How I sprout seeds

sproutingsprouting2I tried to order some Kohlrabi from the local seed company two weeks ago.  They informed me they didn’t have any and that last year’s seeds were a failure.  After a short discussion the receptionist excused herself and asked me to wait for a minute.  When she returned she gave me 3 packet of kohlrabi-2 purple and 1 white. She explained they had a batch from last years lot left over and didn’t charge me a penny for them.  I asked her what the problem was and nobody knew.  This is how I sprout seeds.  It’s very easy and very effective.  All I do is wet a paper towel with warm water and then ring it out.  I place the towel on a plate, sprinkle some seeds on it, and then cover everything-plate included-inside a plastic Ziploc bag.  Leave it in a place where it’s over 70(our home is set at 72)and see what happens.  What you don’t see is the 18 other kohlrabi seeds that have fully sprouted and have been planted in potmaker cups.  Every single one of these seeds sprouted, which means they can be grown.  Doing this eliminates all guesswork.  You now know which seeds are viable because those are the ones that sprout.  All you need to do after that is put them in potting or growing soil and treat as you normally would.  These will grow into full plants with water, and light.  I plan on showing this to the store as they wanted to know if I could get them to grow.  Now we know the seed wasn’t the problem.  The growers either tried to grow this at the wrong time of year(hot weather doesn’t work very well with these), or their soil was the problem.  Maybe a combination of both.  I suppose another problem would be trying to plant them in freezing weather which could also lead to failure.  Either way, these sprouted in a mere 3 days.  I just gained about a week by doing it this way.  More good stuff.  If you’ve got things that need 10-14 days(or longer)to come up in potting soil, doing it this way will get you growing those a lot faster.  More fun stuff.

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6 thoughts on “How I sprout seeds

  • by Peter


    What can you tell us about the drip irrigation system you use? How have you set it up? What have you found that works best?

    • by Jim This is post author

      My drip irrigation was set up years ago by Kathlynn Collins. She is here in the Sugarhouse area. You can also find her under “garden coach-salt lake city.” These are custom set-ups that are cheap to put in. If you’re handy with this sort of a think I’m guessing that you could probably do it yourself. I have what’s called a sub-floor-a flexible tube running from the main spigot to each box that sits on the ground. You can see it on my website. From there, you put in little feeder tubes that fit into this subfloor on one end, and then plug into “t-tape” on the other end. Each box of mine has 2 t-tape lines running the length of my boxes. The emit or drip every 3 inches. So every square foot gets watered every 3 inches, and there are 2 lines running through it. With all the advantages of drip irrigation, there is one disadvantage. That is every thing gets the same amount of water. If you’re trying to ripen tomatoes you want to decrease your watering. So I use the minimum that I can get by with and actually end up manually watering parts of my garden because of this. It’s OK though because it doesn’t take me hardly any time. About the only thing I wouldn’t use is soaker hose beacause of all the reasons I discussed in class….hope that helps…Jim

  • by Will


    Have you also started seeds in a dish full of vermiculite as suggested in Mel’s SFG book and demonstrated by Belinda on her HGTG YouTube channel? What are the advantages and disadvantages vs using paper-towels if there are any? Looks like your preference is the paper-towel-in-a-bag method. I think I’m still going to experiment myself with both methods on a few different plants over the next couple of months. I can’t wait to see some things growing again and for this cold yucky air and snow to clear out.

    • by Jim This is post author

      Hi Will-yes I have done the vermiculite method. In fact, if you go to my photo gallery, I think it highlights all the steps of how I do it. It’s about 5 or 6 pictures I think. The only real disadvantage of the vermiculite method is the cost involved in using vermiculite. I can’t think of any disadvantages of the paper towel method. The other advantage with the towel method is that it does come up faster-definitely. Good to hear from you again. The air should clear by the end of this week and it looks like we start getting more seasonal temperatures. Talk to you soon.

  • Pingback: Spring garden plan and starting seeds | Squarefoot Leesville

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