When you want to sow early in the season or at cold weather, you can germinate cabbage seeds on moist toilet paper. You can see how the germination proceeds. The small cabbages are planted in flower pots or in the soil.
In this post I describe this way of germinating.
A)# Necessaries and preparation
- For sowing you need: 1 sheet of (soft) toilet paper, 1 plastic margarine box of 250 grams, 1 sheet of writing paper, 1 small cocktail stick (about 2.5 inch long), see above photo 1.
- Fold one sheet of toilet paper in two. Lay it on the bottom of the margarine box. Moisten it with tap water.
- Write on the writing paper what is sown (cabbage seeds are alike), fold it and hang it on the edge of the box. Put a mark on the writing paper and on the box (see photo 2). Or write the text “shifted”on the writing paper (photo 3). After sowing it’s clear on what side of the box the writing paper must hang (e.g. after falling off). You can also stick the writing paper to the box.
- Lay cabbage seeds in a straight row (near the text) on the moist toilet paper.
- You can strew the seeds from the sachet on the toilet paper or take the seeds between thumb and index and lay them down. Or use tweezers to pick and transport the seeds.
- But sowing is much easier and faster when using a cocktail stick (see photos above).
- Moisten one tip of the cocktail stick (under tap, in a cup of water or touch the moist toilet paper).
- Now you can pick up cabbage seeds with the moist tip of the cocktail stick.
- When a seed touches the moist toilet paper it will “leave” the cocktail stick and adhere to the toilet paper.
- Using the tip of the cocktail stick you can roll the seed to the right spot when needed.
C)# Cover on margarine box
Put a cover on the margarine box. To prevent the paper from drying out.
- You can put the original lid “loose” on the margarine box.
- Or put rubber bands over the box and put a 500 grams margarine box over it.
Put the “greenhouses” at a room at approximately 15 C (59 F).
Regularly check if toilet paper is moist; Tilt the box with seeds. Moistness is okee when a little water appears in a corner after a few seconds. When needed spray or drip some water in the box.
And regularly check if cabbage plants are visible.
D)# First plants visible
Below there are photos of little cabbage plants in margarine boxes. The boxes were covered with a lid or with a 500 grams margarine box.
After 6 days at at 15 C (59 F), there are small cabbage plants growing on moist paper in both boxes. So both covering methods (lid or box) are good.
Plants of about 1 inch high are big enough to take from the paper and to plant out.
E)# Planting in flower pots
At very cold weather you can put the small cabbages in flower pots first. And plant them in the garden soil later.
- Photo 1 to 4: Fill flower pots with insertions with a mixture of compost, manure and agricultural lime, ratio about 10 : 1 : 1. Press a little on the mixture in the pot. Remove some mixture with a tea spoon, forming a small pit. Put some compost + agricultural lime in this pit.
- Spray on the toilet paper. Use tweezers to pick a small cabbage plant from the toilet paper. It’s okay when a little bit of toilet paper sticks to the root (photo 5). When the root of the cabbage plant is (too) long, carefully shorten it to about 0.5 inch.
- Photo 6 and 7: Put the plant in the small pit in the pot. Fill the small pit with compost + agricultural lime. Then spray water in the pot.
- By making the small pit etcetera, the root of the plant does not make contact to the manure. This is better for growing up.
F)# Growing bigger in flower pots
On this photos above there are 8 pots with cabbages, right after planting or 8 days later. The pots were outside under a roof at 1 to 8 C (34 to 46 F) and still have grown a little.
In March (late winter, early spring) you can put flower pots with little cabbage plants outside by day at non freezing weather. During the nights put them in a cool room. In this way the plants get used to the cold outside temperatures.
F)# Planting in the garden soil
Cabbage plants like a moderate climate. They can withstand a few degrees of frost and they grow on at low temperatures. Plant them in (non frozen) garden soil at non freezing weather.