds (Zea mays L.) treated with a solution of 15 percent hydrogen peroxide germinated at a significantly greater percentage (nearly 95 percent) than seeds treated with aerated water but no hydrogen peroxide (67 percent germination rate). In addition, oxygen consumption rates of seeds soaked for 24 hours in the hydrogen peroxide solution were approximately twice as high as seeds soaked in aerated water for the same time.

Better Chance of Sprouting
A similar study, this one using seeds of eastern gamagrass (Tripsacum dactyloides), compared the effectiveness of stratification and hydrogen peroxide soaks. As reported in "Acta Horticulturae," the publication of the International Society for Horticultural Science, soaking seeds in a 15 percent hydrogen peroxide solution was most effective at breaking seed dormancy and inducing germination. Gamagrass is hardy growing in U.S. Department of Agriculture plant hardiness zones 8 through 11.

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Help Your Seeds Breathe
It’s easy to improve your at-home germination rates by using hydrogen peroxide in your pre-planting routine. Simply add 1 ounce of 3-percent hydrogen peroxide to 1 pint of water; choose one of the following three methods. One, soak your seeds for 18 to 24 hours, rinse and plant. Two, place your seeds on a length of paper towels, use a mister filled with the hydrogen peroxide-water solution to thoroughly dampen (but not soak) the towels and the seeds, then roll up the towels loosely or simply fold them over so that all sides of the seeds are in contact with moist paper towel. Mist them lightly each day (or when the towel dries out) and plant them when sprouts emerge. Three, just rinse your seeds with the solution, then plant.