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Thread: Nothing will germinate

  1. #1
    Member cfinley's Avatar
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    Nothing will germinate

    This year my seed starting indoors has been a disaster!

    I usually start tomatoes, peppers, squash, melons and cucumbers. In years past I have had no problems but this year, even with the addition of a heat pad it's been dismal.

    The squash, melons, etc. have done okay - not great but passable. But the tomatoes and peppers are crap. Less than half of the tomatoes have sprouted and NONE of the peppers have sprouted. This is from mostly new, commercial seed from Burpee and from Territorial Seed. I planted a little seed I had from last year and it's done about the same.

    Anyone else? Any words of wisdom? I used the same seed starter mis, the same cover-with-glad-wrap until they sprout method I've used in the past. What gives?

    CF

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    I don't know what it is, but my starts have gotten off to a rather dismal start as well. I blame the "late" spring. All of mine is saved seed though. Peppers pout without that heat as I am sure you know. Just refuse to sprout. It might be worth trying a test batch of 10 or so of the different seed varieties and see how your germination rate is if you have the extra seeds. Zip-loc plastic bag, coffee filter or paper towel and put them on top of the fridge. Hardly scientific, but if the germination rates are roughly similar could be a bad batch of seeds. The good news on trying something like this is that about half the time the earlier sowed seeds will germinate in the mean time. Good luck with your starts!

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    Moderator bromeliad's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by bid View Post
    It might be worth trying a test batch of 10 or so of the different seed varieties and see how your germination rate is if you have the extra seeds. Zip-loc plastic bag, coffee filter or paper towel and put them on top of the fridge.
    Yep, a seedling heat mat set at 80 F + seeds placed on a wet paper towel inside of a ziploc bag = germination 3 to 7 days for most peppers and tomatoes; as soon as you see the seeds sprout you can plant them in your prepared seedling trays and return to the heat mat. It might take about 3-5 day more before they break the soil as opposed to potentially 3 weeks if you just plant the dry seeds directly into a soil free potting mix.

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    Member cfinley's Avatar
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    Oh! Good Golly! Three weeks!

    I must have had fantastic luck in my previous two years of seed starting.

    Thanks for the advice, I'll try to pre-germinate.

    CF

  6. #5
    Everything seems slow this year! For some big seeds like squash or pumpkin, try nicking them with a sharp knife or some nail clippers, to make it easier to sprout. For really tough seeds, I soak them in some warm water an hour or so, to soften them up. Some years I have better luck planting seeds directly into the garden, instead of starting them indoors. Also, check the "expiration date" on the seed packets. Sometimes older seeds just won't sprout. Good luck!

  7. #6
    Wow! That is so cool that you are able to grow your own food! I live in a high-rise apartment so I have to buy everything at the store. I bet you are saving a lot of money - produce is so expensive!

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    Member cfinley's Avatar
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    Just noticed a couple of more tomato plants sticking their little heads up so maybe I just need more patience. Those darn peppers, though.

    xpoconcepts, if you have a balcony, you can grow tomatoes in pots. You can grow other things but tomatoes are so much better homegrown - a zucchini, meh, store ones are okay. Same with a cucumber. But a homegrown TOMATO! Them are some good eats!

    Try it, you'll like it.

    CF

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    It looks like all of my tomatoes but one have finally sprouted.

    Still nothing from the peppers - grrrr!

    CF

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    *** SuperShopper *** jamie9100's Avatar
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    i have the worst luck transitioning plants that I have started indoors to the outside. I just attempt to start everything outside to avoid the ultimate disappointment that comes when I fail to transplant them.

  12. #10
    I've actually noticed that when I use the "seed starter", which is very light and dries out quickly, the seedling don't do as well. I just use the potting mix to start seeds, unless I'm doing a large shallow container to "proof" a whole packet and transplant almost immediately after they've sprouted into 6-packs plastic dishes or reused yogurt containers.

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