Wednesday, April 08, 2015

Pre-sprouting

Last year I had the most successful sweet corn crop of my life.  Somewhere on the Internet I read that you can pre-sprout seeds before you plant them, and I decided to give it a try.  I've always had a terrible time with corn because moles discover them as soon as I've planted the seeds and burrow right up the row, sometimes devouring 90% or more of the seeds.  Maybe it was coincidence last summer, but the moles never bothered my pre-sprouted seeds in any of the four plantings.  I've already planted a few sprouted corn seeds this week, although it's early for corn and it wouldn't be unusual for us to get a frost or even a hard freeze at any time in April.  That's why I didn't sprout too many for this first planting.  But I always like to try for a few early things.    

This year I'm experimenting with other seeds, just to see how it works with various kinds.  Eggplant seeds are tiny, slow to come up, and easily mistaken for weeds when they do come up.  So in the past I paid the price and bought a plant or two.  This year I have some already in the process of sprouting, so once they are planted they should come up really fast.  I'm even trying some flower seeds.  It's so much cheaper to plant seeds rather than to buy started plants.  I've always planted cabbage seeds directly in the soil without sprouting, and then transplanted them so they are the proper distance apart, and that works fine.

The pre-sprouting is pretty simple, really.  Dampen a paper towel, put the seeds in it, and place the rolled or folded paper towel in a plastic baggie.  Don't seal the bag shut.  If you soak the paper towel to heavily, and/or seal up the baggie, there's a chance of mold growing on the seeds.  I had this happen last year when I waited too long to plant one of my corn crops, and went ahead and planted the moldy, sprouted seeds anyway.  They didn't come up; the mold had killed them.

We'll see if last year's good fortune with the corn was just a fluke.  

There's a site HERE that might help you, if you want to try this for yourself.  It gives various temperatures that are ideal for sprouting different kinds of seeds, but I'm not going to bother with that.

2 comments:

TARYTERRE said...

You are lucky your pre-seeds take hold. I have never had any luck with them so i have always used the started plants. But they get pretty pricey so your way is better in the long run. Hope you have a wonderful garden this year.

TARYTERRE said...

ps) i meant to say pre-sprouting seeds. but i said pre-seeds.sorry it's been a long day.