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Natural Warmbed for seed germination in Winter

Updated: Jan 6, 2023

Sprouting seeds in winter is a major challenge for a lot of gardeners, even for the experienced ones. Too cold temperatures keep the plant in dormant stage and as a result may remain dormant until the temperature of the soil rises again. In some cases seeds tend to rot after long exposure in moisture and cold. Hence at Himalchuli we have derived a natural method to help germinate the seeds in winter. Lets call it Natural Warmbed.

Materials required:

  • Cocopeat (Optional)

  • Animal Manure

  • Leaf or newspaper roll

  • Stapler or wooden splinters

  • A piece of plastic (Glass preferred)

  • Stones or Bricks (Few)

  • Spade or shovel

Step 1: Prepare the pit

Take a shovel or spade and dig a rectangular or circular pit. The dimension of pit depends on how much seeds you have to sow. More seed means more space. The depth can be around 1 foot.

Step 2: Layering of decomposing materials

Grab some decomposing materials from your compost or from around your field. Fully decomposed materials are not preferred as they do not produce heat. However partially decomposed or decomposing matters undergo exothermic process (heat is released) and will contribute to some degree of temperature rise.

Step 3: Prepare the pot

Although people do use plastic and trays, we found an easy and natural way to prepare our pots. We created pots from leaf (Shorea Robusta) abundant around our site. Staplers may be used- but if you want to go even more primitive, you can just use any wooden splinter. Newspaper or other paper pots are also advisable as they can be directly transplanted in to the soil after germination.

Step 4: Prepare the potting mix

For potting mix, we used one third coco peat (Optional), one third animal manure and one third soil. The cocopeat holds moisture and is good for seeds as they get adequate moisture, the manure gives a boost for initial growth and soil provides structure.

Step 5: Sowing the seed

After your pot and potting mixture is ready just place the seed on the top and press the seed gently with your thumb and cover the seed. If you are not sure about the seed's orientation just place it horizontally so you don't confuse with what is root and what grows up as shoot.

Step 6: Place the pots inside the bed

After all your pots are ready, place them inside the bed. Because the pots dont have firm base, place them on support of each other over the bed that you just prepared. If you want to mulch the top, you may do so. However, you need to remove the mulch once you see the seeds sprouting. Cover and seal the top properly with a piece of transparent glass or multiple use plastic.

And there you go, your Natural Warmbed is ready. The sealed glass or plastic will act as a mini green house when its sunny during the day and save the plant from extreme temperature flutcuations during the night. The decomposing warm bed will also keep the seeds warm during the night. We will update the progress later in the comment.

Do you guys have any other natural ideas to help seed germination in winter? Why don't you share them with us. Please subscribe to our page for future updates and interesting blogs.

Field work:

Rashmi Pandit, Rita Gharti, Dhruba Adhikari

Himalchuli Nature Farmstay

Madi Municipality-6, Chitwan, Nepal

Copyright 2023 AD.

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