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germinating seeds

Whether you are new to growing your own food or have been growing a vegetable garden for years, you will benefit from some planning each year. You will find everything you need to organize and plan your vegetable garden in my PDF eBook, Grow a Good Life Guide to Planning Your Vegetable Garden.

After experiencing how easy it was to see which seeds germinated using paper towels, I decided to pre-sprout more of my indoor seedlings. I routinely pre-germinate tomatoes, peppers, eggplants, Swiss chard, melons, cucumber, squash, cilantro, spinach, and kale.

Step 6: Check seeds daily. Examine your seeds each day for germination and to make sure the towel stays damp. Spray the towel if needed.

Directions for Pre-Sprouting Seeds

Place the sprouted seed on top of your growing medium and cover with dry seedling mix. Mist with your spray bottle and place under your growing lights.

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One of the most frustrating things about starting vegetables from seed is waiting for them to emerge from the soil. Pre-germinating seeds is a great method for the impatient gardener, because it lets you see your seeds sprout before they are covered with soil.

I had pepper seeds that were several years old. I hated to throw the package away without checking to see if they were still good. I checked the viability of the seeds by doing a seed germination test.

Unless you have a hydroponic garden, the soil is where your seeds are destined to live after sprouting. Starting your seeds directly in small pots or seedling trays filled with a good quality soil will eliminate one transplanting step.

Germinating your own garden seeds instead of purchasing seedlings is fun and saves you money to boot. However, seeds are delicate and may require coddling during germination and when transplanting them to their final location. There are two popular home gardener methods for germinating seeds:

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Starting Seeds in Soil

Paper towels, filter paper or even newspaper provides an excellent medium for germinating seeds. They are pathogen-free and make it easy to control the moisture content for proper germination. This method also takes the guesswork out of knowing if your seeds have germinated since you can easily observe them.