3 Seed Germination Methods
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.
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).
- Rip off a square of decent quality paper towel (something that can hold its shape when moist and not fall apart).
- Wet the paper towel and then squeeze it so it's moist but not dripping.
- Place your seeds on the paper towel and fold it over.
- Put folded paper towel in Ziplock bag or cover in cling wrap.
- Place on sunny window sill.
- 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.
2. Rock Wool Seed Germination Method
- Soak the rockwool in water for a few hours, longer if desired.
- Make a hole with a toothpick or knife.
- Drop the seed into the hole and push it down to the bottom.
- 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.
- Mix together 2/3 quality potting soil with 1/3 compost.
- Add the seeds on the top then cover with a light layer of soil.
- Gently pat down the soil so the seeds don’t move around.
- Water occasionally if required.
- 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!