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How to Nick Seeds

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


  • Step 1: Use sharp knife Use a sharp knife, razor blade, or small nail clippers to nick the outer coat.
  • Step 2: Rub seed Rub the seed with a nail file or sandpaper.
  • Step 3: Soak in water Soak the seed in water prior to planting.
  • Step 4: Remove when swells Remove the seed from the water when the seed swells. Then remove the outer shell with your hand.
  • TIP: Soak the seed in sulfuric acid for 2 to 4 hours if removing the outer shell by hand is unsuccessful.
  • Step 5: Plant Plant the seeds according to package directions when the outer shell is off.
  • FACT: Sandpaper is primarily made of garnet, aluminum oxide, or silicon carbide grains, not sand.

You Will Need

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

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