These are a warm season crop and require warmth to germinate so most growers start seeds indoors, so they are ready to be potted out when spring comes around. My first season I started in September, but with experience I start much earlier mid to late July/ Early August. If you have a good indoor set up under lights, you can start even earlier.
Some growers advocate soaking your seeds for a few hours before sowing. It is believed to soften the seed coat and speed up germination as well as giving you a higher percentage of germination. Soaking speeds up the time it will take the radicle to break through the seed coat.
I make a weak solution of black tea either rooibos or chamomile tea, let it cool to room temperature never place seeds in when the tea is still hot. Place the seeds in the tea solution for 8-24 hours, drain the tea and place seeds on a piece of roller towel ready for sowing.
I use Coco Coir/Peat for germination keep it very simple no complicated germination medium. Take a clean empty Tupperware container size is determined how many seed you have but doesn’t need to be very big at all. Fill the container with moist Peat halfway.
Place your soaked seeds gently on top of the moist peat no need to cover the seeds, I don’t cover the seed so I can see when the root emerges. But if you prefer you can just slightly cover the seeds with a thin layer of peat, put the lid on the container place in a warm spot in the house out of direct sunlight.
No need to water again the container will retain moisture. Germination can take place from anything from 5-30 days. Once the root is around a 1-2 cm long I transfer them gently with a pair of tweezers as the little root is very fragile into the growing medium I have pre-filled my growing containers and have made a small hole in the medium using a chop stick to place the seed root down. It is sown about 1cm below the surface of the soil.
Article written by Gianpaolo Gilardi