Scarifing the Seeds
What does Scarify mean?
Scarifying the seed means to crack the hard seed casing before planting. Some seeds like cilantro (after the casing has been pre-cracked) still take seven days to germinate.
One of the goals in growing Microgreens is to grow the crop quickly. Scarifing greatly improves the germination rate and also makes it easier for the seed hauls to naturally fall off as the Microgreen grows. The first time I planted Cilantro Microgreens, I did not scarify the seeds. I had about 20 plants total growing in my 1020 tray. The second time I planted Cilantro Microgreens, I first scarified the seeds and got a full crop of Cilantro Microgreens.
How do you scarify?
You can buy the seeds pre-scarified. Cilantro seeds that are called "Cracked Cilantro" have been scarified already. "Whole Cilantro" has not been scarified. To scarify seeds, put the seeds on an cookie sheet and roll a rolling pin over the seeds with enough pressure that you hear the seed shells crack.
What kinds of seeds need scarified?
There are two kinds of seeds that I scarify. One that is necessary and one that is optional. It is necessary to scarify Cilantro seeds if they are not pre-scarified. It is optional to scarify beet seeds. They will have a slightly better germination rate and less seed hauls if you scarify them but they will also grow ok if you do not.