When it comes to seed germination, the treatment of seeds with biological fertilisers has shown excellent results in terms of faster germination rates. Biological Fertilisers, also known as natural fertilisers, are derived from organic sources such as seaweed, fish, and processed using beneficial soil microorganisms.

In this article we look at the use of biological fertilisers for treating seeds and the number of benefits it provides.

Why Boost Seed Germination?

When it comes to growing healthy, thriving plants, getting seeds off to the best possible start is crucial. One effective way to boost your seeds germination rate is by using biological fertilisers.

These natural, eco-friendly products can provide seeds with the nutrients, biology, and support they need to sprout and establish strong growth from germination to roots to plant.

By applying a biological fertiliser at the time of seeding, you can give your plants a significant head start over competing weeds. The enhanced seeds germination and early growth provided by these specialty fertilisers helps your desirable plants outcompete undesirable weeds for resources like water, light, and nutrients.

In addition to improved seed germination rates, biological fertilisers also tend to foster more uniform growth across your planting. This results in a healthier, more aesthetically pleasing final outcome in your garden or on your farm.

Furthermore, the even emergence and development of your crops creates a polished, well-tended appearance, and can also assist at harvesting time.

Seed Germination

Leveraging Seaweeds Natural Growth Stimulants

Seaweed contains more than 60 trace minerals as well as vitamins and enzymes. Natural ocean Seaweed (kelp) is rich in essential nutrients such as nitrogen, phosphorus, potassium, and trace elements like iron, zinc, and magnesium. These nutrients benefit healthy plant development, promoting robust root growth, improved flowering and fruiting, and overall plant vigor.

There are also benefits to using biological fertilisers produced from seaweed (kelp), as a seed inoculant prior to planting seeds.  Using liquid seaweed biological fertiliser is excellent for rapid seed germination, due to its own natural growth hormones such as auxins, cytokinins, and gibberellins. These hormones play a crucial role in stimulating cell division, elongation, and differentiation in plants, leading to faster and healthier growth.  

Read article ‘Benefits of Seaweed in Agriculture’

Beneficial Soil Microbes

Use Beneficial Microbes to Boost Seed Germination

One of the best ways to kick-start a biological soil/plant relationship is to inoculate seeds in a natural biostimulant or bioertiliser, that has been fermented in an anaerobic environment, using a diversity of active beneficial microbes.

Using (naturally) inoculated seeds, not only produces fast seed germination, but once in the ground the microbialy active fertiliser can trigger dormant microbes in the soil

Read ‘Biological Seed Treatment:  Benefits and Methods’

Inoculating seeds with ‘living’ biology such as beneficial bacteria and fungi, can also help to improve germination rates.  Furthermore, biological inoculants gives the young plant the optimal chance of surviving and thriving in its new environment.

Nature’s Seed Inoculants

Seeds that have been treated with natural Biological Fertiliser and biostimulants not only have a fast seed germination rate, but also help to improve strike rates.  This means a higher percentage of seeds germinate.  This is also determined by the quality of the seeds, ie seeds without fungicidal or chemical treatment.

The Silent Communication of Microbes

When seeds are inoculated with biological stimulants, as they germinate, the biology sends out signals, indicating that there is a microbial rich environment.  The plant seedling responds to the biologically ‘alive’ environment, and recognises that it is naturally supported to grow. 

And, as the plant grows, it performs better photosynthesis, and has the microbial support to help establish, and participate in, a broad biological communication network.

Using chemical fungicides on seeds does immense damage, not only to the soil, and the plant, but to the plants future seeds.  Fungicides inhibit young plants from accessing the biological communication networks, and from sourcing the essential nutrients through them.


Beneficial soil microbes

SONIC Liquid Seaweed BioFertiliser – Put To The Test

In a trial, we conducted an experiment using freshly fermented SONIC Liquid Seaweed Biological Fertiliser to raise a tray of seeds, comparing it to a control study tray that used only water. Our main focus was to observe the seed germination rates, growth rates, and visual seedling health.

One of the key factors we examined in this experiment was the speed of seed germination.

Trial Details

From hand harvested, open-pollinated seeds, we chose 9 of each; purple lettuce, curly kale and nero kale, with a total of 27 seeds for each study.

The day before planting, we soaked half of the trial seeds in diluted Liquid Seaweed Biological Fertiliser, then all the seeds were planted at the same time, in the same type of growing medium.

