paper towel germination

Doug Green dgreen at SIMPLEGIFTSFARM.COM
Tue Feb 2 15:39:37 CET 1999

At 07:15 AM 2/02/99 -0800, you wrote:
>I have been reading the archives about seed germination and have a few
>questions.  Most messages confirm the "paper towel" method to begin.

Let me make it clear that I'm not an expert on this class of plant. I have
however germinated my share of seeds in the 20 years I've been in the
nursery business. My own Arisaema seedlings are only a year old - I'm
waiting for them to start in the alpine house now :-) especially as I've
just turned the heat to 40F night temperture to start a few things off.

What I do know is that the paper towel method of seed germination caused me
to lose quite a few plant seedlings the two times I tried it (first and
last);-). I found the root hairs on the radicles tended to bind up into the
paper and it took more time and effort to cut each one off than I had. If I
missed the timing, the darn roots were growing all through the paper and it
was the devil's own time to get it all sorted out.

I think the paper towel method is overrated as a gardening tool. I think it
is perfectly fine as a research tool to see what percentage of seeds
germinate. The losses on transplanting were too high for me to endorse
paper germination techniques. I'll stick to soils and turface/grits thanks.
This is for all my seedlings, not just this family.

In the case of the Arisaema, most of last years seedlings are still in the
same pot they germinated in. A good piece of advice from this list I picked
up on. After their growing season this year, I'll start transplanting them
into individual pots and growing them on to flowering sizes.

Others may have a different experience than this but that's my $00.02


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Doug Green: Writing for the horticultural industry
Simple Gifts Farm, Athens, Ontario, Canada.

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