How to Nick Seeds

Nicking seeds removes the outer coat of the seed to help speed up the germinating process.


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You Will Need

  • Seeds
  • Sharp knife
  • Razor blade
  • Nail clippers
  • Nail file
  • Sandpaper
  • Bowls
  • Water
  • Sulfuric acid (optional)


  1. Step 1

    Use sharp knife

    Use a sharp knife, razor blade, or small nail clippers to nick the outer coat.

  2. Step 2

    Rub seed

    Rub the seed with a nail file or sandpaper.

  3. Step 3

    Soak in water

    Soak the seed in water prior to planting.

  4. Step 4

    Remove when swells

    Remove the seed from the water when the seed swells. Then remove the outer shell with your hand.

  5. Soak the seed in sulfuric acid for 2 to 4 hours if removing the outer shell by hand is unsuccessful.

  6. Step 5


    Plant the seeds according to package directions when the outer shell is off.

  7. Sandpaper is primarily made of garnet, aluminum oxide, or silicon carbide grains, not sand.