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How to Grow Seeds in a Plastic Bag

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Small seedlings can prove challenging to sprout in the garden bed, since watering or rain may wash them away before they germinate. Growing the seeds in advance inside a plastic bag prevents this issue and helps speed germination. Plastic bag sprouting also allows you to test germination rates, which is vital if you are using saved garden seed or old seed from previous years. Germination time varies depending on the plant variety, but most sprout within three to 14 days.

Stack two paper towels on top of each other. Fold the towels in half and sprinkle them with water until they are completely moistened but not dripping wet.

Spread the seeds out on top the paper towel, covering only half the towel with seeds. Space the seeds so they are not touching and there is about 1/4-inch of space around each seed.

Fold the damp towel in half, sandwiching the seeds between the towels. Press lightly on top the towel so the seeds are in full contact with the towels on both sides.

Slide the paper towel into a plastic zip-top bag. Seal the bag closed to trap the moisture and prevent the towel from drying out.

Set the sealed bag in a warm area, such as on top the refrigerator, where temperatures are between 70 and 80 degrees.

Check the seeds every two days until the seeds begin to swell and the first short sprouts emerge. Sow the seeds immediately in a pot or prepared garden bed at the depth and spacing recommended on the seed package once they begin to sprout.

Things You Will Need

Plastic zip-top bag

Tweezers make it simpler to transplant sprouted seeds without damaging the tender sprout.

How to Grow Seeds in a Plastic Bag. Small seedlings can prove challenging to sprout in the garden bed, since watering or rain may wash them away before they germinate. Growing the seeds in advance inside a plastic bag prevents this issue and helps speed germination. Plastic bag sprouting also allows you to test …

Growing Seeds In Plastic Bags: Learn About Starting Seeds In A Bag

We all want a jump start on the growing season and there are few better ways than germinating seeds in a bag. Seeds in plastic bags are in a mini greenhouse which keeps them moist and warm to speed sprouting. This method works great on most vegetables, especially legumes, and can also be used for annuals and other plants.

What Do You Need for Starting Seeds in a Bag?

In northern climates, seeds need to be started indoors for the best chance at germination. Other factors besides cold temperatures can affect sprouting, such as rain and wind, which may wash away seeds. To keep control of your future plants and get them ahead for the growing season, try the baggie seed starting method. It’s cheap, easy and effective.

You can use a clear plastic bag that has a zipper, or not. Even a bread bag will work, provided it doesn’t have holes. Remember, the two most crucial items for seed germination are moisture and heat. By starting seeds in a bag, you can easily provide both, plus light if the variety of seed is one which is photosensitive.

In addition to the bag, you will need some material that is moderately absorbent. This might be a bit of towel, coffee filter, paper towels or even moss. Ta-da, you now have a perfect seed incubator.

Tips on Plastic Bag Seed Starting

It is extremely helpful if starting several kinds of seed to mark the bags first with permanent marker. You should also consult seed packets to see if they need dark or light to germinate.

Next, moisten your absorbent material. Get it good and wet and then squeeze out excess water. Lay it out flat and place seeds on one side of the material and then fold over. Put the seeds in the plastic bag and seal it somehow.

If the seeds need light, place them by a bright window. If not, put them in a drawer or cupboard where it is warm. You can use a seed germination mat if you wish since they produce a fairly low temperature and shouldn’t melt the bags. If so, put a dish towel over the mat first before placing the bags on top.

Caring for Seeds in Plastic Bags

Germination times will vary when using the baggie seed starting method, but will generally be faster than soil planting. Every 5 to 7 days, open the bag to release excess condensation which can contribute to damping off.

Keep the absorbent material moderately wet when needed. Some pros recommend a mister bottle filled with a 1:20 water/hydrogen peroxide solution to spray on seeds and prevent mold. Another suggestion is chamomile tea to prevent mildew problems.

Once they have sprouted, use toothpicks as dibbles and carefully transplant seedlings to soil to grow on until time to plant out.

We all want a jump start on the growing season and there are few better ways than germinating seeds in a bag. Seeds in plastic bags are in a mini greenhouse which keeps them moist and warm to speed sprouting. Learn more about this planting method here.