Starting seeds with gelatin?

greenacreslady(7)April 3, 2012

Just came across this interesting bit of information on canadiangardening.com, where they're suggesting starting seeds in gelatin. Supposedly it is rich in phosphorus and calcium and improves germination. I've never heard of this method, have any of you?

Suzie

Here is a link that might be useful: Jump-start seeds with gelatin

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Okiedawn OK Zone 7

Suzie,

I bet this method developed from the fact that agar sometimes is used to grow some life forms in labs. Or, possibly it was a method "developed" and promoted by a gelatin company to boost sales.

It has been around awhile because people on either the seed-starting forum and/or garden experiments forum here at GW have tried it and have written about it sporadically over the years.

Most people who have tried it have had good results in terms of seeds sprouting and growing but have had to deal with mold. Being allergic to mold and fungi, I wouldn't try it. Who needs to create more allergy problems for themselves?

Several years ago there were plant gels on the market you could buy and in which you could grow houseplants. They even came in different colors. I tried one and it worked OK but it wasn't anything special once you got over the novelty of it. I haven't seen those growing gels in stores or gardening catalogs in some time, so guess that for some reason people didn't like them. I know that in recent years I have seen some methods of growing cuttings that involve using a gel medium too.

I guess my question would be why bother? Most seeds sprout and grow easily in any sterile soil-less mix, and most seeds sprout just fine in good garden soil when direct-sown, as long as you aren't trying to sprout some perennial seeds that have special scarification needs. Those can be harder and often require some refrigeration in order to mimic outdoor temps. (You can get around that by winter sowing them back in the winter to get them the cold exposure they need.)

You'll find lots of interesting techniques on the internet but a lot of the time these ideas sound better than they actually work. I tend to be a traditionalist and stick with tried and true methods.

If you try this, be sure to sterilize everything first--your containers, your seeds, etc. because it might help slow down how quickly you start seeing mold growing on your gelatin.

Dawn

    Bookmark   April 3, 2012 at 7:59AM
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greenacreslady(7)

Thank you, Dawn. I posted a reply to this last week, but it must have gotten lost in cyberspace. I hadn't even thought about the similarity to the plant gel beads for houseplants, but that makes sense!

Suzie

    Bookmark   April 9, 2012 at 12:55PM
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Okiedawn OK Zone 7

Suzie,

You're welcome.

Dawn

    Bookmark   April 9, 2012 at 1:18PM
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