3 Seed Germination Methods

Updated on April 25, 2019
Mini greenhouses can help speed up germination.
Mini greenhouses can help speed up germination.

I used just throw the seeds in the dirt and hope for the best, but that made it much harder to monitor growth (if you can even locate where the heck your planted the seeds in the first place). By germinating seeds yourself, you can rear them into young seedlings in a controlled environment during the harsher months.

I’ve tried many methods, but here I will go through the three I’ve had most success with. These include the paper towel method, rockwool method, and the plain old regular seed germination method with quality soil. You can increase your success by buying one of those small plastic greenhouses.

Variation on the paper towel method.
Variation on the paper towel method.

1. Paper Towel Seed Germination Method

The paper towel method is very simple. All your need is a square of paper towel, water, and a plastic Ziplock bag or cling wrap (and of course, seeds).

  1. Rip off a square of decent quality paper towel (something that can hold its shape when moist and not fall apart).
  2. Wet the paper towel and then squeeze it so it's moist but not dripping.
  3. Place your seeds on the paper towel and fold it over.
  4. Put folded paper towel in Ziplock bag or cover in cling wrap.
  5. Place on sunny window sill.
  6. Check progress in 3–5 days.

Note: It's best to plant the seeds earlier than later, otherwise they become quite embedded into the paper towel and can become tricky to dislodge.

Rockwool is great for germinating seeds.
Rockwool is great for germinating seeds.

2. Rock Wool Seed Germination Method

Rockwool is often used for house insulation to reduce noise and prevent mold. Visit your local nursery or hydroponics store and pick up some small rockwool cubes, either with holes or without.

  1. Soak the rockwool in water for a few hours, longer if desired.
  2. Make a hole with a toothpick or knife.
  3. Drop the seed into the hole and push it down to the bottom.
  4. Place the rockwool on your window ledge and play the waiting game.

This method works great for hydroponics system where you can use the rockwool throughout the process. Otherwise, separating the young plant from the rockwool can be tough.

Safety note: It's best not to breathe in the fumes from rockwool. It is safe once it has been soaked in water for a little while.

3. Regular Seed Germination Method

This is the regular method, and it involves simply mixing some high-quality potting mix with compost. You may think this method is totally hopeless, but I’ve had lots of success with it by following the specific needs of the seeds. Make sure you read the seed pack to check if soil needs to stay moist or if watering is only required after the seedling pops out.

I’ve had success growing mint form seed using this method, and if anyone has tried to germinate mint seeds before you’ll know it can be very tricky and you need to have the patience of a saint.

  1. Mix together 2/3 quality potting soil with 1/3 compost.
  2. Add the seeds on the top then cover with a light layer of soil.
  3. Gently pat down the soil so the seeds don’t move around.
  4. Water occasionally if required.
  5. Wait until seedling bursts out; this can take quite some time. It took 2–3 weeks for my mint plant to show up.

Good luck with germination!

Favourite Germination Method?

See results

Comments

    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment
    • profile image

      rain rhianne 

      7 weeks ago

      hello im in philippines this my assignment thank you author for your help

    • profile image

      19 months ago

      thanks

    • profile image

      my name is siddique 

      20 months ago

      dear sir I want to increase to seed germinate ,this is my question.

      and

      this methods I have used but not increasing to seeds yes sir so I need your help

    • profile image

      Evan Vanauskis 

      6 years ago

      When did you post this

    • profile image

      Asim 

      7 years ago

      I like paper towel technique to germinate seeds. I can grow basil, thyme, sage and other flowering small seeds like portulaca. Thanks

    • profile image

      USMAN ABDULLAHI 

      7 years ago

      Thank you for this information you just got me started in my research.

    • profile image

      JK 

      7 years ago

      Snap lock bags and toilet paper is a WINNER. I was having trouble getting pepper seeds to germinate in soil, they took off like rockets in the toilet paper though!

    • profile image

      claire 

      7 years ago

      thankuuu!!:)

    • profile image

      my sketches 

      8 years ago

      ur soooooooooooo cute

    • expectus profile imageAUTHOR

      expectus 

      8 years ago from Land Downunder

      glad it helped :)

    • profile image

      don 

      8 years ago

      thanks in giving info..

    • profile image

      marcaida 

      8 years ago

      thanks, and add also other information......

    • profile image

      samantha amielle 

      8 years ago

      thnks

    • profile image

      kristin yvanna carrillo 

      8 years ago

      thank you so much for helping me:)

    • profile image

      sachie kyra nudnud 

      8 years ago

      thanks for this info,this helped me a lot :)))

    • profile image

      Jairo Ambus 

      8 years ago

      Thnx for helping for my project...!

    • profile image

      james carl contreras 

      8 years ago

      thanks for helping me to my assignment

    • profile image

      blackbird 

      9 years ago

      Any "to-go" container ,as for salads, with a clear lid may be used.Place a 1/4 in.thuroughly dampened layer of sterile sand

    • expectus profile imageAUTHOR

      expectus 

      10 years ago from Land Downunder

      very true psychicdog.net:) , its really amazing to see a seed grow into a mature plant and produce fruit :), thanks for the comment

    • psychicdog.net profile image

      psychicdog.net 

      10 years ago

      where would the world be without the planting of seeds!Thanks for the reminder expectus!

    working

    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, dengarden.com uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at: https://dengarden.com/privacy-policy#gdpr

    Show Details
    Necessary
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the googleapis.com or gstatic.com domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Features
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Marketing
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Statistics
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)
    ClickscoThis is a data management platform studying reader behavior (Privacy Policy)