Saturday, March 5, 2011

Failure Leads to Future Successes

Seeds do not pause their progress when my life gets over-whelming.  I am over my eyeballs in work to do and really just have a headache, but the gardening must go on....

I am not as pleased with the baggie method as I thought I was.  The germination rate is poor, some barely develop and some take off so fast you can't get their roots out of the paper towel and they end up damaged.  These are Dwarf Unwin Dahlia's and I'm sure I did better last year when they were put straight to dirt. I did four bags last night:

transplanted 20 for a 62% germination rate in 5 days at 74*
transplanted   7 for a 21% germination rate in 5 days at 74*
transplanted   9 for a 25% germination rate in 5 days at 74*
transplanted 10 for a 31% germination rate in 5 days at 74*

The others may have germinated with more time, but I chose to toss them.
The Roma Tomatoes germinated fine, but the roots are too far into the paper towel.  Maybe if I would have been able to get them planted as soon as a root sprouted, but LIFE wouldn't allow it.  There are a lot of steps involved in this method and I think (with my many children and pets) I would be better off starting in soil.  I can later consolidate the successes into one tray as I have time.  This method requires constant monitoring. I transplanted 30 and tossed the rest (53). 
I have many more baggies like this.  Today, I'll decide what is worth taking the time to transplant and what is a waste of precious time.  Sometimes picking up ten more dollars of seed is the best option in the long run.


sue in mexico mo said...

What are the blue paper towels? Are they some kind of heavy towel? Can you just tear the towel and plant seed and a tiny bit of towel when they become embedded? Would it decompose? I love how you figure the percentages!

gpc said...

I wondered the same thing that Sue asked. I have never thought to start seeds this way, so I am fascinated!