In all the years I have been growing vegetables seed germination has been somewhat sporadic, but I have discovered a successful seed germination technique which so far has a 100% germination rate. I have only tried this with tomato seeds so far but I used 13 seeds and I have 13 seedlings. So now I am trying many different seeds in the hope that they will be as successful. Parsnips are always a seed that I have a problem germinating( last year I managed 12 parsnips out of 36 seeds) so I have now applied the following technique to my parsnip seeds. All you need is:-
- Kitchen roll (absorbent paper)
- Polythene bag (sandwich or freezer)
- Some where warm (airing cupboard or on top of the boiler)
So take a double sheet of kitchen roll (fold in half to make one sheet double thickness), soak the kitchen roll in water and lay it on a cloth or tea towel. Then place as many seeds as you want to germinate on the wet kitchen roll, then fold the kitchen roll over the area with the seeds in. Mark the polythene bag with seed variety, then place folded kitchen roll in the bag, then fold the bag or seal it with a tie if you wish to, then place in warm place. I do mine on top of my boiler.
Check seeds daily and as soon as you see a root shooting from the seed carefully lift seed and pot in the normal way taking care not to damage either the root or the shoot. If the seed can’t be separated from the paper simply tear the paper and plant with the paper still attached.
Having now germinated various seeds including:-
- Savoy Cabbage
- Brussel Sprouts
I must stress that you check seeds daily as I had Cabbage seeds germinate in two days. This is the most success I have ever had with germination, my greenhouse is full of seedlings I think I need a larger greenhouse.