Last month I had trouble germinating some melon seeds and thought I would try a combo of a few tips and tricks I had seen over the internet (I’ve nearly finished reading it) Troublesome Seeds.
Turns out it was quite successful, so I thought I would try it on other renowned as hard to grow seed that I was currently failing. Celery is notorious for being hard to germinate; the seeds are tiny, they need light and moisture for up to 21 days. This can be hard because if you water them the soil can wash them away or under the soil and they won’t grow.
Enter the ziplock bag and paper towel once again
I ‘sowed’ the celery seeds in the ziplock bag around the 25th of Feb and then I saw these sprouts around the 5th of March. So a week for germination is not that bad; I did not put them on a heat mat but I did have them near a (heatless) sunlamp.
When I opened the bag I saw that only a few had sprouted so I removed them and planted them in soil. (I put the rest back in the ziplock bag)
I pressed them gently on to the top of the soil; then I placed a piece of one ply paper towel over the seeds so when I water too vigorously they would not wash away before rooting. Even with the spray bottle I find sometimes they are uprooted with the misting; the paper towel keeps the contact with the soil but also keeps the moisture in while they finish germinating.
Then I kind of forgot about the rest and only checked it recently and saw the remaining seeds had germinated.
As I had forgotten to check often, the seeds had germinated into the paper but the paper easily tore as it was wet. I planted them in a separate pot with some slow-growing Thai basil.
So all in all, the technique worked again I got 100% germination in 21 days but it was new seed so may be different if it an old seed packet. I might try again with parsnip from a new packet as I haven’t had any germinate and I am impatient.
Do you have a ‘fool proof’ method of germinating troublesome seeds? This one seems to work for me so far but I would love to hear about other methods with which people have found success.