The first day the seeds emerged it showed us that the seed strike rate was fastest, with a higher strike quantity, when they were pre-soaked in Seaweed Biological Fertiliser.

DAY 1 – Seaweed Biological Fertiliser:
26 out of 27 seeds presoaked in Biological Fertiliser emerged.

DAY 1 – Control Study:
2 out of 27 seeds in the control study emerged, and another 10 seeds emerged the following day.  A total of 12 out of 27 seeds in the control study eventually emerged.

Seaweed Biological Fertiliser Seed Treatment

DAY 8 – Trial day 4 after emergence. As the above image indicates, seeds grown using Seaweed Biological Fertiliser are further advanced, with a richer green colour, compared to the seedlings in the control study.

Trial Overview

By using the Liquid Seaweed Biological Fertiliser in our trial study, we aimed to determine if it could potentially enhance or accelerate the seed germination process compared to using water alone.

Throughout the observation period, we closely monitored both trays for any noticeable differences in terms of how quickly the seeds sprouted and developed into seedlings. This allowed us to assess whether or not the use of Liquid Seaweed Biological Fertiliser had any impact on the speed of seed germination.

The results obtained from this trial study showed that SONIC Liquid Seaweed Biological Fertiliser can be considered an effective tool for promoting faster seed germination rates. Such information can be vital for those seeking efficient methods to improve plant growth and maximise productivity in agricultural or horticultural settings.

biological seed treatment

How To Inoculate Seeds

  • Seeds can be pre-soaked in diluted Liquid Seaweed for 2-5 hours or overnight pre-planting.
  • Soil can be drenched with diluted Liquid Seaweed pre-planting.
  • Seeds can be sprayed with undiluted Liquid Seaweed, pre-planting.
  • Seeds can be watered with diluted Liquid Seaweed post-planting.
  • Seeds can be inoculated when passing through direct seeder machines such as Australia’s Ausplow Machines.

NOTE: Seeds such as some legumes should not be pre-soaked.

See our article ‘Biological Seed Treatment:  Benefits and Methods’

Seeding with Biological Fertiliser

Key Benefits of Seed Inoculation

  • HIGHER GERMINATION – When seeds are pre-soaked, and watered with SONIC Liquid Seaweed Biological Fertiliser, they have a much higher germination quantity and speed.
  • NATURAL GROWTH HORMONES – Seaweed contains a high concentration of plant hormones, which stimulate seed germination and growth.
  • ENHANCED PLANT VIGOUR – Liquid Seaweed Biological Fertiliser, as a seed soak, means the roots of plants come into contact with beneficial organisms straight away, which can help to improve the plant’s health and vigour.
  • STRONG EARLY GROWTH – Once out of the ground, seeds treated with Liquid Seaweed Biological Fertiliser grow stronger and bigger.
  • FULL SPECTRUM BIO-AVAILABLE MINERALS – Seaweed contains a wide range of organic minerals and trace elements that are essential for plant growth.

Overall, treating seeds with biological fertilisers and biostimulants offers a natural approach to promoting faster germination rates. By providing essential nutrients, improving soil conditions, and enhancing microbial activity in the rhizosphere around the seeds’ roots, these fertilisers create an optimal environment for seed germination success.


Many seaweed fertiliser products today are manufactured using an extraction process.  The extraction process generally uses an alkali extraction agent, such as potassium hydroxide.  This process inevitably denatures a lot of the original compounds found in seaweed, which are known to have many beneficial uses for plants.

For example, seaweed has a compound called betaine osmoregulators. When applied to plants, in its original form, these osmoregulators make plants a lot more resilient to drought stress.  It allows the plant cells to regulate water much better, and require less water, which enhances the plants’ tolerance to stress.  Betaine osmoregulators are lost using an alkali extraction method. 

Cold processing, or natural fermentation, retains all the original compounds of seaweed, in a bio-available state.  Read about Biological Fermentation Here.

G’day! I’m Sonja, author and co-founder at SONIC Natural Farming.

With deep roots in the agricultural community for over 30 years, I understand the unique challenges and rewards of farming in our beautiful country.

Experiencing these challenges first hand, is why we developed a company that can sustainably produce biofertilisers, and supply them to farmers, cost-effectively.

This innovative approach to fertilisation and soil care enables farmers to boost their soil fertility and their bottom line, making it a win win for Australian farmers, and our environment.

SONIC Natural Farming

Want to see how we can help you beat the high cost of organic fertiliser?

SONIC Natural Farming

Organic Seed Inoculants

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