Wow, lots to read there Applestar - thanks. I think I'm still OK with starting my indoor seed either in soil blocks and v. small pots - or on damp paper-type material if I want to observe germination. But paper towel is not ideal because the rootlets get embedded. It looks as if I should try coffee filters, paper napkins, regular copy paper instead.
I'm too much of a laissez-faire gardener to watch/fuss/look over seed starts more than once a day - maximum! The spoonzip method looks very good & well organised but I don't think I'd enjoy it
. An added disincentive is that I'm trying hard to minimize my use of plastic, which is ideal for spoonzipping. Must admit I'm having trouble finding a good "natural" material for labels though. I re-use as much as I can.
For space saving I start seed in soil blocks, halved toilet-tube centres, coin wrappers etc - anything I can plant directly without disturbing the roots. My strategy is to seed at least one more 'block' than I want to grow out, with 2 or more seeds; to be thinned to the strongest one. For example if I intend to grow 2 Ailsa Craig tomato plants I will put 2 seeds in each of 3 soil blocks. If they all germinate I snip the weaker seedling in each block and discard (or not
) whichever of the 3 blocks finishes up having the weakest young plant.