Best germination rate trick so far

Hello everyone,
Just wanted to let people know about my latest indoor seed starting endeavor that has been working great for me. For most seeds with decent germination rates I would often get nearly identical rates as whats listed on the package using seed starter soil + humidity dome + a heat mat. I recently tried my hand at watermelon seeds for the first time and over 2 weeks, i only had 2 of 17 seeds germinate using my previous method, (the second seed took ~15 days to germinate). I posted about the experience on here and received several great tips, I also did some research on other various sites. My new technique is first doing a 1.5% hydrogen peroxide scarification for 4 hours covered in the dark (thank you @krismoriah) followed by placing the seeds in a petri dish with a soaked paper towel, cover the petri dish in aluminum foil and place it on the heat mat. It has been less than 72 hours and of the 15 seeds I had left, 14 germinated! The last one looks like it may slowly be opening at one end, but will update on that later. Just wanted to share in case anyone else was having poor germination rates with some of their seeds. This technique got me to nearly 100% germination in 72 hours versus ~12% in 2 weeks.

Edit: Scarification not stratification


Just checked the last seed. That makes 100% of the 15 watermelon seeds in this new system at around 72 hours vs 12% at 2 weeks in soil.

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Do you have greenhouse and lights to extend daylight? Or are you just germinating to have something to pass the cold days?

I’ve actually been growing indoors with hydroponics and artificial lighting. So far I’ve had great success with strawberries, tomatoes, lettuce and ground cherries. I’ve enjoyed playing around with it and now I’m moving onto melons.


Super, thanks for sharing. APPharvest (one forum regular is employed by them in KY) is planning 30 acres of greenhouse berries in my area. The roof is already on the buildings. I’ve seen it in the south, and it is possible for sure.

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You are welcome for the ‘trick’.

Its kind of dealers choice when it comes to scarifying. You can use bleach, sulfuric acid, hot water, or peroxide. You can also do manual scarification.

Peroxide is one of the easiest to work with, and the 4hrs is not set in stone…but variations of that time resulted in different rates of germination.


Stratification or scarification? Those are two completely different things


Instead of a Petri dish, why not use a plastic sandwich bag?

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You absolutely could use bags as well, I just had Petri dishes on hand which are easier to handle the seeds with and easier to cover in tinfoil.

Sorry about that, scarification is correct.

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That’s me!

Yes, AppHarvest is really expanding, with more facilities being built as we speak-

Richmond, KY - 60 acres, tomatoes
Berea, KY - 15 acres, leafy greens
Somerset, KY - 30 acres, berries, prob strawberries
Morehead, KY - 15 acres, leafy greens (in addition to the 60 acre tomato greenhouse, which I have been at for almost a year now)

Thanks @Adamsmasherz, I might try your process to get more of my peppers to sprout. Need to get those started soon.


I know someone that bought AppHarvest stock for $15 a share.
It’s like $3 at present?
Hope they make it.

Let me know how it goes! So far I’ve only tried this out with my watermelon seeds but would love to hear about its effectiveness on other seeds as well.


I certainly would not buy the stock. It seems like a useful endeavor but will it survive long enough to make a profit? It will be a year or two before a reasonable guess on their future can be made as far as an investment goes. Here is a recent article:

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Is this effective with clematis seed as well? I have a few precious clematis scottii seed that I will be planting in the next couple weeks. Do you still recommend 4 hours peroxide treatment?

btw…Clematis scottii is way to hard to source in the nursery trade for a N American native…


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Im no expert by any means… peroxide is good for scarification. If a seed has a hard or very hard seed coat and is the kind that is eaten by animals/birds …usually a 4 hr soak is best.

On other seeds that dont have such protection, a 5 minute or so soak should help germination.