Start Your Seeds Between the Sheets

Start Seeds Between Sheets of Paper Towels
If you save your garden seeds from year to year and wait expectantly to see if they'll germinate in their peat pots, there's a way to make the process easier, faster, and less expensive.

Start Seeds Between Sheets of Paper Towels

For the last few years, I've started my questionable (older) seeds between sheets of paper toweling, and then transferred them to starter pots once I was sure they were viable. This has helped me save on labor and make the most efficient use of my store of plant starter materials. Give it a try. The seedlings can easily be picked up with tweezers and transferred to potting soil.

Make sure to keep the paper towels wet at all times. For this I use a spray bottle. In order to avoid evaporation, place a sheet of plastic wrap loosely over the topmost layer of paper, removing it a couple of hours a day to circulate the air. I pack the seeds in pretty tight, as the picture above will show you. As a base, I use a plastic serving tray, like the kind you see at fast food restaurants. You could also probably use a makeshift tray made out of aluminum foil.

Good luck and great seeding!


  1. Thanks for your wonderful ideas!!I'm new to gardening and I have found your blog extremely helpful!
    I have sprouted herb seeds succesfuly in paper towels,my question is,how do I know when to plant my sprouted seedlings to a pot????I'm scared they'll die :(
    I need your advice! Thanks again!

  2. Thanks Patricia!

    Once I've sprouted seeds using paper towels, and can easily distinguish which side of the plant is up, I fill peat pots with soil and place a little extra soil in a separate container.

    I then position the seedling in the center of a prepared pot with a pair of tweezers, and cover the root with the reserve soil to the depth recommended on the seed packet.

    I usually firm the soil a little with my finger, and then use a mister to moisten the soil.

    All done.

    I'm glad you are enjoying you gardening hobby. The first time I sprouted plants from seeds, I thought it was totally amazing. Just wait until you have fully grown plants from seeds you sprouted yourself. It's a rush.



  3. hi i use the paper towel thing as great. and im growing jalapenos, rosemary, thyme, ginger, basil, coriander, mint and lemongrass.also some kaffir lime.mainly culinary things since im a chef

  4. coffee filters work great too.


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