There are reasons seeds planted may not germinate, not to talk about growing.
There are factors that are responsible for that, and here are the top causes of poor seed germination.
1. The seed is too old
Yes, seeds also have a best-before date. The older seeds get, the weaker their ability to germinate, according to farm pally.
This overview shows you how long it take for seeds to germinate on average.
1 year: onion, chives, garlic, parsnips
2 years: carrots
3 years: celery, fennel, spinach
4 years: radishes, peas, beans, radish, lamb’s lettuce
5 years: tomatoes, cabbage, pumpkin, cucumber
So if your seed isn’t germinating, it could be because it’s just too old, and not viable again. Viability is a key factor in germination, Chaktty said.
Take a look at the packaging, there should be a best-before date.
You can also do a simple test to see if your seeds are still viable: take a piece of damp kitchen paper, spread a few seeds on it and roll it up.
Then you put the rolled up paper in a small plastic foil bag in which you have previously pierced small holes.
Keep at room temperature and see if seedlings form within the time allotted.
If more than half of the seeds have germinated, the seed is still usable.
If there are fewer seedlings, you should discard it and get new ones.
2. The seed was stored incorrectly
If the seeds were stored incorrectly during the winter months, problems with germination can also occur at the beginning of the planting season.
To prevent this, you should always store seeds in a cool place and protected from light.
Make sure there is good air circulation and pack your seeds so that they are air-permeable to prevent mold growth.
Paper bags are ideal, but plastic bags are a no-go. If your seeds are really 100% dry, you can store them in a screw-top jar, Farmpally advised.
3. It’s still too cold
Not infrequently, low soil temperatures are to blame for seeds not germinating.
To be on the safe side, you should therefore wait a little longer than stated on the packaging of your seed before sowing outdoors.
If the soil is then already significantly warmer, germination is often even faster than expected.
Another advantage: At higher temperatures, the tender seedlings are not overgrown by weeds as quickly as at lower temperatures.
4. The wrong substrate
Sometimes it is also due to the wrong substrate if no seedlings simply want to show up.
Basically, this should be loose and finely crumbly with a rather low nutrient content in order to allow seeds to germinate optimally.
In addition to coconut swelling tabs and special growing soil, you can also use soil that you have made yourself.
This should consist of one part each of sieved garden soil, sieved compost and sand.
Heavy soil with a high proportion of clay is definitely not suitable, because young seedlings find it very difficult to penetrate it.
5. The wrong sowing
A lot can go wrong when sowing, especially with seed tapes and seed discs made of cellulose.
Although these sowing aids are intended to simplify sowing, there are a few important points to consider.
Tapes and discs should be thoroughly moistened after they have been laid out.
Only then can you cover them with soil. This must be pressed down well for optimal contact with the seeds and also well moistened.
If, on the other hand, you only lay the soil loosely over the seed discs and ribbons, the tender first roots will not find a hold.
6. Too little water
Lack of water is one of the most common causes of non-germinating seeds, according to Farmpally magazine.
Especially after sowing and in the germination phase, you should make sure to keep the seedbed well moistened so that the seeds can swell and sprout.
In this phase, too little water will inevitably lead to the death of the tender seedlings.
7. The wrong sowing depth
Basically, seed can be divided into light germination and dark germination.
While some need light to germinate, others only germinate in the dark.
Small seeds should only be sown flat and barely covered with soil so that the seedling can make its way to the surface.
Larger seeds, on the other hand, need to be buried deeper. You should keep that in mind as a basic rule.
You can use this as a guide if you do not have any information on the correct sowing depth from the manufacturer.