Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Sowing small seeds

Seeds come in all shapes and sizes, and I've noticed, recently, that many people tend to shy away from small seeds. When I say 'small', you might think of tomato seeds, but I think of tiny seeds. Seeds that are so small that they can easily be balanced on the tip of a ball point pen.

You've never seen a seed this small, perhaps, because many times, these tiny tiny seeds are treated before you get them. Sometimes they're imbedded in paper or strips or coated in clay to make them easier to handle. For those of us who are small growers, these treatments are often costly and impractical for the batches we collect.

I've been told time and time again how difficult it is to start these plants from their tiny seeds, so I thought I'd provide a short list on how to successfully germinate your newest addition.

First, find your container. I know a few people who are able to sow these tiny seeds outdoors, but I always have the best luck starting them under shelter. Your container can be just about anything from a seed tray to a plastic cup.

Second, mix a soilless potting mixture with water until moist and pack it into your container. You don't want it soupy, but it should be noticeably damp, if you stick a finger into it.

Third, the moment of truth. Take a pinch of seeds and sprinkle them over the surface. If you like to see where your seeds are going, take a piece of damp paper towel and lay it over the surface of the soil before sprinkling.

Fourth, DO NOT cover these tiny seeds. Some small seeds are fine with being covered, but I've found that my germination rates are much higher when surface sown. If you are starting your seeds in a dry environment, cover your container with plastic wrap or a clear plastic cover. This will retain moisture and allow light in to your seeds. Make sure to keep the containers warm to speed up the germination process.

1 comment:

BiscottiQueen said...

Thank you for the tips! I found I had a TON of tiny tiny seeds this past year.