Typically, germination is the process in which seeds undergo before becoming fully grown plants.
Whether you are growing some vegetables, flowers or herbs a good head start will always determine the growth success rate of your seeds.
If you are garden owner, you will agree with me that homegrown produce has a unique un-match-able texture and taste that most of the mass-produced vegetables will never touch.
And that is why, how to germinate seeds paper towel method, rather than purchasing in stores is a fun way of getting involved with your garden while still, saving up a few bucks.
But one thing you need to understand is that seeds are very delicate and without the right growing conditions they might not even sprout.
Germinating seeds before planting them come with many advantages. This is because you get the chance to sort out the nonviable and viable seeds before moving them to the garden or the growing pots.
There are many specialized products that you can use to grow seeds indoors including the heat pads and germinating trays.
But, one of the easiest is the paper towel method.
If you know nothing about the paper towel method, don’t worry you are in the right place.
In this article, I will give you a detailed outline of everything you need to know about how to germinate seeds paper towel method.
More to that, inclusive will be the list of the fastest germinating seeds.
How to germinate seeds quickly
The paper towel method for germination is a very easy one.
It provides an excellent medium for the germination of seeds. The paper towels tend to be free from pathogens.
And also, it makes it easy to control the moisture levels, therefore, facilitating proper germination of seeds.
One thing that I love about the paper towel method is the fact that unlike other germination procedures, this method takes out the guesswork part.
The fact that you can observe your seeds, you easily know when they have already germinated. This is one convenient yet a very cheap germination method of seeds.
Actually, all you need to make the entire paper towel method a success is a; plastic zipper bag, paper towels and a permanent marker pen.
When using the paper towel methods to germinate a variety of seeds, the very first step is to label each of the plastic zipper bags using a permanent marker.
Indicate the type of seeds you will be germinating in each.
From there here is what you should do;
The first step is to dampen your paper towel.
The best way to do this is to immerse the entire paper towel in water then wringing it out completely.
However, you should be careful not to tear it since it can be very fragile.
Once you wring out all the water from the paper towel, open it carefully in order to avoid any tears.
Proceed to lay down the towel on a flat surface.
Place the seeds of your choice on the damp paper towel.
Add the seeds you wish to germinate at the center of the paper towel.
Depending on your prospect planting area you can add more or fewer seeds.
Paper Towel Method Explained
Ensure that the seeds remain towards the center of the paper towel. Don’t overcrowd your paper towel.
Make a folding of the paper towel over the seeds.
Proceed to make a folding over the seeds while ensuring that all the seeds stay in place.
Keep all the seeds at the center of the tri-fold by folding the empty half of the towel once.
Then followed by folds made in thirds. As you fold, be careful not to squash the seeds.
Place the folded paper towels in the plastic zipper bag.
Label the plastic zipper bags by indicating the name of the seeds, date planted and the estimated period of germination.
However, this step is optional, it all depends on whether you find that kind of information helpful.
From there, you should place all the damp paper towels with seeds into their respective plastic zipper bags.
Place the plastic zipper bags in a warm place out of direct sunlight.
In any house that has a central heat source, it’s quite easy to provide the warm and dark conditions for germination.
If your house doesn’t meet the right temperature conditions for germination you can consider placing the plastic zipper bag with the germinating seeds on top of something that maintains a warm, and not hot temperatures throughout.
In our case, most people prefer placing their zipper bags on top of the refrigerator or any heating pad that maintains the temperature at the low setting.
The ideal temperature, in this case, is temperatures between 70 and 80 degrees Fahrenheit.
Check the zipper bags for dampness
Ensure that you check on the zipper bags on a daily basis to make sure that the seeds stay damp and allow entry of fresh air throughout the germination period.
In any case, you find out that your seeds are drying out, add some water to the bag in order to keep the seeds damp.
Keep track of your seeds for germination
Anyone who is great at scheduling will remember to check their seeds at the exact approximate date for germination.
If you are such a person you can come back to check your seeds at the germination day.
Otherwise, you should ensure that you keep on checking your seeds on a daily basis for any signs of sprouting.
The germination periods will vary depending on the type of seeds being germinated. There are some seeds that will sprout faster than others.
Move your seeds to the garden or growing pots when the time is right.
When your seeds have sprouted, you should schedule a day to move them from the paper towels to the desired growing pots or gardens.
At this stage, the seedlings are still very delicate. With that in mind, you should handle the seeds with care otherwise you’ll risk losing them.
Discard any seeds that did not germinate. That shows they might not germinate even when placed in the field.
