[Market-farming] Germinating and planting spinach

Shoemaker, William H wshoemak at illinois.edu
Wed Aug 8 16:12:33 EDT 2012

Back in the 80's there was a lot of work done with gel seeding, where seeds were germinated such that the radicle, or root tip, was just emerging from the seed coat. The seeds would be placed in a fluid gel then planted with a gel seeder. I didn't follow the work too closely, but I remember seeing a demo was at a conference. It was promising because it advanced emergence after planting and improved stand rates. But placement was awkward and it never caught on. It might be a good answer to the challenge of planting these germinated seeds. Perhaps it could be done with a pastry bag and a proper sized tip. My wife tells me she uses a heavy-duty zip loc bag in the kitchen instead, which might help with even distribution because you could see the seeds in the bag. She just cuts the right size hole in the corner of the bag.


William H. Shoemaker

University of Illinois, Crop Sciences

St Charles Horticulture Research Center

535 Randall Road, St Charles, IL  60174

630-584-7254, wshoemak at illinois.edu<mailto:wshoemak at illinois.edu>

From: market-farming-bounces at lists.ibiblio.org [market-farming-bounces at lists.ibiblio.org] on behalf of Pam Twin Oaks [pam at twinoaks.org]
Sent: Wednesday, August 08, 2012 2:11 PM
To: Market Farming
Subject: Re: [Market-farming] Germinating and planting spinach

I use the sprouted seed method I learned from Paul and Alison Wiediger. We drain the sprouted seed, then mix in a little dry (non-powdery) foodstuff like oat bran or dry corn grits. It stops the seeds sticking to your fingers. It takes a little while, sure, but it really works, and you save the time you'd spend resowing if you used unsprouted seed!
Pam, Twin Oaks, zone 7

Pam Dawling

Author of Sustainable Market Farming, Intensive Vegetable Production on a Few Acres

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