Germinating Broccoli Seeds In Paper Towels
Broccoli is a delicious vegetable that is easy to grow in your garden and is extremely nutritious to eat. When I say they are easy to grow, my broccoli seeds this year are taking off in less than a week. Broccoli takes around 60 days to grow before it may be ready to harvest. For me, I'm starting my seeds indoors to give them a head start since we haven't reached the last frost of the season yet.
Additionally, paper towel gardening is a great method for germinating seeds indoors. To use this method, you will need a container that will act as a "greenhouse," a paper towel, and water.
Types of Containers to Use
My favorite kind of container to use is one with a clear lid to let sunlight in. My husband uses old strawberry or raspberry containers to sprout his seeds. I like containers from Olive Garden or other take-out food containers that are thick and sturdy. The lid snaps into place. It keeps the wet seeds warm and at a consistent temperature. I've gotten these types of containers ordering McDonald's, IHOP, and Cracker Barrel, and they are sturdy greenhouses for my seeds.
Paper Towel Preparation
Broccoli seeds are very small. I managed to place 100 broccoli seeds in one folded-over paper towel.
First, I wet the paper towel and folded it in half. A paper towel is a big square though. So once you fold it the first time, you will have a long rectangle. Fold it one more time and you will have a square again.
I then place it in the bottom of my food container greenhouse. My seeds go inside in the bottom half of the long rectangle section of the paper towel. Basically, I like my seeds to have two layers of towel underneath and on top of the seeds.
My broccoli seeds sprouted after four days in their paper towel. The root end of the broccoli was around 1-inch long, while the top end had three or four little leaves. Every time I opened the container to check my new sprouts, the smell of broccoli was strong. Even these teeny tiny little sprouts emit a strong odor, which smells delicious.
Some people enjoy germinating broccoli seeds then eating the four- to five-day-old sprouts. Many believe broccoli sprouts provide numerous health benefits, which is why they harvest so quickly.
Even though broccoli sprouts have health benefits, 100 seeds would only get me one to two salads worth of sprouts. If I grow 100 broccoli plants for 60 or so days, I will have lots and lots of meals with more broccoli than I could ever eat alone. This is why I transplanted my broccoli sprouts into small dirt containers today.
When the broccoli roots are over an inch long, it is okay to move them into dirt. The sprouts themselves are very small, so it is a process that requires patience and gentleness. I put the sprout into a pot filled with dirt and gently pushed the root into a hole. I covered the root with dirt and left the top leaves uncovered.
Since my pots are so small, I gave each plant its own individual pot. These babies will be allowed to grow until sometime in May when they will be moved outside. By then, they will be much larger and stronger for transplanting outdoors.
Paper Towel Gardening Is Easy and Fun
Germinating seeds in a paper towel is my favorite method for starting seeds indoors. The seeds are constantly surrounded by moisture and warmth in the paper towel and container greenhouse, which provide the perfect conditions for faster seed starting. This year, I'm having tons of success germinating seeds in paper towels.
© 2020 Casey White