Seed Preparation: Don’t believe the whole Internet

Seed preparation for redwood does not necessarily involve five days of soaking without air.

Free at last! Free at last! Redwood, other redwood and coffee tree seeds celebrate their ability to breathe.

So I was talking to my friend Mia this afternoon – our usual chatty chat about how our day has gone, whose neighborhood is hotter (I win! Take THAT, Inland Empire!), what she’s got for sale in her Smart Seeds Etsy shop, what I’m planting, and so on.

I mention it’s time to take the redwood and coffee seeds out of their soak since it’s been five days since I put them on the paper towels in their baggies, and keep talking about the 50 chia seeds I planted “by accident” because my hand slipped and I was going to —

“Wait. What?” Mia.

“What what? I’m going to plant some —” Me, rewinding.

“No. No no. Before that. What you said about baggies. What do you have in baggies?”

“Dawn redwood, those coffee tree seeds, and some other redwood. Why?”

“Why do you have them in baggies!?”

“Aren’t I supposed to soak them? I read on the Internet how to —”  (I think I hear my friend and ever-patient Master Gardener swearing under her breath in a most ladylike manner.)

Then she explains to me that seeds need to be able to BREATHE. Seed preparation isn’t something that applies to every seed you get your hands on. Some want to be nicked. Some have to be soaked. Some you can just plant – like those 50 chia seeds. Why on earth are you planting 50 chia seeds anyway? (I can hear her giggling as she hangs up.)


I raced to the dining room table and liberated five dawn redwood seeds, three coffee tree seeds and a handful of the other kind of redwood seeds whose name escapes me.

I swear one gasped, “Ahhhh, air! I can breathe! Thank you, tall human with big glasses.”

Don’t believe everything you read on the Internet. Please. Even if your best friend is a Master Gardener with patience beyond measure.

Oh, and don’t bother soaking chia seeds before you plant them, whether it’s five or 50. They turn into goo. I read that on the Internet – and then I tried it (and they were right).

To your garden success!
Casey – the Garden Lass