Tuesday, March 10, 2015

Starting Seeds–Germination With The Wet Cloth Method

Starting Seeds

There is a huge variety of seed starting methods as many as there are gardeners using them. The different methods all have their pros/cons. It is up the individual gardener to figure out what works for them given their unique sets of skills, time, and resources. I’ve tried several over the years with mixed results.

Last week, I watched a video on youtube about starting seeds on a wet cloth. When I talked to my gardening friends, they had all heard of it. Where have I been?! This sounds like a great idea. It is frustrating to bury the seed and not be able to watch the progress. Sometimes they germinate and sometimes they don’t. Growing my microgreens has really made me value and enjoy watching the seeds germinate. With this method, I feel like I can maximize my seedling growing area because each spot has a growing plant.

Starting Seeds

This method is pretty simple.

  1. Start with a paper towel or cloth cut or folded down to size.
  2. Soak the towel until it is thoroughly saturated. A few minutes should do. Starting Seeds
  3. Place the towel on a waterproof tray with at least a small lip. I found through some experimentation that more folds (3-4) seem to work better than just one or two. The extra folds hold more moisture and don’t dry out as fast.
  4. Place some seeds on the towels and label them
    Starting SeedsStarting Seeds
  5. Put in a warm spot and then keep the towels moist. Do not let them dry out. I check them each day. If they are starting to get dry, I spray them with a spray bottle or pour a small amount of water between the towels. They will wick it up.
  6. When the seeds begin to germinate, you will see them sprout. This is the main reason I really like this method. You only plant the seeds that have sprouted. The Cosmos seeds below started to sprout after only four days.
    Starting Seeds
  7. Very carefully pick up the sprouted seeds and plant them as you normally would in a seed starting tray or soil block as shown below. Seeds in Soil Blocks

How do you like to germinate seeds? Let me know in the comments below.

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