How does a seed germinate?
The seeds of most of the plants germinate when they are provided with favourable environmental conditions (viz., moisture, air, suitable temperature and proper sequence of light and dark). The dormancy of seeds caused by hard seed coats, can be removed by breaking, softening or weakening of the seed coats. The method employed in softening or weakening the seed coat is known as scarification. Under natural conditions in the soil, some of the microorganisms viz., fungi and bacteria, act upon the seed coats and usually decompose this. However various mechanical and chemical treatments have been used to prompt the germination.