How to Soak Corn Seed Before Planting

Soaking your corn seed before sowing will increase the water content in the seed, which will make the seed germinate more quickly once it is planted in the ground. Soaking your corn seed before planting--also known as priming the seed--can decrease the amount of time between planting and harvest. The process is simple and requires little time.

Things You'll Need

  • Large bowl
  • Water
  • Corn seed
  • Colander
  • Paper towel or dishtowel

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Place your corn seed in a large bowl. The bowl should be large enough to hold the seed you are priming with an inch of water standing on top of it.

Fill your bowl with warm water. The water should be at least an inch deep above the seed you are soaking.

Let the seeds set overnight, no longer than 12 hours.

Drain the water from the seeds using a colander.

Dry the seed on a paper towel or dishtowel.

Sow the seed. It’s important that this be done the day after the corn seed was soaked. If you wait longer, the seed may start to germinate, which shouldn’t occur until the seed is in the ground.

Tips & Warnings

  • In addition to increasing the speed at which your crop will germinate, soaking corn seeds provides additional benefits to your crop. If a heavy rain comes shortly after sowing seed, corn seed that is not primed may come to the surface of the soil. The primed seed is heavier and is more likely to stay in the ground. Another good reason to soak your corn seed is that it must germinate quickly once it's in the ground or it will rot. Speeding up the germination gives your seed a better chance for survival.
  • Do not soak your corn seed longer than the recommended amount of time. Your seed will germinate in the water if left in their bath for too long.


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