Growing seeds without soil is possible in today’s world. Modern studies showed that the nutrients and minerals in the soil are necessary for plants and not the soil itself. With a few readily available ingredients and nutrients, cultivating seeds without soil can be done cheaply.

Growing Seeds Without Soil

This article shows a few simple techniques for growing seeds without soil.

How To Start Growing Seeds Without Soil?

To start growing seeds without soil, put them between damp paper towels. Germinate the seeds by putting them on wet organic cotton wool. You can also do it by putting the seeds in water and covering them with a cloth. You’ll need to use fertilizers to feed them afterward.

1. Using Paper Towels

Seeds germinate a lot faster by using this method. Can seeds grow without soil? Yes, common seeds like cress, brassica, and many others can grow successfully when sown on top of a bed of moistened towels. Thoroughly wet the towel with water, and put it in a tray, tub, or other containers after that.

Using Paper Towels to Grow Seeds

The best container for starting seeds is either a tray or a tub. Make sure that your container has a clear lid to maintain moisture. You can also do it with whatever container you have. You can use a variety of containers that you already have around the house.

On the paper’s surface, equally, plant seeds. Most little seeds do not need to be pre-treated. However, more giant seeds like peas should be soaked first. Put the seed container in a warm location with temperatures appropriate for your growing seeds.

This type of seed germination is a lot faster compared to others. Seeds can begin to grow in as little as a few days or even overnight. While certain kinds take longer, the process is much quicker overall. It also eliminates the need to first play with potting soil, thus making it cleaner.

If you do not have a big vegetable garden, you can start seeds indoors using this process. Even if your indoor gardening setup is limited, you can still enjoy abundant seed starting. Germinating seeds in a plastic bag is a fun gardening exercise for preschoolers, toddlers, and school-aged children.

2. Using Wet Cotton Wool

With another fantastic method, you can germinate seeds. Utilize excellent cotton pads for the cotton pad germination process to be effective. Most pharmacies and drug stores carry these. Use only the makeup cotton pad, as other materials, such as towels, toilet paper, or things of a similar kind, won’t work very well.

On a plate, arrange the cotton pads. For every five seeds, you must use two cotton pads. Put the seeds in a dice configuration on the cotton pad, using a maximum of 5 seeds per cotton pad. Wet the cotton pad and seeds – you can spray the seeds lightly with your spray bottle using the fine mist setting.

Using Wet Cotton Wool

Place a second cotton pad on the previous one and a second cotton pad on the seeds and lightly spritz once more. Arrange the pads on a plate, then wrap them in foil. Instead of regular cling film, use microwave foil with tiny holes to cover your plate.

Take the dish and place it in a room that is dark and consistently at 68 degrees Fahrenheit. Let the roots form for a few days. Wait for 2 to 5 days. The newly born seedling is prepared for soil transplantation after the root is around one inch long. Get the ground ready and dig a hole.

3. Using Water

You might wonder, “How to grow seeds in water instead of soil?” You can use the hydroponic method to germinate the seeds without soil. A seedling germinating in water often grows until the seed is completely absorbed. The plant will then require nutrients to keep growing after that.

Growing Seeds Using Water

Typically, soil or water-soluble nutrients are where plants obtain their nutrients. The plant may become ill and eventually perish if it grows in water without nutrition.

The water wakes up the plant, causing it to begin growing. Hence, putting a seed in a cup of water will enhance germination. The seeds are ready to be planted once they “wake up” and their tails grow.

The germination of seeds in water can start growing plants. Just let a cup with room temperature tap water stand for a while. Place the seeds in the cup afterward, and give it 24 to 72 hours. The seeds will develop tails within 24 to 72 hours, indicating they are ready to be planted.

The seed should only be buried up to 1/2 inch below the surface. Put the seed with the growing root pointing downward and carefully cover it with loose soil.

Giving the plant more time to grow stronger before moving can lower the chance of breaking the tiny seedling. You can’t let the plant sit in water for too long since it needs nutrients to keep growing when it emerges from the seed. The sprouting tail is so delicate the root can easily be damaged or broken off. A tiny seed with a grown tail must also be planted delicately.


– What Is an Alternative to the Seed Starting Mix?

An alternative to the seed-starting mix is using your compost from your garden or purchasing some from a store. If you bought a coir block, soak it first in water until it becomes fibrous. Perlite prevents over-moisture, so you can add it or vermiculite to the soil.

– Do Seedlings Benefit From Heat Mats?

Yes, seeds do benefit from heating mats. Certain seeds require more heat to germinate, and heat mats help them. The primary purpose of heat mats is to gently warm the soil, which promotes quicker germination and robust, healthy seedlings that will develop faster.

– Can Seeds Germinate Without Light?

Yes, seeds can germinate without light properly. Seeds thrive best in the shadows. Even though light is necessary for seedling growth, it can slow down germination. Water, oxygen, and temperature are the only necessary conditions for germinating seeds and ensuring most of them develop into strong seedlings.


You can readily germinate seeds without soil with the help of new technology, and there are many ways of doing this specific procedure. Here’s what you should keep in mind:

  • Scatter your seeds over a damp towel and let them germinate in a warm environment.
  • Put the seeds in the water to let them soak for 24 hours. Be aware that they can rot if left in water for too long.
  • Seeds can also germinate by planting them in damp cotton wool.

Many seeds can easily germinate without soil, as alternative methods provide enough nutrients for their growth. By following this guide, you can eliminate all of your queries related to the germination of seeds.

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