The best tips for gardeners to try in order to get strong, healthy seedlings and save space. Many tried and tested, original and very peculiar methods of soilless seed germination came. In this article Bubgo explains all the nuances of the original seedling technique: 3 methods of soilless seed germination, sowing seeds on toilet paper, in self-rolling boxes, in plastic bottles and in containers.
Introduction to Soilless Seed Germination
Having missed the sowing, having read the news in the newspapers and browsed various websites on the Internet, gardeners are ready to start sowing. Of course, the first thing is the cultivation of seedlings. It would be nice to minimize the clutter in our window areas, the dirt scattered by children and pets, to avoid ventilation problems in the rooms, and to clean your flat more and more often. And it's all for her, for the dream sprouts.
That's why folk artisans came up with Soilless seed germination: on compressed boxes, cups and toilet paper. It doesn't take up too much space and requires minimal maintenance.
The seeds have some nutrients, which are sufficient for germination and the initial development of the seedlings. Nevertheless, it is important to know and realize that you still need soil for their further development. Therefore, the seedlings must be transplanted into pots or seedbeds.
Soilless Seed Germination: What are the Benefits?
1 . Saves space when not cluttering more windowsills Seedlings number 100 pcs. unfold perfectly in containers up to 6 inch (15 cm) in diameter.
2. Cheap and availability of necessary materials.
3. Easy to maintain. The compact box and container can be easily placed in a warm place or, if necessary, back on a bright windowsill.
4. No soil - seedlings are free of pests and diseases, because the main location of pathogens is in the soil. There is no need for chemical treatment of seedlings with such malignant as blackleg unfortunately.
5. You can immediately see and select the strongest and healthiest seedlings. Guided by the "sudden disappearance" principle, this will allow you to regulate the amount of planting material at your own discretion, rather than cluttering the windowsill with weakened seedlings.
6. As the plants develop, you can gradually start picking seedlings.
7. This is a great outlet for summer residents who are late to thaw their land for seeding. The seeds germinate on the paper long enough to prepare the soil for the next stage of seedling growth.
8. Tissue paper has a very soft structure when wet, so the roots of seedlings are hardly damaged when removed from the paper, so they root and grow faster after harvesting.
9. Due to its compact structure, it is very easy to transport the seedlings to the country for subsequent harvesting.
Which Seeds can Soilless Seed Germination?
Not all crops can be grown on toilet paper using the groundless method. These include slow-growing crops, which take more than a few months to develop.
This is the ideal place to grow such vegetable and flower seedlings.
Soilless Seed Germination on Toilet Paper
The method of germinating seedlings on toilet paper is very popular and has been improved repeatedly with several modifications. As a product of wood processing, toilet paper is an environmentally friendly material that retains moisture well and is ideal for sowing seeds.
Any vegetable seedling can be grown in tissue paper using this method (also called "self-twisting"). However, it is most convenient for large sown crops such as cucumbers, peppers or tomatoes. Onion and flower crops also have a high germination rate.
This will require the following tools.
1. a roll of toilet paper.
2. a plastic sheet.
3. a clear glass or plastic container, such as a 0.52 gal (200 ml) cup or a small jar.
How to Soilless Seed Germination
Prepare in advance strips of aluminum foil about 4 inch (10 cm) wide, like toilet paper, up to 20 inch (0.5 m) long.
1. Place 1-2 layers of paper on each strip of foil and moisten freely with water from a spray gun or syringe.
2. Then place the seeds on top, preferably with tweezers, 0.4-0.6 inch (1-1.5 cm) from the top edge for larger seeds, and less every 2 inch (5 cm) for smaller seeds.
If you don't need to place that many seedlings on a long strip, split it with a stick or thin tab with just a small margin for the amount of seeds in the middle.
Note: Don't make short "self-twists" because they dry out quickly.
3. Next lay another layer of aluminum foil on top. Although it is often a tip to cover the seeds with another layer of paper, which is also moistened, before using the foil. In both cases, it works well.
4. Now roll up the puff strips and place them in the prepared container with the seeds facing upwards, where they should be poured with 2 inch (5 cm) of water, preferably room temperature.
The rolls can be held firmly together with rubber bands, string or narrow tape, but not too tightly to ensure that the seeds are promptly and evenly exposed to water and air.
If possible, several of these "self-tillers" can be placed in the same container. This is easy to do by crop or sowing date. Don't forget to sign or insert labels on the rolls.
