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.