Make your own plant growing gel

I never thought of a plant growing gel, It keeps seeds that really need a mosit soil moist until they sprout. Great for arid and windy ideas. I guess carrots really benefit from this. I will try it this spring

I also make my own seed tapes with toilet paper and glue.

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Comments

  • shllnzl
    shllnzl Posts: 1,820 ✭✭✭✭✭

    Interesting, yet simple idea.

  • Monek Marie
    Monek Marie Posts: 3,537 ✭✭✭✭✭

    I'll be using this soon on a variety of seeds and will post results. My one friend uses it on carrots to get a more consistent result in carrot size and to cut down on watering

  • tomandcara
    tomandcara Posts: 712 ✭✭✭✭

    @Denisha Cole Very simple. Let us know how it works when you try it in the spring. What type of glue do you use for your seed tape? How long have you done that and how well does it work?

  • Monek Marie
    Monek Marie Posts: 3,537 ✭✭✭✭✭

    I use elmers but if a glue does not agree with you (Its seems harmless but..., you use a flour paste mix. Toilet paper breaks down very fast. Tissue paper will also work, paper towels are too thick.

    I have made my own seed tapes for over 10 years. I use them for those really small seeds to get a decent spacing.

    I have taught this method to school children, master gardeners and in gardening classes.

  • frogvalley
    frogvalley Posts: 675 ✭✭✭✭

    Very interesting. I had never heard of "plant gel" or thought of it. I wish this article told how to use it. Guess I've got more snow day activities now. Thank you for sharing.

  • Monek Marie
    Monek Marie Posts: 3,537 ✭✭✭✭✭
    edited December 2020

    @frogvalley Make your gel and let it cool. You want it spreadable but not hot or warm to affect the seeds. You lay the seeds you selected in a row on the ground where you plan to plant them, space them out like you normally would. Have the sold lightly damp.

    Once the gel is the proper temperature (cool) use a bag filled with the gel, with one corner cut off to make a small area where the gel can come out (like a dough bag or frosting bag) I like it like a pencil size coming out. That gel will cover the seeds and give them moisture. cover the seeds, lightly press and mist. The next day you can lightly water or mist, more to get the soil and seeds settled in place.

    Normally with carrots you have to water numerous times a day to keep the soil damp and the seeds moist. This methos will cut back on watering but keep seeds moist so they will spout faster and more evenly. It works well with beet seeds too.

    I use it with any seed I feel should have a more even moisture rate.

    I saw photos once. I'll see if I can find them again

  • frogvalley
    frogvalley Posts: 675 ✭✭✭✭

    Thank you @Denise Grant . What a wonderful instruction you have given for me.

    How long does the gel last? Just a few days to get the seed started?

    Why make seed tape? Does this gel have anything to do with the tape?

    Sorry for all the questions. It's very interesting.

  • Monek Marie
    Monek Marie Posts: 3,537 ✭✭✭✭✭

    @frogvalley The mixed gel that you make needs to be used up when you make it. Once you use the gel on the seed and cover it with soil it seems to last about the same amount of time it takes for the seed it come up nicely.

    I use regualr seed tape, made from toilet paper for small seeds so they don't get bunched up as bad, like small onion seeds and lettuce. I haven't noticed they need a gel to get started but they might do better that way. I might have to experiment this spring

  • Lisa K
    Lisa K Posts: 1,917 ✭✭✭✭✭

    @Denise Grant great ideas (the gel & homemade tape)!

  • seeker.nancy - Central Texas
    seeker.nancy - Central Texas Posts: 795 ✭✭✭✭

    Great ideas @Denise Grant ! I've read them before but then promptly forgot. Maybe I'll get a tattoo?

  • water2world
    water2world Posts: 1,162 ✭✭✭✭

    @Denise Grant How interesting! Will have to try this!!

    Thanks @frogvalley for asking questions. Now I understand it better with @Denise Gran answers.

    Thank you both!

  • annbeck62
    annbeck62 Posts: 1,024 ✭✭✭✭

    Great ideas. I'm going to try this.

  • ltwickey
    ltwickey Posts: 369 ✭✭✭

    I have used honey previously as a propagation tool for clippings from plants to get them to root, but not for seeds. Will try the "gel"!

    Thank you.

  • Monek Marie
    Monek Marie Posts: 3,537 ✭✭✭✭✭

    I have used honey for propagation too. it works well

  • Granny Marie
    Granny Marie Posts: 53 ✭✭✭

    I wonder how it works in clay? I can see it being good if the weather is dry but what about if there is a quite a bit of rain?

  • Monek Marie
    Monek Marie Posts: 3,537 ✭✭✭✭✭

    Good question. I live in a clay and rock soil area. I try to improve the soil as fast as I can, especially for carrots but I have not seem a difference in how it works

  • LaurieLovesLearning
    LaurieLovesLearning Posts: 7,519 admin
    edited January 2021

    I did try this with carrots this past spring. I was not a fan.

    Too many seeds came out at once or in the case of using a flexible old tyme mustard/ketchup bottle, clogged it horribly.

    I really liked the idea, but want better spacing on my carrot seeds and no clogging.

    Perhaps putting either the gel or seeds down first might work better.

  • Monek Marie
    Monek Marie Posts: 3,537 ✭✭✭✭✭

    @LaurieLovesLearning

    I saw a video on it so could not really tell how it worked. But I have made seed tapes and have great success with that. I wonder if you combine ther spaced seed tape with gel on top it that would work better?

  • SuperC
    SuperC Posts: 951 ✭✭✭✭

    @Denise Grant Could one use arrowroot instead of cornstarch?

  • Monek Marie
    Monek Marie Posts: 3,537 ✭✭✭✭✭

    great question @teachercaryn I will have to look that up

  • Monek Marie
    Monek Marie Posts: 3,537 ✭✭✭✭✭

    @teachercaryn I know what arrowroot is but I am not that familiar with it. Where would I get some?

    I am going to try using ther seed tape and gel together for better spacing. If I find arrowroot I will do both

  • Acequiamadre
    Acequiamadre Posts: 269 ✭✭✭

    This seems interesting. Keeping the soil moist in the dessert is an issue for carrots and parsnips.

  • Monek Marie
    Monek Marie Posts: 3,537 ✭✭✭✭✭

    @Acequiamadre I never thought of parsnips. I will try those too

  • RustBeltCowgirl
    RustBeltCowgirl Posts: 1,403 ✭✭✭✭✭
    edited January 2021

    @Denise Grant You should be able to find arrowroot at the grocery store. Probably near the corn starch: as both are used for thickening.

    Or if you don't want to go out, Amazon carries it.

  • Monek Marie
    Monek Marie Posts: 3,537 ✭✭✭✭✭

    @LaurieLovesLearning

    I have a really great health food store in the next town. I bet they have it and would would rather support local businesses.

  • marjstratton
    marjstratton Posts: 1,132 ✭✭✭✭

    I will have to try the arrowroot to make a gel for my carrots. I heard about using cornstarch for starting and planting carrot seeds in a row and having them getting them properly spaced and not too thick. Haven't tried it yet though.

  • SuperC
    SuperC Posts: 951 ✭✭✭✭

    @Denise Grant mountainroseherbs.com for an online buying source. Enjoy with 💕 love

  • Monek Marie
    Monek Marie Posts: 3,537 ✭✭✭✭✭

    @SuperC I love mountainroseherbs. My bank account does not, but I don't listen to its advice anyways.

  • AdrienneHew
    AdrienneHew Posts: 94 ✭✭✭

    This kinda sounds like the principle of seed bombs. I'm gonna try it because I'm in such a windy and dry area. Can use all the help I can get.