Sowing Small Seeds

cugal(5b-6a NE Ks)February 20, 2014

Does anyone combine tiny seeds with fine sand, sugar, or salt to aid in sowing? I've just sowed some of my Coleus seeds combined with fine sand & hope I did the right thing! Pros & cons please...

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SouthCountryGuy Zone 4b-5 SE BC(Zone 4b-5 SE BC Canada)

I used the sand method too but if not constrained by time, or number of seeds used, I prefer to use a tooth pick. I sprinkle a few seeds on a sheet of white paper then pick them off with a wet toothpick. Dip the toothpick in water and let the first big drops fall, then once there is just a little water on the tip touch a seed with it and transfer to media. Goes pretty fast when you get the hang of it.

Good luck.

    Bookmark   February 20, 2014 at 7:34PM
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I haven't tried the sand mix method, but have certainly read about it. It makes sense, if it seemed to work for you - then it worked, certainly a bit of clean sand won't hurt your starting mix. I have heard that people use corn meal in the same way, but I would expect that to get moldy.

The seeds I have trouble with are the roly-poly pelleted seed. I should use the tooth pick method with those, as I almost always loose a few because they roll right off the tool I use to transfer them from package to tray. (and they are always the expensive ones!)

    Bookmark   February 20, 2014 at 7:44PM
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morz8(Washington Coast Z8b)

Seeds that are really dust like, I've picked up with an artists brush, tapped over the pot, but few are that fine (rhododendron for one)...

My hands aren't large and I can almost aim a pinch. The sand you mentioned is fine. Do not use sugar, and never salt. The salt will kill any germinating seedlings.

    Bookmark   February 20, 2014 at 8:02PM
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dirtguy50 SW MO z6a(6a)

I'm with southcountry but I don't have a large garden either. We have 9 - 4 x 8 raised beds so taking a little time to sow seeds isn't like a big garden issue. Hey all, it's getting closer to spring and we are all getting excited. Woo Hoo! Well, our friends in the extreme north and northeast are still having issues which we hope gets better soon. Good luck all!

    Bookmark   February 21, 2014 at 1:44AM
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Even up here in the cold spring is getting closer. We had about 5" of snow yesterday and I don't think it is supposed to get above 20 this coming week, but when you are sowing seeds, its like an offering to the Gods of Spring, and it lures them in. (So I am sowing more today!)

    Bookmark   February 21, 2014 at 7:29AM
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I have a small seeder that I bought for a couple of dollars. I use it in the garden for small seeds like lettuce but for very tiny seeds like impatiens, petunias and alyssum I use my hand and a toothpick but not like SouthCountryGuy.

I pour a few seeds in my left hand and cup it slightly. The seeds all fall into the crease in my hand. Then with my right hand I tease them off into the pots with a toothpick. It works great for me

    Bookmark   February 21, 2014 at 8:57AM
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cugal(5b-6a NE Ks)

Thanks all for your take on these sowing practices! I've just sowed coleus seeds (4-5 days ago, in my germinator, under lights, & on heat mats) using fine sand & I'm seeing some germination, so it must work! The toothpick method has worked also......

My joints are increasingly deteriorating from the advances of chronic osteoarthritis, making sowing seeds a problem....... I'm always looking for any method of gardening that might aid my deteriorating joints.....

    Bookmark   February 21, 2014 at 10:15AM
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