The Cotton Ball Hack To Germinate Seeds For Your Garden

Are you ready to get your garden started for this season? Before it gets too warm, you should start thinking about what you want to plant. If you're growing a vegetable garden, the earlier you germinate your seeds, the better. However, you'll need to start them indoors while the weather is still chilly. The larger your seedlings are when you transplant them to your garden, the quicker they'll grow to the necessary size to begin producing vegetables and the more produce you'll be able to harvest.

The best time to start germinating seeds depends on what you're growing. First, you want to research your area's last frost date. Then you need to know how long it takes for your seeds to become seedlings. Most plants can germinate in about two weeks but need four to six more to grow healthy roots, stems, and true leaves. A general time to start vegetables is six weeks before the last day of frost. Once you know when to start, you can use this easy hack to germinate your garden seeds.

Start your seeds indoors with cotton balls

Now that you're ready to get your garden started, you need to gather all the necessary materials. For this hack, you'll need the seeds, cotton balls, a glass jar, and water. First, you're going to open your container and fill it with the materials one by one. The cotton balls should be tightly packed to simulate soil and fill about half of the jar. Then it's time to add your seeds. How many you place in a single jar depends on what you're growing. If the seed package notes that they need a lot of room to grow, consider only placing two on opposite sides of the container.

The last thing you need to add is water, but only use enough for the cotton balls to become damp. If they're too wet, the seeds may begin to rot instead of sprout. Place your jar in a sunny area that won't get too cold; be careful to avoid any drafts sneaking in through your windows. Continue to add more water when the cotton balls begin to dry. Soon your seeds will have sprouted.

When it's time to transplant

After about eight weeks or less, your seedlings will have outgrown the glass jar. Once the stems have at least two sets of true leaves, it's time to transplant them. You have a few options for where to put them. If they grew fast but the last frost date still hasn't passed yet, you can put them into a pot. Just make sure it's an appropriate size and has drainage holes. Otherwise, if the ground is warm enough you can transplant them into the ground.

It's tricky to gently remove the cotton balls from your plant's winding mess of roots. Pulling on them can cause them to snap in half, which would damage all the growth you worked hard for. Luckily, this isn't a necessary step. You can simply, lift the whole mass of cotton balls and roots. If there are any loose pieces, feel free to pull them off your plant carefully so there are as few cotton balls left as possible, but it's fine for some of the cotton to go into the ground with your plant. After digging a hole in your garden, place your seedling inside, backfill the hole with gardening soil, and give it water.