19) Sowing cabbage plants on moist toilet paper

 In this tip:

  • A)# Necessaries and preparation
  • B)# Sowing
  • C)# Cover on margarine box
  • D)# First plants visible
  • E)# Planting in flower pots
  • F)# Growing bigger in flower pots
  • G)# Planting in the garden soil

You can sow cabbage plants in the garden soil. At good weather, sufficient water etcetera, many cabbage plants will grow from the seeds.

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.

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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 (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. You can 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.

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B)# Sowing

  • 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 one cabbage seed and put it on the moist toilet paper, where it “leaves” the cocktail stick and adheres to the toilet paper.
    • Using the tip of the cocktail stick you can roll the seed to the right spot when needed.
  • You can sow cabbage on moist toilet paper from early January (mid winter) on.

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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.
  • Put the whole indoors in a room at approximately 15  to 20 C (59 to 68 F).

Daily 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 check daily if little cabbage plants are visible.

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D)# First plants visible

Below there are photos of little (mini) cabbage plants in margarine boxes. The boxes were covered with a lid.

After 6 days of germinating at 15 C (59 F), there are small cabbage plants growing on moist paper. When small plants are visible, the lid is no longer needed. Put the margarine box on a light spot at 10 to 20 C (50 to 68 F) and let the cabbage plants on the moist paper grow some bigger. Regularly pour water on the paper or put a transparent box over the box; make sure that the paper does not dry out.

When you put a transparent box over the margarine box with cabbage plants, there is little drying out of the moist paper. And the plants can grow bigger at a light spot.

koolplantjes kuipje 1

koolplantjes kuipje 2koolplantjes kuipje 3

You can let the plants in the margarine box grow bigger, until about this size.

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E)# Planting in flower pots

At very cold weather you can put the mini cabbage plants in flower pots first. Let them grow bigger in the pots (until about 10 centimeters, 4 inch) and put them in the garden soil then. Slugs and snails in your garden soil can eat many (all) mini cabbage plants during one night. Big cabbage plants are not eaten.

  • These mini cabbage plants are big enough to replant.
  • 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.
  • Plant the mini plant in a flower pot with compost. See below.

You can plant mini cabbage plants in flower pots with inserts and strips. Info about inserts and strips in   tip 30)   . This makes it even easier when taking out the big plant. And you can write info on the strip. The flower pots on the photos below have a top diameter of 7 centimeters (2.8 inch).

  • Put the insert and strip in the flower pot.

  • Take the strip out of the flower pot when you want to write info on the strip.
  • You can write info (KR for Kohlrabi) on the strip using a pencil. And erase the text using a rubber eraser when you use the strip again.
  • Put the strip in the insert.
  • Fill the whole with a mixture of sieved compost, manure and agricultural lime.
  • Plant a mini cabbage plant in the soil. Plant it deep, only the leaves are above the soil.
  • Spray cold tap water on the soil.
  • Each day spray water on the soil. Don’t let the soil dry out.
  • Let the plants in the pots grow bigger. Put them indoors before a window at a cool place.

kool in potjes minikasje

  • When you have many flower pots with mini cabbage plants, you can put them in a mini greenhouse.
  • The cabbage plants in the greenhouse are protected against cold, against snails and slugs, and against the Cabbage White Butterfly (caterpillars). The cover minimizes drying out of the soil.

  • You can put the mini greenhouse outdoors by day, at good (sunny) weather and indoors at night.

  • Let the cabbage plants grow bigger.
  • When teh plants are about 10 centimeters (4 inch) tall, they are big enough to be replanted in the garden soil.

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G)# Planting in the garden soil

When cabbage plants are about 10 centimeters (4 inch) high, they can be planted 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. More info in   tip 16)   .

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