Planting – Small Seeds/Coleus & Others

It’s that time of year again…my coleus seeds need to be planted now if they are to reach a decent size by the end of April. Below you will find a re-blogged post on how I plant small seeds. It may seem tedious, but it keeps the small plantlets separate and drastically cuts back on damping-off disease.

I have collected seeds from my coleus plants for well over ten years. Each year I plant the offspring of the previous year, the seedlings grow, are cross-pollinated by the bees, and new seeds are harvested in the late Autumn. I start my coleus very early, the seeds are small, quick to sprout, but slow to grow. I don’t sow them thickly into the flats. Seedlings sown too close together tend to get damping-off disease.

I found these great lidded containers made by Solo this year. They are the perfect coleus incubator/flat.

I sow the seeds sparingly using the sharpened point of a pencil. I dip the pencil point into water and touch it to one seed. The dampness grabs hold of the seed. I touch the seed to the wet seed starter mix in the flat, and the seed adheres to the wet soil. I repeat this process between sixty and seventy times per flat.

I use wire garbage bag ties, marked in segments with magic marker, to guide me in the placement of the seeds.

After I sow a row of seeds I remove the wire guide so I don’t double plant a row.

The next step is a gentle spray of water to seal the seeds to the wet soil.

I cover the flat with the lid. It is gratifying to observe it instantly steam up with warmth and humidity.

I place the planted flat of coleus seed on top of my refrigerator or near, but not on, a heating vent. I’ll update the progress as the seeds sprout and grow.

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5 thoughts on “Planting – Small Seeds/Coleus & Others

  1. Mary Bigger

    Glad to see this, it is the info that originally led me to you. I bought coleus seeds for the first time this year. I am going to use the Costco rotisserie chicken containers as my seed houses. These mini greenhouses have done well for tiny starts. Seeds are my next adventure.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I so agree…the rotisserie chicken containers are awesome for starting seeds. Coleus are one of my JOYS!!! The amazing colors and patterns in the leaves never fail to jumpstart a smile in me. Happy Planting Mary! This technique is really worth the time. In the past, when I have crowded coleus one of two things happens…one – they do get damping off disease…two – it never fails, two fabulous coleus plantlets are growing so closely to each other there is NO separating them and one has to be snipped off and sacrificed. This way, I don’t lose any seedlings…well hardly lose any. 😀


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