Saturday, February 4, 2012

More on Paper Towel Germination

      I was waiting impatiently for my seed order from Fedco Seeds to be delivered.  They finally came in Thursday afternoon's mail, so that very day I planted Oak Leaf Lettuce, Winter Density Bibb Lettuce, Savoy Cabbage, and Lacinto Kale.  I was shocked to find that both lettuces had sprouted in only two days, and even more shocked to see roots starting for the kale and cabbage.
      New lettuce seedlings are soft and spindly, and thus difficult to transplant.  So my thought is to transplant the seeds with only 1/8 to 1/4 of an inch of root growth.  I know the seed is viable if sprouted, and can handle the seed safely using tweezers to grab the seed coat.  Then put them in cell packs, and expect them to put up leaf growth from there.  Eliminating the old problem of 6 to 8 seedlings per pack.
      I used the same reasoning to plant the kale and cabbage early when they still have the seed hull.  I got nearly 100% germination from all four starts!  Even planted the Lacinto kale two seeds per cell as I had so many of them germinate.  Here is a photo of the Oak Leaf Lettuce seeds with little root tails:

Only a day and 1/2 to sprout!

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