7 ways to germinate seeds without soil at home

Often we want to plant seeds and realize that we don’t have a substrate at home or can’t get it in the short term. There are other methods to germinate seeds without soil which we will discover in today’s article.

germinate seeds without soil



Place several towels on a tray and wet them well, removing excess water by tilting the container a little. If you can get one with a clear lid, that would be great for retaining moisture and letting in light. However, we can use any container we have on hand.

Then we will sprinkle the seeds on the tray or we can place them one by one with some space between them. If you want to sow larger seeds like chickpeas or beans, you have to soak them the day before.

We will place the container in a warm place where light will reach it, checking it daily to make sure it is still moist until the seeds start to germinate. When they already have the first leaves and roots, we transplant them into a substrate.

This method will work for several common seeds, however, we need to check if the seed needs darkness or more light to germinate before starting the process.

germinate seeds on napkins

paper pulp

Another option is to make a substrate with recycled materials that have no ink (ideally) like cardboard or paper. For example, toilet paper tubes or cardboard boxes. We will cut the paper and cardboard into strips and small pieces, immerse them in hot water. We let them soak for a while and then we use it as in the superior method as a substrate to replace the towel.

germinate seeds on paper or cardboard

Germinate seeds in sponges

It is an ideal material because it maintains humidity well, you can make small holes and introduce the seed. Always maintain humidity. If we use natural sponges, it’s much better for the seeds and the planet and still without using them.

Fdit Suilless - Hydroponic sponges for growing...

Fdit Suilless – Hydroponic sponges for growing…

  • ★ The system produces high quality and high yield vegetables, melons or berries, etc.
  • ★ Adopt a dirt-free, clean and hygienic culture while saving space
  • ★ Can be widely used in greenhouse cultivation, vegetable planting base
  • ★Designed for fast gardening and maximum comfort
  • ★ Comes with 50 sponges per bag. Available in 3 sizes

Germinate seeds in cotton

We all planted cotton in school because it was one of the typical tasks we did in biology class. In many places they plant the cotton tree, the seeds of which are wrapped in it. If you have this possibility, you can opt for a more ecological way of making your substrate by taking its cotton flowers. We will place it in a container and moisten it.

germinate cotton seeds

Germinate the seeds in the composter

This method is for seeds that are struggling to germinate, putting them in the compost bin or vermicomposter’s substrate makes them germinate, just check it daily as it’s a dark place and it will grow longer than normal when it grows, which would weaken the plant.

When they begin to take root, we transplant them to the desired place. An example is the mango or avocado pipe. If you have a balcony or a terrace, you can have a composter or vermicomposter made yourself.


Sawdust or wood shavings are a typical substrate that is often sold for pet bedding in pet stores. If we soak it, we can use it as a substrate to germinate our seeds without soil at home.

Sprout in a jar

sprout in jars

If you like consuming sprouts, you can use one of the methods above or simply put them in a jar:

  • Two tablespoons of seeds such as: broccoli, cabbage, lentils, mustard, radish…
  • 3 cm of water to cover them and leave to stand for about 6 hours.
  • The ideal is to do it in the morning and we will remove the water in the evening, leaving the jar with the seeds on the kitchen counter with the lid removed so that air can enter.
  • The next morning, we fill the container with water, wait a few minutes, then remove it using a colander.
  • It is important that the pot is in a cool, dry place without direct sunlight.
  • We will repeat rinsing with water 2 times a day for 4 days. Remember not to cover the pot to avoid fungal problems.
  • After this time, the shoots will have grown a few centimeters.
  • Finally, we put the pot on a windowsill without direct sunlight, so the first green leaves will come out and we can eat them.

2 sprouter glass |  Complete set for growing sprouts...

2 sprouter glass | Complete set for growing sprouts…

  • 【EASY & HEALTHY GERMINATION AT HOME】 Wouldn’t you love to eat your own freshly grown sprouts? Just add seeds and water and you’ll have everything you need to grow nutritious sprouts in a week! By using our sprouter, you can grow sprouts all year round in the comfort and convenience of your own home. Just 5 minutes a day and you have a healthy superfood at home!
  • 【COMPLETE GERMINATION KIT】With our complete kit, you don’t need any other equipment. This is the perfect option for people new to the world of germs! Our complete set includes two 304 stainless steel mesh lids and holders, two 750ml regular mouth glass jars, two trays and a sprouting manual. The kit is easy to clean and dishwasher safe!
  • 【GROW ANY SEEDS, VEGETABLES OR NUTS】 Our germination pot is designed to sprout a wide variety of sprouts. Grow your own alfalfa, broccoli, mung beans, mustard, lentils, peanuts, quinoa, chickpeas, green peas and more. Your cat will love freshly grown wheatgrass! Enjoy fresh organic sprouts in your salads, sandwiches, stir-fries, wraps and soups.
  • 【WATCH YOUR GERMS GROWING】Growing sprouts is like having a little garden in your kitchen where the most nutritious vegetables grow. It’s a fun and convenient way to have fresh sprouts on the table every week! The germination pot fits perfectly on your kitchen counter and is a pleasure to look at.
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Germinate seeds without soil at home

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