How to make your own plant growing gel

Written by edriaan koening
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How to make your own plant growing gel
Cornstarch gel protects seeds while they germinate. (Artlite/iStock/Getty Images)

If you face difficulties handling small, pre-germinated seeds, suspend them in gel to make them easier to work with. This method becomes especially important if you have a short supply of seeds or if the seeds are expensive. Gel also helps you create uniform spacing. Garden centres sell seed tapes made of a thin biodegradable paper for this function, but you can make your own gel at home using common kitchen ingredients.

Skill level:
Moderate

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Things you need

  • 1 tbsp cornstarch
  • 1 cup cold water
  • Paper towel

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Instructions

  1. 1

    Mix 1 tbsp of cornstarch and 1 cup of cold water in a pan. This ratio ensures that the gel consistency will be thick enough to suspend the seeds.

  2. 2

    Cook the mixture over medium heat, stirring constantly to prevent lumps from forming. When the mixture boils and appears translucent, turn off the heat and let it cool to room temperature.

  3. 3

    Transfer the gel into a small plastic bag and push it to one corner of the bag. Remove as much air as you can from the plastic bag and seal it.

  4. 4

    Cut off the corner of the plastic bag where the gel gathers. The hole should be slightly larger than the type of seeds you want to plant.

  5. 5

    Tear off 1.5 metres of paper towels, leaving the sections attached. Fold the paper towels at the perforations and cut them into long 1.25 cm strips.

  6. 6

    Dab the gel on the paper towel and place one seed in the glob of gel. Check the proper planting distance for the particular type of seed and leave that amount of space between each lump of gel and seed. Wait until the gel dries and attaches itself to the paper towel.

  7. 7

    Dig a row in the soil for the seeds. Lay the paper towel along the row and cover it with soil. The gel will provide moisture for the seeds as they establish themselves in the soil.

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