Super Seed Starter Tonic

zone5lowermiFebruary 25, 2007

I know many of you are not Jerry Baker fans, but I would like to try his Super Seed Starter Tonic. While he says he soaks ALL of his seeds prior to planting (although I'm not going to soak my beans), he does not say how long to soak them for. Have any of you tried this and if so, how long do you soak them for?

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I soak most of the seeds that I start inside in plain water overnight. Some like morning glories I nick the seed coat prior to soaking. There are some seeds that I soak in other liquids, certain passiflora seeds get a soaking in oj. I love some of Jerry Baker's concoctions but have never used his seed soak. What does he make it out of?

    Bookmark   February 25, 2007 at 12:09PM
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It's made from 1 tbsp. FelsNaptha Soap Solution (1/4 bar of FelsNaptha soap dissolved into 1 quart boiling water then adding 1/4 cup liquid dish soap - nondegreaser type), 1 tbsp Espom salts and 1 tbsp tea water in 1 gallon of water.

I should clarify that I am starting vegetable seeds.

Any comments are appreciated.

    Bookmark   February 25, 2007 at 12:57PM
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maineman(z5a ME)


I've never had problems germinating vegetable seeds, and I have never used any of Jerry Baker's concoctions.

However, it does sound like an interesting formula. The Epsom salts would provided needed magnesium and sulfur. The tea water could be helpful. But I'm not certain how to tell the nondegreaser liquid dish soaps from the degreaser kind. All of ours seem to degrease pretty well.


    Bookmark   February 25, 2007 at 3:24PM
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Thanks for the recipe. I've never had a problem with veggie seeds either but do have some other hard to germinate seeds that I might try it with. The only thing that I'm familiar with is GA-3 to remove/neutralize the germination inhibitors. I do use epsom salts on my container plants during the growing season 1 tbls/gallon of water. It's great for greening up the foliage but I don't know what it does for a seed.

    Bookmark   February 25, 2007 at 3:38PM
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Sorry, but I still need more help here. Are the seeds just wetted or are they literally swimming in liquid? TIA.

    Bookmark   February 25, 2007 at 7:23PM
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Seeds normally suppose to have everything there for sucessful germination, so they do not need extra nutrients on the start.
Some seeds have oily surface and need to be soaked in water with touch of liquid soap. One of those I met were arisaema draconitum. I know many people use drop of liquid soap just in case for all their seeds. It sounds logical if seeds are very old one might try soaking them in beer to juzz up enzyme system. I read it on JL Hudson website as recommendation.
I do soak up majority of my seeds in warm water/lukewarm/ for 3 days, changing water about every 12 hrs. I also sometimes soak seeds in hydrogen peroxide. Since I never had any control groups to call it experiment I can not say if hydrogen is helping or not. Generally my seeds germinate very quickly and I see no harm in using hydrogen.
I have a good guess that seeds are very smart and will germinate despite our best efforts. ;)

    Bookmark   February 25, 2007 at 7:57PM
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