Seeds of New Zealand spinach, asparagus, and other plants that are hard to germinate can be made to do so quickly and evenly by treating them with a simple solution of hydrogen peroxide and tap water. So says Darrell Welch of Mesa, Ariz., who has been using this approach successfully for the past 40 years.
The same treatment, he says, also gets seed to germinate under adverse environmental conditions such as a too-high soil temperature for lettuce and spinach.
According to Mr. Welch, you should do the following:
Take a glass or plastic container and mix three to four drops of hydrogen peroxide (3 percent) in 1/2 cup of tap water.
Soak the seeds in this solution for between 5 and 10 minutes, stirring occasionally.
Seeds that lose their coats easily, such as peas and beans, should be placed in a sieve or on a piece of cloth and treated by spraying on the solution.
Drain and dry seeds before planting.
Seeds that are particularly hard to germinate may be soaked for a longer period of time in a somewhat stronger solution, but the standard solution is adequate for most garden seeds.