Some seeds have a very hard outer coat and are difficult to germinate. They tend to sprout irregularly or only after many weeks or even months, when the coat finally begins to soften. Among the more common seeds with hard seed coat are cannas, morning glories, hibiscus, lupines and mallows. For easier, faster germination, you can scarify the seed, that is to say slightly break the outer coat to allow water to penetrate.
Seed companies often recommend filing each seed (yes, with a wood file!) to scarify the seeds. Well, I don’t know about you, but I really don’t have the time to do this. Besides, I’d probably file off my fingerprints trying.
Try the following method instead: roll up a piece of sandpaper and insert it inside a jar with the rough side facing inwards. Now place the seeds that need scarifying in the jar, screw on the lid and shake. When the seeds lose their luster, they’re ready for sowing.
Of course, you really don’t have to do all the shaking yourself. Make it a family project! Prepare several jars, turn on the the music and invite your kids or grandkids to dance with maracas you just made them. Everyone will have fun… and the job will be done in no time!