Ask a Question forum: Paper Towel seed germination

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Haverhill, MA
walshkeys
Mar 3, 2018 9:49 PM CST
Hi y'all,
I have a beginners question. Can I start any seed in damp paper towels? Or are there some that just won't germinate that way.
I've had success with sunflowers, but I'm wondering if my other bought seeds would work.
I have:
Ajuga Reptans
Creeping Thyme Magic Carpet
Cinquefoil Potentilla Nepalensis
Roman Chamomile
Lavender Vera
Snow In Summer (Cerastium Tomentosum)
Cat Grass

Some of these seeds are SO SMALL! Will damp paper towels work for any/all of these?
Name: Philip Becker
Fresno California (Zone 8a)
Image
Philipwonel
Mar 4, 2018 6:26 AM CST
Walsh : Howdy Partner I tip my hat to you.
Personally, I quit soaking seeds a long time ago.
If there to tiny to handle, well, don't soak.
Some ! Especially those seeds that look like specks of dust 🕵️, just need to be pressed on top of soil and be misted, to water them. Some of those tiny seeds actually need lite to germinate. 😮😮😮!!!
😎😎😎
Anything i say, could be misrepresented, or wrong.
Name: Sue
Ontario, Canada (Zone 4a)
Daylilies Birds Enjoys or suffers cold winters Native Plants and Wildflowers Butterflies Annuals
Region: Canadian Keeps Horses Dog Lover Plant Identifier Garden Sages
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sooby
Mar 4, 2018 6:52 AM CST
Welcome!

I haven't tried the damp paper towel method with any of those seeds, only daylilies which, like sunflowers, are also a relatively big seed, so I don't know how well it would work. If there is enough humidity and they are in an enclosed environment they probably would germinate (unless any need stratifying first) but it would be hard to pick up any germinated small ones for planting without damaging them. It's a little challenging to keep them going for long on paper towels once they have germinated. It's probably easier to just start them in seed starting mix in trays/pots.

Philip I don't think walshkeys is talking about soaking them.
Name: Philip Becker
Fresno California (Zone 8a)
Image
Philipwonel
Mar 4, 2018 11:42 AM CST
@sooby
Technicality ! Gee whiz ! I said the word wrong.
Plus.... I belive !!!!!!! Walsh knew what I ment.
😎😎😎

Anything i say, could be misrepresented, or wrong.
Name: Sue
Ontario, Canada (Zone 4a)
Daylilies Birds Enjoys or suffers cold winters Native Plants and Wildflowers Butterflies Annuals
Region: Canadian Keeps Horses Dog Lover Plant Identifier Garden Sages
Image
sooby
Mar 4, 2018 2:48 PM CST
Maybe you could enlighten me too then, Philip because when you said "don't soak" I assume you meant not to soak Smiling
Name: Rick R.
near Minneapolis, MN, USA zon
I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Garden Sages The WITWIT Badge Garden Photography Region: Minnesota Hybridizer
Seed Starter Plant Identifier Million Pollinator Garden Challenge
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Leftwood
Mar 4, 2018 3:41 PM CST
All seeds that are ready to grow, germinate with moisture. This is the purpose of the moist paper towel. But as Sooby says, the physical problem of handling a growing seed makes the paper towel method a poor choice for tiny seed.

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