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Seed Germination: blomma picture (To cover or not to cover?)

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In reply to: To cover or not to cover?

Forum: Seed Germination

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Photo of To cover or not to cover?
blomma wrote:
sow_sow If you want to do it cheaper, forget the trays and stock up on regular kitchen paper towels.

Last winter I decided to test seeds I have had since 2002, 2004, and 2006. Took my son's advise and used a modified Deno method. This method gave me a much higher germination count than the oldfashion way of sowing in soil, even though the seeds were old. Hardy Hibiscus germinated in 2 days after a nicking and soaking first. You can't beat that.

Here is how:

Modified Deno Method
Cut a kichen paper towel in half, then wet it. Squeeze out the excess water. Fold it in half. Place the seeds in a corner and fold one end over the seeds. Place this package into a ziplock bag and zip it, leaving a small opening to blow air into the bag to fill like a balloon. Once filled, zip it closed.

If the variety of seed you sowed require stratification, place in fridge for 2 to 3 weeks. If not skip the fridge and place in room temperature to germinate.

Sprouting time depends on variety. Check the seeds daily, starting after the 3rd day. Use a tweezer (grasp the seed casing) of those that have a radical (tiny root forming). Transfer to seed flat or pot. Make a hole with a pencil and guide the root into the hole. Plant at recommended depth, spacing 1" or more, apart. If the roots have grown into the paper towel, just tear the towel around the roots and plant it. Do not try to remove the roots from the towel.

Until the sprouted seeds have broken through the soil, they do not need light. However, once they do, grow them in a sunny window, under light, or place the flat outside in a protected area if weather is warm.

Small or tiny seeds
This method won't work for very tiny seeds, which are difficult to handle individually. You can try stratifying these seeds by mixing them in a container with moist peat moss. After recommended stratification time, scattered the peat/seed mix over the surface of seeding mix or potting soil and gently pat it down to contact the soil. Keep in room temperature for germination to begin. The only drawback to this method is that you can't tell how thickly you're sowing the seeds.

This is a no fuss way, and you are in control on how many plants you want without wasting seeds.

Below is my hardy HIbiscus seed from 2004 (still in the kitchen towel) that sprouted in 2 days after I nicked, and soaked them overnight in hand hot water. These are commercial seeds. When I sowed them in soil in 2004, only one sprouted.

This is the only way I sow seeds now.

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