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Seed Germination – Everything you need to know:
Improved paper towel and baggy method for germinating seeds (fast)
Learn about an improved method for seed germination. I demonstrate the traditional paper towel method as well as my improved baggy method. Speed up the germination process for any kind of seed. I have used this method on hundreds of different kinds of seed including perennials, alpines, bulbs, trees and shrubs.
There are several different methods for starting seeds indoors that work well for vegetable seeds and flower seeds. In this post I will review the various seed starting methods and help guide you in selecting the right method for your situation.
Starting Seeds Indoors
There are three basic ways to start seed indoors; in pots or containers, the paper towel or baggy method and winter sowing. The last one is not really a form of starting seeds indoors, but it is a good alternative for home owners.
Starting Seeds in Paper Towels or Baggies
You can see the germination process. Not only is this exciting, but it can tell you a lot about your seed. If you never see the root in the baggy you know that the seed is either not viable, or the pre-treatment was not the right one. If it germinates ie produces a root, then it is viable. If subsequently, the seedling dies it is not a germination problem.
A lot of seed can be germinated in a small space using this method. You can hold 100 baggies of different seed in one hand – try toing that with 100 pots. Granted, if you are successful with all 100 seeds, they do need to go into pots at some point.
Seed that takes a long time to germinate requires little care since the seed stays moist in the baggy.
Stratification procedures are easy to carry out since the bags take up so little room in a fridge.
Maximum use of seed. Since you can see which seed germinates, you need fewer seeds. In the potted method most people plant excess seed and weed out the extra. With this method you can put each seed into its own pot. This can be a real benefit for rare or expensive seed of limited quantity.
Requires an extra step. You have to put seed into baggies, and then you still need to pot them up. But you only pot up the ones that germinate.
Extremely small seed can be difficult to handle. The video below shows you how to handle small seed using the baggy method.
Baggies need to be examined more frequently for germinating seed than pots.
No special lights are needed for germination, but once they are potted up they need the same light as any growing seedling.
Vermiculite and Baggies
This is a variation of the above baggy method using vermiculite instead of a paper towel
List of Credits:
All slides and videos belong to GardenFundamentals.com or are public domain images, except for the following:
Kevin Macleod: http://incompetech.com/music/royalty-free/