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Seeds in bags

We are beginning to get to the point of the year where I want to get some seeds planted. In the past, I’ve tried a variety of methods and, of course, it does vary depending on the type of seed. I’m not generally a fan of direct sowing except for things like lawn grass, which are broadcast in large numbers. I’ve done it but I prefer to keep a closer eye on things even though it means I have to make time for stages of potting up and planting out. I often start off in small pots, either indoors or in the polytunnel, but this year I’m also trying an idea that is new to me – sowing in plastic bags.

You use kitchen towel as a way of providing a moist environment, which I have sometimes done before. However, to limit evaporation, you put the wet paper and seeds into a plastic bag. I particularly liked the logic suggested in the video below, where the bag is then turned upside down so the roots tend to grow toward the plastic for easy removal rather than into the paper itself:

Baggy Method for Seeds

I’m not keen on generating a lot of plastic waste but, this year, I’ve got lots of small bags saved from the lateral flow test kits I’ve gone through. Earlier this week I started off some winter lettuce and lamb’s lettuce along with some peas (in a bigger bag saved from something else) and I was able to drop the germinated winter lettuce seeds onto pots of soil yesterday. The lamb’s lettuce looks like it will pop out in a day or so and I wonder if I might need to make the pea bag a bit damper.

Anyway, I need to see how those tiny seedlings do before I wholeheartedly endorse the method but it does make sense to me a way of doing things that lets you see what is going on. Seeds typically need some moisture and a certain amount of heat (within quite wide parameters) to germinate. Initially, they are drawing on their own reserves, so the lack of nutrients in the bag won’t bother them. Because you can watch their progress, you can put the ones that sprout onto soil while they still have some of the initial reserves left and, the theory is, they should happily extend their roots down and make themselves at home.

It’s a positive start although, if I carry on once I’ve used up my spare LFT bags, I think I’ll look for a bigger alternative that is easier to slide the paper into.

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