Most leguminous seeds such as Calliandra calothyrsus, Gliricidia sepium, Leucaena trichandra, Sesbania sesban and Faidherbia albida have thick, hard seed coats. To hasten the germination, a mechanical means of breaking the thick seed coat before soaking in water and sowing in the seedbed must be instituted.
- Nail clipper or mechanical pliers
- Cotton bag/sack
- Mulching materials
- Clean water
- Partially crack the seed coat of seeds using mechanical pliers.
- Soak the seeds in clean water overnight to enhance germination.
- Sow the seeds closely on the bed surface; arrange the seeds in a single layer with the flat groove side facing downward. (Note: avoid overcrowding to prevent root distortion that may lead to difficulty in pricking out the seedlings).
- Press the seeds firmly into the seedbed until they are at the same level as the surface of the germination medium.
- Water the seedlings at least once a day.
- Mulch the bed surface with dried grass to retain seed moisture for rapid germination.
- Observe the development of the seeds in the germination bed. The seeds will start germinating within a week after sowing in case of legumes.