Planting – Repost/Sowing Small Seeds

I repost this technique for sowing smaller garden seeds each year. There is little waste or thinning out with this method. The sprouts do not develop damping-off disease. My only change from previous years is sowing in the bottoms of gallon milk cartons. I easily made four holes in the bottom of each with a paring knife thrust through the bottom first, then a large pair of scissors inserted in the cut and twisted…Voila, a perfect drainage hole.

These seedlings only have one to two pairs of true leaves and already the colors and leaf shapes are unique. As they grow the colors will develop even further; I have high hopes for the best crop of coleus ever. Updates will follow throughout the growing season.

Here is the technique I use to plant coleus and other small seeds:
This method of planting might seem tedious, but I have tried many ways of sowing tiny seeds and feel this is the very best. I wish I could remember where I first heard of the process so I could give the proper source credit for the idea.

I sow small seeds sparingly using the sharpened point of a pencil. I dip the pencil point into water and touch it to one seed. The dampness grabs hold of the seed. I then touch the seed to the wet seed starter mix in the flat, and the seed adheres to the wet soil. I repeat this process between sixty and seventy times per flat.

I use wire garbage bag ties, marked in segments with magic marker, to guide me in the placement of the seeds.

After I sow a row of seeds I remove the wire guide so I don’t double sow a row.

The next step is a gentle, all-over spray of water to seal the seeds to the wet soil.

I then cover the flat with the lid. It is gratifying to see it instantly steam up with warmth and humidity.

I have good luck with the sprouting by placing the planted flat of coleus seed on top of my refrigerator or near, but not on, a heating vent.

This method works well for all small seeds.

13 thoughts on “Planting – Repost/Sowing Small Seeds

    1. Hi Meg, I’ve tried to grow lavender from seed too, and have up and down luck with it. I’d say plant much more than you think you should. My verbena is doing this to me this year. I planted a whole flat and so far, in over three weeks, I have only three pitiful little sprouts. I think I might try another flat and this time soak the seeds first.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I ended up getting the hexagon-shaped seed starter tray today. I will try out your small seed trick tomorrow. I hate to try soaking or refrigerating first, it doesn’t do much for instant gratification πŸ˜›

        Liked by 1 person

  1. I appreciate you sharing your process, as I’m very interested in adding some Coleus to my back garden spot this year. I looked for them at the box store, but no Coleus yet. I have an online resource where I can get the seeds, and now that I have a step-by-step process I can follow, I’m a little bit more brave about giving it a go, and see what happens. Love a challenge, and also love the gorgeous lime green and burgundy mix of colors that can sometimes become a great focal point in your garden. I’ll be looking forward to seeing more posts as yours progress. Again, thanks for sharing your seeding process. Helpful to a newbie. πŸ™‚

    Liked by 1 person

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