Sunday, March 11, 2012

Guarantee Germinated Seeds Before Planting

It will soon be time for the 2012 initial planting of my square foot garden.  I have the seeds.  Their germination is first.

Seed germination in cool weather can be hit or miss.  Snow, heavy rain or near freezing temperatures could slow down or stop germination of seeds planted directly into the garden soil.  To increase the chances of successful germination, I plan to germinate the seeds indoors.

I will not be using sterile planting medium in pots.  I germinate the seeds in plastic sandwich bags.

Gather all the necessary supplies on a work surface.  
  1. seeds
  2. zip lock plastic sandwich bags
  3. unbleached cone shaped coffee filters
  4. filtered tap water  
Dampen the coffee filters with filtered tap water.  Don't want them  soaking wet, just damp.  

Place the seeds from one package on the interior of a coffee filter.  Make sure there is some room around the seeds.  Placing them too close to each other will result in the tiny roots intertwining.

Then enclose the seeds in the coffee filter.

Place the filter into a plastic sandwich bag.  Each bag must be labeled.  Either place the seed packet into the bag or use a permanent market on the outside of the bag.  Place the bags atop your refrigerator to provide warm air temperature.  Check the bags daily for germination.

When the first leaves of the sprouts emerge, transplant them into the garden plot.  As a precautionary measure dig a hole in your plot and pour in some sterile seed starting mix.  This can be purchased mixed or you can create your own mix.  Then place your seed on the mix at the recommended depth and cover with more of the same mix.  Water thoroughly.  Tag the seedlings position with some kind of marker. Tongue depressors, popsicle sticks, twigs covered with the seed packet or white plastic knives are just some of the items you can use to mark the seed location.

Proceeding this way you know the seed has germinated when it is place in the ground.  I will put my seeds into plastic bags on Monday.  I expect to plant this Sat, St. Patrick's Day.  A traditional spring planting date here in my area.

©Damyon T. Verbo - all rights reserved

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