Kitchen Paper Sandwiches: We have read about this method of seed germination. The method (with some variations) is used by a number of native plant propagators. We have been using this system, with great success, for some time (starting November 2001). We cut strips of kitchen paper 10 cm by 6 cm (4 in by 2 in). The strips are moistened and seeds (usually between 6 to 8) are placed on the strip. The strip is then folded in half so a sandwich is formed with the seeds as the filling. The sandwich is placed in a margarine container and other sandwiches are stacked on top. About six sandwiches are placed in each container. A plastic plant label is placed in each container so that we know the contents of each sandwich. The top is placed on the container, which is left in a warm place. We use our shed.
This method has proved to work well with Acacias, Banksias, Hakeas, Isopogons and various native peas. Seeds with hard coats are soaked in boiling water, for a few hours, before sowing. When the roots are one to two cm long they are potted on into 38 mm thumb pots, filled with reasonable quality potting mix. Once the seedlings are established we pot them on into native tubes. Sometimes the germinated seeds are awkward to handle. We use a pair of forceps to hold the seed in position as the potting mix is poured around it.
Germination may be rather speedy. Some Kennedia (a native pea) produced 2 cm long roots in four days.
Striking a balance with the sandwich moisture level is the only problem. Too dry and the seeds will not germinate and too wet and they will rot. We find that having the paper just moist to the touch is satisfactory.
It is very pleasing to be able to see exactly what is happening to your seeds.