Bonsai tree Seed sprouting

5 Roads to Germination

Beginner gardeners can find the task fairly frustrating, especially when they’ve followed all the rules and somehow still can’t get their seeds to produce anything. There are a number of factors that could be preventing your seeds from growing including water and sunlight, but the biggest issue people don’t realize is that germination plays a major role in the outcome of your seeds.

seed sprouting after germination

You can’t expect much from your seeds if they never go through the process of gaining their first set of roots. Here are some ways to help them reach the soil faster!

Seeds germinating on towel

Germinating in a Paper Towel

No matter what kind of seed you are planning to sow, this is by far one of the easiest methods of germinating seeds. A moist paper towel is similar to soil, providing a warm, dark, and protected environment for your seeds.

Fold the paper towel into a few squares and wet it just a bit with some water. Try just moistening the towel and squeeze any excess water that might cause mold. Gently place your seeds inside the last square and then put the paper towel in a plastic bag or on a plate to prevent mold from growing.

When the seed will start germinating, it will send its roots into the paper towel fibers. Try to plant the seeds in soil when this happens, otherwise the roots might go deeper in the fiber. In that case, try to gently take as much of the paper off the root and plant it in the soil.


Rockwool cubes germination

Rockwool Cubes Germination

In almost any gardening store or The Home Depot store you can find these blocks.

They are made from a fibrous material that is well-aerated and firm.

It’s a great way to germinate Bonsai trees and plants that are larger in size.

Just soak the cubes for about 30 minutes. Then make a hole through the top and place 1 or 2 seeds. You don’t want to sow more than 2 seeds in each cube.

Rockwool cubes might be a bit more costly than the other germination methods, but it usually works and reduces the risk of your seed not germinating.


Seeds sprouting in pods

Germinating in Soil Pods

The soil pods are a cheaper way to germinate your seeds and they are more recommended for sowing herbs and floral decorations. They come in round discs filled with compressed soil; like the rockwool, soil pods need to be soaked, but they expand within a few minutes so you won’t have to wait as long to plant them.

Push a few seeds into your pod once it has expanded and keep the soil moist but not too wet!


seeds germinating in a water bowl

Water Germination

If you don’t have time to watch over your seeds, this might not be the best technique for you to use as you will have to pull the seeds right on time to not lose them.

If you don’t have other ways to germinate your seeds, you can try germinating in water.

Just place the seeds in some water and cling wrap the top of the cup. When you see condensation, remove the cling wrap, wipe the edges of the cup, and place new wrap over it.

Once you see roots appearing, immediately take the seeds out and plant them in soil so they won’t grow mold.


seed germinating in the ground

Traditional Germination – Sow and grow

When taking the first steps growing from seed it might be best to actually try it the good old fashion way and just sow them directly in the soil.

This method does require you to sow in the right depth and place the plant away from the sunlight until it sprouts. Over watering is a typical problem when sowing in the ground, so you should always monitor the soil moisture level.

In case you over watered your seed – just place it in the sunlight for a short time and don’t water it for a day or two until the soil dries. Make sure to track it though to not get it too dry and lose your plant.

So, what's the best way for you?

Happy Growing!

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