While planting the seedlings keep away the tweezers and try to poke a hole in the soil then plant them instead of trying to shove the entire delicate seedling into the soil.
That will help keep them safe and strong enough to germinate.
How long does it take to germinate in a paper towel?
The germination period in the paper towels method tends to vary depending on the type of seeds being germinated.
This is because different seeds have diverse time frames for breaking the seed dormancy. Others might take a long time while other quite a short period.
However, normally germination on the paper towel takes between 5 to 7 days.
Others like lettuce, cucumber and turnip seeds may take as little as 3 days to germinate.
While others like the asparagus seeds may take as long as 10 days for the germination to occur.
In case germination fails to occur within the speculated number of days, there is a possibility that your seeds were too old.
And in such a case you may need to start the entire germination process all over again.
Don’t be alarmed. For a seed to be old, it might take more than 3 years without germinating. Meaning these seeds are also rare.
For you to have a smooth ride when it comes to planting, you need to know some of the seeds that are easy to grow.
Here’s a list of the easiest and fastest seeds to germinate.
Fastest germinating seeds
Waiting for the seeds to germinate is one of the most rewarding parts of home gardening. You get to see a plant giving life.
It’s not as scary as it sounds. Plant germination isn’t comparable to giving birth in animals.
But the feeling of seeing a new life develop is still the same in both cases.
However, for others, this is never favorite as it can be one hell of a maddening experience.
Therefore, if you are that impatient gardener and you can’t avoid the germination period, well then, you are the right place.
Below I will share with you some of the best fast growing plants that will be a little distracting.
As you wait for the rest of the garden to germinate, the following plants will be keeping you busy.
Besides most herbs being one of the fastest germinating seeds, they are known to add an adorable flavor to each menu and undeniable fragrance to your garden.
This makes the herbs not only versatile but also very time-saving.
Some of the herbs that you may consider if you are looking for the fastest germinating seeds are; basil seeds which sprout within 4 days.
While others like dill, chives or cilantro make an appearance not more than 14 days after being planted.
You may also consider mint although after germination you might have to move it to other areas.
Most of the vegetables that we eat have a very short germination span.
Taking for instance radishes and lettuce. The radish seeds tend to absorb water quickly and the germination of seeds happens within 6 and 8 days.
On the other hand, cucumbers germinate within 10 days as well as other vegetables like spinach, turnips, scallions and mustard greens.
Other vegetables that might be a great quick gardening addition include the watermelons, squash, and cantaloupe which have an average germination period of 4 to 6 days.
You might want to also try the pencil wax beans varieties and blue lake beans.
Most of the flowering plants that we have today are among the fastest sprouting seeds and also grow rapidly after germination.
Such flowers have the added benefit of introducing an attractive splash of colors and elegance in your garden.
Some of the fastest germinating annual flowers seeds include; cornflower, sweet alyssum, celosia and bachelor button which in most cases tend to sprout within 5 to 7 days.
In addition, the sunflowers, zinnias and morning glories add a unique glamour to your garden with more colors and quick growth.
On the other hand, the fast growing nasturtiums are more than just garden beauties. They can be used to add garnishes to the dinner plates as well as add flavor to salads.
There is a wide variety of the perennial flowers that will germinate within a time frame of five to ten days’ maximum.
Besides that, these flowers still grow very fast even after sprouting has occurred.
Some of these flowers include; the dianthus which always strive to fill your garden year after year.
Also, we have the sweet William and white black-eyed Susan which can be either perennial or biennial plants depending with the varieties you select.
Other perennials that you can choose from include; the blackberry lilies, the blanket flowers, the rose Campion, gaura among others.
Most of the above mentioned perennial flowers thrive well in home gardens after germination.
If you want to bring in a bit of tropical drama to your garden with the fastest growing seeds, there is a wide variety of plants that you can choose from.
A good example is the hyacinth bean vines which tend to grow as tall as six to twenty inches within a single growing season.
This means that the hyacinth bean vines seeds tend to sprout very fast too.
You will fall in love with how their purple flowers and maroon seedpods spread out through the entire garden in no time.
Other plant seeds that tend to germinate fast include the rye seeds, wheat grass seeds among other kinds of grasses.
Therefore, if you want to introduce a little fun to your garden, you can plant a few of these grasses in a hallowed decorated growing pot.
As we have seen from the article, paper towel germination is one of the easiest and least expensive method. However, its not without a few challenges.
The method needs more of your time since frequent examination of the plastic zipper bags is required to ensure that the germination process is in check.