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Germination Questions

I want to start a cutting garden and I have bought (a lot) of seeds...

I have grown from seed before but always in different ways so have no idea how to do it properly!  Excuse any incorrect terminology - I am a novice!!

1. Do you put all your seeds in the dark once sown before they germinate?  If its in a greenhouse, how do you keep them dark?

2. Could I use my underfloor heating as a kind of giant propagator?!  If I did would I need to place something between the trays and the floor?  Would I need to cover the trays to keep them dark?

3.  I have some capillary matting - do you only use it once the seedlings have emerged or can it be used with seed trays to keep moist?

4. If I built a propagator - would you leave the trays inside it once the seedlings emerge or move straight off the heated bed then (maybe to the heated floor?!)

5.  Do you water your seed trays and seedlings bottom up or with a watering can?

Any other advice gratefully received!!  Many thanks


  • nutcutletnutcutlet Posts: 27,430

    Different ways for different seeds, you'll need to say what you're growing.

    some need covering, some need light

    Some need heat, some hate it


    In the sticks near Peterborough
  • The user and all related content has been deleted.
  • A lot sprout easily between wet kitchen towels in a zip-up food bag. Sweet peas in particular do well that way. 

    Chrysanth seeds refuse to germinate though.....

  • Interesting post, and it raises a question that I’m sure a lot of people would like some advice on, myself included, and that is, when seeds have germinated, at what stage would you remove them from the propagator? Especially when there are other ungerminated seeds in there, so you don’t really want to open the vents. This has been a particular problem for me in past years, leave them in too long and have the damping off problem, or take them out once germinated only to watch them keel over. I understand it’s a lot to do with trial and error, hence I have started early with just a few cornflower and penstemon seeds.

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