Now that it's springtime and I'm planting more things into the gardens, I'm going through seed leftover from last year. I'll use up the older seed first before sowing the fresh stock. Not sure about the germination, I prefer to pre-sprout the seed so that I don't end up with a spotty bed with lots of gaps.
Pre-sprouting seed is easy. I just use two cloth rags. I wet them in water then wring them out. Inside one rag I spread out the seeds.
Then I roll up the rag and seeds. Ends up looking like a long sausage. I then lay this sausage in the second rag and roll the whole thing up.
Eventually, unusually in a couple days, I'll spy some rootlets. Wonderful! The photo is of green beans that I'm now sprouting. The one in the upper left I must have missed yesterday when I checked because to root is rather developed, it's far easier to plant the beans when the root is smaller. Less chance of snapping it off.
It ends up looking like this. I then put it in a warm spot. In my case, that's on a table three feet from the woodstove in my livingroom. Each day I will unroll the rags and check for germinated seeds. And if the rags starts drying out, I will redampen them.
So why do I use two rags? Because it keeps the moisture more even up against the seed. If my rags were bigger then maybe I wouldn't use two. But two works for me.
I like setting the seed near the heat source. The little extra warmth gets the seed germinated faster. I could also set the sausage roll in a patch of sunshine on the kitchen counter. That would work too. I would just have to be careful not to let it dry out or bake.
As I pre-sprout seeds other than beans, I'll post the photos so that you can see what they look like.
So how do I plant these sprouted beans? I just poke a hole about 1 1/2 inches deep in the prepared bed, drop on the bean, and gently cover it over. Give it a little drink of water and the job is done.