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FutureStarrDo Seeds Need Light to Germinate
Most people with a beginner’s knowledge of growing plants accept that seeds need light to germinate. If you’re starting seeds indoors, you know grow lights are necessary where sunlight is not available. But did you know there are some seeds and plants that don’t need light to germinate?The basic foundational needs of growing are light, water, and soil. These three contribute to photosynthesis. Degrees of these essential elements are required, but sometimes sunlight or light, in general, is not necessary to sprout seeds. Sometimes sun inhibits seeds that germinate in darkness.Seeds need light to germinate. That’s what the saying usually goes, which is why some gardeners cover up the soil. Cooking up or frying an omelet might be something you do in the dark, but it’s not something you’d do to grow a vegetable garden. But many vegetable gardeners will simply find a dark corner of the garden to germinate seeds.
Other times, it’s necessary to start indoors and use a tray with a heating mat underneath to start seeds that don’t require a direct sow. Most seeds require 75 degrees Fahrenheit to germinate. Seed starting mats can raise the heat of a seed tray by 10 degrees. So in this case, a greenhouse or indoors that has a basal warmth of 65 degrees Fahrenheit would work.But when it comes to seeds, some need light to germinate and some do not. Knowing this is important when deciding whether or not to start seeds indoors or outdoors in your garden. Let’s take a moment to look at photosynthesis and examine why some seeds germinate in light and some don’t.Onion: Allium seeds are large with a thick seed casing and will not germinate in direct light. They actually prefer long nights during germination. So you can start them indoors under plastic, and remove the plastic and place them under light after they’ve sprouted.
There's an exception to every rule, though. Some seeds need the stimulus of light hitting them before they will break dormancy and start to germinate. Very often it is seeds that self-sow that require light. These plants, such as balloon flower (Platycodon grandiflorus) and poppies, drop their seeds on the soil and they germinate where they land. They sprout in response to environmental factors, including having the light hit them.While most plants that self-sow in your garden are able to germinate without being covered with soil, that doesn't necessarily mean they absolutely need light. Some plant seeds are indifferent to light exposure and simply need to make contact with soil, whether it is underneath them or covering them. Flowers such as alyssum and cosmos will self-seed during their current growing season as well as the next one, whether or not they are exposed to light.