5. The final step is to place this container in a leak-proof bag for ventilation. If the food container is being used as temporary storage, it can be covered with a lid with small pre-punched holes.
6. Now place our bag under high temperature until the seedlings emerge from the soil. After the first leaves appear, you need to expose the container to light and ensure the correct temperature. Remember to keep an eye on the water level so that the paper does not dry out.
When to Pick
Seedlings with seedling leaves, or preferably after the first true leaves have formed, can be set.
The method is as simple as gently unrolling the roll, separating each seedling from the paper and nesting it in a ready-made soil pot or greenhouse. If the paper does not fall off on its own, there is no need to remove it completely from the roots. The practice is to cut the paper rolls off piece by piece with the seedlings and pick them up in this form. The paper will dissolve in the soil and will not affect the plant.
Soilless Seed Germination on Toilet Paper in a Plastic Bottle
This is another method similar to the previous one, because the main element used is still toilet paper, not primer.
You will need the following method.
1. a plastic bottle. Its capacity depends on your choice, the planned amount of seedlings needed and the number of seeds. A gal (1.5-2 liter) bottle is most suitable because growing seedlings need a certain height to grow.
2. a roll of toilet paper or paper towels.
3. a container of water and a water gun or spray gun to dampen the paper.
4. a plastic bag.
Preparation and Seeding
1. Any plastic bottle is cut evenly in half along its entire length.
2. Tissue paper (several layers) is placed tightly in one half of the bottle and moistened well. Moisten it moderately to prevent it from becoming soggy, which could cause it to clump and worsen the germination conditions of the seeds.
3. Now all that remains is to scatter the seeds evenly over the entire surface, pressing them gently onto the substrate. You can cover it with 1-2 layers of paper, or you can avoid doing this and just gently press the seeds into the "paper soil" with your fingers or with a spoon.
4. The whole structure resembles a small greenhouse or trellis, being placed in a bag and sealed. Covering with the other half of the bottle is also a good option.
5. The entire structure is then placed in a warm place at the desired temperature. The accumulated condensation creates a suitable microclimate inside and eliminates the need for watering. If you notice excess water collecting at the bottom, this should be drained off.
Sprouts will appear quickly - in the case of tomatoes, in 3-4 days. However, do not open the greenhouse for three weeks and wait until the thick roots and leaves develop. The seedlings can then be transplanted into the ground.
Soilless Seed Germination on Toilet Paper in a Plastic Container
The proposed method is very similar to the previous two methods, differing only in the placement of the toilet paper.
In this case, we will use food containers with lids for ice cream, cakes and ready-to-eat foods. The important condition is that the container must be at least 4 inch (10 cm) high.
Preparing the Seeds for Sowing
1. Place toilet paper in the bottom, which can be easily replaced by 5-7 layers of tablecloth.
2. The next step is similar to the previously described method: thoroughly wet the paper and scatter the seeds.
Pay attention to the density of seed spreading. Too high a density will encourage the fragile root systems of future seedlings to bind together, causing injury and damage.
3. Now cover the container tightly with a lid and place it in a warm place until the seedlings leaf out.
Note: It is recommended to open the lid of the spray container only when it is not well sealed to prevent the seedlings from drying out.
4. After the seedlings emerge, move the container to a well-lit place and regulate the temperature both during the day and at night.
Tips for Caring for Seedlings on Toilet Paper
Without additional nutrition, seedlings should not stay in the paper "soil" for more than 35-40 days. After that, be sure to transplant them into the soil. It is important not to replant too late, otherwise the seedlings may die.
1. Use less colorful types of paper, preferably white and fragrance-free, as these can negatively affect the germination and development of seedlings.
2. Clear bottles and containers are more suitable. This will ensure that there is the right amount of sunlight, the water supply can be monitored, and the timing of leaf formation and seedling development can be checked to ensure that seedlings do not overgrow.
3. Each container or package should be labeled with the name of the variety.
The optimum temperature for germination is considered to be 77-80 °F (25-27 °C), dropping to 62-68 °F (17-20 °C) during the day and 59-62 °F (15-17 °C) at night after seedling emergence.
After cotyledons emerge, fertilize with a weak mineral solution: dilute any seedling fertilizer with water at half the recommended rate. A second application of fertilizer is required after the first true germination.
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