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Seed Treatment

Martha Stewart Living, April 2006

Speed up the germination process this season with a technique known as seed scarification. This procedure breaks down the seed's outer shell so that water can penetrate it more quickly and prompt growth. Depending on the type of seed, follow one of two methods. For seeds with hard, nutlike coats, such as those of morning glory, run fine-grit sandpaper or a file over the surface several times. Seeds with soft, papery coats, such as those of arugula or hot peppers, can simply be soaked for 24 hours before sowing.