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Author Topic: Germinating seeds: Paper towel vs Vermiculite vs Soil  (Read 257 times)

Acoalwell

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Germinating seeds: Paper towel vs Vermiculite vs Soil
« on: September 16, 2020, 02:00:29 PM »
Hello everyone,

I was wondering what everyone's input is on what substrate to use when germinating seeds. Last year, I tried most of my seeds in coco coir or soil and has a lot of the longer germinating seeds rot in the soil. This year, I've started using damp paper towel. I prefer this method because I can see what the seeds are doing more easily. I have had a lot of luck, but have to change the paper towel regularly to prevent mold. I've seen a lot of people in this forum use vermiculite for seed starting, and was wondering how it compares. I'm not sure I would want to use it because you couldn't see if the seeds had germinated or not. What's everyone's input?

TomekK

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Re: Germinating seeds: Paper towel vs Vermiculite vs Soil
« Reply #1 on: September 16, 2020, 02:55:46 PM »
I have always used paper towels, usually with great success. But, Iíve grown a bit tired of that method as the towels get moldy and if you donít catch it in time the seeds will rot, also if left for a very long time on a heat mat sometimes they dry out suddenly. Recently Iíve been using damp peat moss in a plastic box on the heat mat, itís worked very well for some lemon drop/superior lemon drop mangosteen seeds, as well as a not described species from Borneo which took a month to germinate.

Iíve always found that seeds sprouted directly in soil tend to be much healthier and less prone to dying as small seedling in contrast to the risk of planting delicate sprouting seeds into the soil. But, when planted directly in soil the seeds have a higher chance of rotting before they even germinate, especially with my poor potting mix.

Never tried vermiculite, would be interesting to see how it compares to the peat moss.

Jani

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Re: Germinating seeds: Paper towel vs Vermiculite vs Soil
« Reply #2 on: September 16, 2020, 04:26:38 PM »
I always wonder if people overthink this...for me its soil (if I'm tracking it closely) or just scattering in mulch/compost under my big lychee and forgetting about it has had practically 100% success rate for me, be it mango, annona, citrus, lychee, any seeds really...many times it's unintentional success from eating fruit and discarding seeds on thre mulch as i walk around the yard.
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Jani

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Re: Germinating seeds: Paper towel vs Vermiculite vs Soil
« Reply #3 on: September 16, 2020, 04:28:31 PM »
Oh, just realized you guys are in VA, so it's probably a little easier down here to germinate with little comparable effort.
always longing for a JA Julie

spaugh

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Re: Germinating seeds: Paper towel vs Vermiculite vs Soil
« Reply #4 on: September 16, 2020, 04:34:38 PM »
Dirt always...
Brad Spaugh

spaugh

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Re: Germinating seeds: Paper towel vs Vermiculite vs Soil
« Reply #5 on: September 16, 2020, 04:36:32 PM »
I always wonder if people overthink this...for me its soil (if I'm tracking it closely) or just scattering in mulch/compost under my big lychee and forgetting about it has had practically 100% success rate for me, be it mango, annona, citrus, lychee, any seeds really...many times it's unintentional success from eating fruit and discarding seeds on thre mulch as i walk around the yard.

Same, dirt in pots.  And also we bury our scraps and spit seeds everywhere and have tons of volunteer plants, avocados, mangos, cherimoyas, watermelons, squash, tomatos, lychees, loquats etc pop up on their own everywhere. 
Brad Spaugh

mangomadness

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Re: Germinating seeds: Paper towel vs Vermiculite vs Soil
« Reply #6 on: September 16, 2020, 04:42:59 PM »
Hello everyone,

I was wondering what everyone's input is on what substrate to use when germinating seeds. Last year, I tried most of my seeds in coco coir or soil and has a lot of the longer germinating seeds rot in the soil. This year, I've started using damp paper towel. I prefer this method because I can see what the seeds are doing more easily. I have had a lot of luck, but have to change the paper towel regularly to prevent mold. I've seen a lot of people in this forum use vermiculite for seed starting, and was wondering how it compares. I'm not sure I would want to use it because you couldn't see if the seeds had germinated or not. What's everyone's input?

I use different ways, depending on what it is..

When I grow citrus I (peel the outer layer of seeds) and put in wet tissue/paper towel, then  into a sealed sandwich bag for two weeks.

For mangos, I just put the inner bean or even the whole husk into really wet soil, and cover with clear plastic for 3-4 week.

I haven't used vermiculate , though sorry!!
« Last Edit: September 16, 2020, 05:12:17 PM by mangomadness »
With compliments

TomekK

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Re: Germinating seeds: Paper towel vs Vermiculite vs Soil
« Reply #7 on: September 16, 2020, 06:00:33 PM »
Oh, just realized you guys are in VA, so it's probably a little easier down here to germinate with little comparable effort.

Here itís easy with temperate vegetables: throw on the ground and they grow! Leave a tomato or cucumber to ripen and next year you get a clump or them. Tropicals, especially during the winter when all the Southern Hemisphere fruit ripen, are very finicky in comparison.

Jaboticaba45

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Re: Germinating seeds: Paper towel vs Vermiculite vs Soil
« Reply #8 on: September 16, 2020, 06:04:16 PM »
I use dirt...just throw in lots of random seeds in a huge pot then separate them when they sprout. And yes there are a lot of volunteer plants...squirrels take my seeds and bury them in the middle of the woods 8)
chempedak cheena breadnut breadfruit kwai muk pedalai marang jackfruit I love artocarpus-Ryan

K-Rimes

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Re: Germinating seeds: Paper towel vs Vermiculite vs Soil
« Reply #9 on: September 16, 2020, 06:11:21 PM »
I generally use the Burpee propagation trays with the clear tops. I've used soil plenty of times, and also direct sow when appropriate (direct sowing having the best result for in ground plants). It grows a pretty mean root which you can gently extract and they're off to the races.

Whenever I didn't use propagation trays, my take rate was worse (maybe 25% losses) and this sucked when it was expensive seeds. For really sensitive stuff (like jabos), I would recommend them. For cherimoyas, mangoes, etc etc - nah, just soil.


Daintree

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Re: Germinating seeds: Paper towel vs Vermiculite vs Soil
« Reply #10 on: September 16, 2020, 11:02:49 PM »
I love Soil Moist super absorbant polymer granules. When I rehydrate it, I add a little Physan to keep it all from getting moldy.
Sometimes the little roots grow right though the granules, but you can just plant them with the seeds.

Carolyn

Seanny

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Re: Germinating seeds: Paper towel vs Vermiculite vs Soil
« Reply #11 on: September 17, 2020, 03:06:10 PM »
I use paper towel because it's convenient.
It get moldy fast.

I've packed unwrapped scions with vermiculite.
No mold after 2 months.

brian

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Re: Germinating seeds: Paper towel vs Vermiculite vs Soil
« Reply #12 on: September 17, 2020, 03:28:18 PM »
I use dirt in pots.  If germination rates are expected to be low I just sow multiple seeds per pot.  The only time I have used paper towels is when I have very limited amount of seeds and I have to check them every day. 

 

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