|Written by grannygoodearth|
Anyone who has taken a science class should be familiar with growing bacteria in petri dishes filled with a gel-like substance called "agar-agar". The reason the bacteria grew so prolifically was that the agar-agar had everything in it to feed and sustain the growth of bacteria. Pretty efficient, huh?
Starting seeds the traditional way usually includes a seed starting mix made up of equal parts of peat moss, vermiculite, and perlite. When mixed together with a little water, this mixture will hopefully support the growth of your new seeds. The risks are too much water, too little water and even seed rot if the soil is too wet.┬áThat brings us back to our science class experience and how we can start to germinate seeds in more efficient manner.
Gelatin is the perfect medium to grow seeds, especially those difficult to start seedlings. Gelatin is made from animal bone and therefore has high level of nitrogen and other minerals. Add to that the sugar from the gelatin mix and water and you have a perfect place to grow those little seeds
You will need:Seeds Gelatin mix (like jello) Water Sterilized containers such as baby food jars or small yogurt containers Sheet of clear plastic or piece of glass Powdered cinnamon
Prepare your gelatin per package instructions. Pour at least 2 inches of liquid gelatin into sterilized containers such as recycled baby food jars or small yogurt containers.
Once the gelatin mix has cooled, push at least 3 seeds in each gelatin filled container.
Place your containers in a warm, sunny spot and cover with clear plastic or glass.
Be mindful of mold forming BUT DON"T DISCARD YOUR SEEDLINGS! Just dust with a little powdered cinnamon to keep the mold in check.
Once your seedlings have sprouted and are about an inch or two tall, remove the gelatin and seedlings and transplant them (in the gelatin) into the seed starting mix that is described above. The gelatin will continue to "feed" your seeds as they grow and you have less risk of injuring your new seedlings.
Tips from Granny:
-Once your seedlings begin to grow and have at least two leaves, thin your seedlings down to one strong, healthy plant.
-Include your children when starting seeds in gelatin. You'll have a wonderful opportunity to introduce them to the science of growing things and they will have a good time with you. (You might want to make some extra jello for snacking too!)