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The Resilience Hub & Portland Maine Permaculture Message Board › how to keep direct seeded seeds/seedlings moist?

how to keep direct seeded seeds/seedlings moist?

user 6954726
Sullivan, ME
Post #: 30
yep i've done the paper towel trick, it is a very effective method of ensuring good germination. still doesn't solve the watering problem though. i even did the paper towel method this spring w/ some allium seeds that were barely germinating in soil.... i did end up w/ better germ. (tho still not that great in my opinion) in the towel but i would not recommend doing this w/ alliums, obviously, bc the seeds are so small it's impossible (or at least, wicked tedious) to pick them out individually. i solved it by tossing them into a cold frame that already had some allium starts in it and will plant them out in clumps.

i think cooled grass clippings would be an ideal mulch for seeds/seedlings.... BUT i have barely any grass and am holding off as long as i can before mowing to gather all the violet and dandelion greens i can.
A former member
Post #: 122
Well I'd suggest you just now worry about it. In nature seeds are not kept moist till they sprout and they do just fine.
user 3022592
Portland, ME
Post #: 165
I like your idea Lisa.

Last summer I tried planting some bush bean seeds for a later harvest directly in the garden spiral. My mistake I think was using cut out egg carton pieces with soil in each and a punched out bottom that would open out to the soil beneath the newspaper. Not good results, because I didn't give seeds enough soil.

In the fall as prep for the cold frame I placed seeds on paper towels I had watered just the right amount and sure enough, they sprouted within an overnight or more. Then I planted each little paper towel seed in the hoop house. Pretty labor intensive!

Yesterday I used Eliot Coleman's suggestion covering both the cold frame and hoop house soil with 2 - 3 " potting soil, watering it lightly, and planting in the "Dutch" method with about 4 seeds in each hole at least 3" apart. Then I gave it a all a good watering, covered both with remay and plastic for the hoop house (without the hoops) and the panels for the cold frame. It was a very satisfying experience how well it worked.

I like his idea: Once the seedlings show up, cutting them like brownies to transplant them will cut some of the roots thereby spurring them to form more and sturdier roots.

Will let you know how this works.

But I'll go ahead and try your method too Lisa planting directly through the sheetmulch with other vegetable seeds not planted yet. So thanks for sharing this!
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