How I get my seeds to sprout

How I get my seeds to sprout:

   Tomato seeds are probably one of the easiest to get to sprout. I spread out several dozen seeds in a Styrofoam tray. (The kind you save from carry out foods. They clean up well and can be reused for years to come. I use a good quality seed sprouting soil that will hold moisture well and it has no large pieces of material to get in the way of tiny plant's growth. The sprouting medium must be moist but not soggy. Spread about 1 inch of soil over the bottom of the tray. Sprinkle seeds trying not to crowd them but to spread evenly. Add about 1/4 to 1/2 inch of moist soil over the seeds and place in a warm place. They do not need the warmth that many seeds require to sprout. The tomatoes can be potted up into small 1 inch cups when they have 2 true leaves. That just means the one set of two baby leaves and then two more in the regular tomato leaf. For more information on tomatoes, read the article following on tomato success. 

   Since the small seeds are like dust, it is most important to have the sprouting medium moist. Sprinkle the tiny seeds evenly over the space of the tray. If you were to pour water over the soil or even to spray with water, the seeds would be taken too deep into the soil and would not be able to sprout. Do not cover with any soil. When I need to sprout tiny and seeds such as Stevia that must have 80 to 85 degree temps to sprout, I place the tray of seeds in soil into a heating box. I cannot buy anything fancy because my needs are few and simple so I find my own way to keep them warm. I have a heating pad so I take a box with a tight fitting lid and lay the heating pad on the bottom of the box, place a towel over it and then I place my little seed trays on top. The space is large enough to hold 4 to 6 trays depending on their sizes and that is plenty as they usually sprout quickly.  I keep the temp set on high otherwise, they never get warm enough. 

   I love to save the seeds from the morning glories but having so many, I cannot afford the cups and potting soil to start them really early. I found my storage cup full of seeds floating in the wheelbarrow after a recent rain so, I have put them onto a paper towel and set it into a plastic colander over a bowl to catch water. I cover the seeds with another paper towel and keep moist for several days. Some instructions say to chip the seeds but just keeping them moist is a much easier method with much better results. They are ready now and it's only been three days but they are lifting the top cover and trying to leave their bowl. I fear putting them out before the last freeze as they seem to grow very slowly when small. At their prime, they are 20 to 25 feet into the tops of the oak trees with blooms all over the place. What a pretty combination.