5 Reasons why seeds do not germinate

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With a few exceptions such as potatoes, shallots and asparagus, most vegetable and almost all summer flower species are grown from seeds. Sometimes, however, it can happen that the seeds are either not or only very sparsely accumulated - and most hobby gardeners wonder why that could be. Here are the five most common reasons.

1. Incorrect storage of seeds

Especially the self-harvested seeds are occasionally stored incorrectly. Always store seed packets in a dark place in moderate humidity and cool temperatures between zero and a maximum of ten degrees Celsius. Important is an airy packaging such as a paper bag. Foil bags are not good, because if the seed is not completely dry, it starts to mold easily. Well-dried, larger seeds can also be stored in glasses with screw cap. You should also keep the opened sachets of purchased seeds in a glass with a screw cap or a lockable plastic container.

2. Expiry date exceeded

Pay attention to the expiry date on the packaging, because in most vegetables, the germination after just a few years after: seeds of garlic, parsnips, chives and onion, for example, only germinable for about a year, carrots up to two years, fennel, Spinach and celery up to three, beans, peas, corn salad, radish and radish up to four years. Even after five years, the seeds of cucumbers, cabbages, squash and tomatoes can still accumulate.
To check if your seeds are still viable, you can take a germ sample: Place about 20 seeds on damp kitchen paper, roll it up and put it in a foil bag with holes. Store at room temperature and after the specified germination period, see how many seeds have germinated. If it is more than half, you can still use the seed, with less than a third you should dispose of it and buy new one.

3. Unsuitable substrate and wrong sowing depth

Indispensable for successful germination is a good substrate. Deeply loosened and fine crumbly soil with a low nutrient content is best suited - the less the young seedlings are "spoiled" with nutrients, the stronger the root system develops. You can also make seeding soil yourself: A mixture of one-third of finely sieved compost, one-third of sand and one-third of sieved garden soil is ideal. Very heavy, loamy soil with low humus content is also not suitable for sowing outdoors, since the young seedlings can hardly penetrate it. It must first be well loosened and improved with plenty of humus.

Rake earth

Fine crumbly and loose soil is best for sowing

The right sowing depth also plays a major role in successful germination. The rule of thumb is that the finer the seed, the flatter it must be sown. If, for example, the dusty carrot seeds come several centimeters deep into the soil, the reserve substances stored in the seeds are usually insufficient for the germ to fight to the surface. Conversely, very flat seeded larger seeds land for the most part in the stomachs of pigeons and crows.

4. Wrong temperature and dryness

If seeds accumulate with a great deal of delay or only sporadically sprout, this may be due to the soil being too cold. Depending on the type of vegetables or flowers, it is better to wait one to two weeks longer for sowing outdoors in spring. Often the young plants sown in the warmer soil overtake the supposed early starters even to growth. For example, carrots germinate at around four degrees Celsius, but the optimum germination temperature for rapid emergence is 18 to 22 degrees Celsius. The early sown specimens are often easily overgrown by weeds because it grows better at low temperatures.
One of the most common seed killers is lack of water: if the seedbed is not kept evenly moist, the seeds will not swell and will not drain as a result. What often leads only to a delayed germination, in the worst case, can even destroy the entire breeding. Namely, the seeds are particularly sensitive during the germination phase: if they have already expelled and then can not grow due to lack of water, they inevitably die.

5. Misused sowing aids

So-called seed bands and seed discs are very popular, especially in plants with fine seeds, because the seeds are already embedded in the pulp with the ideal planting distance.

Water the seed tape

A seed band must be thoroughly moistened with soil before covering

However, mistakes are often made in the application: It is very important to thoroughly moisten the seed discs and bands once they have been laid out before covering them with soil. The cover layer of soil must be pressed well and then also thoroughly watered - only then all seeds have a good earth contact and germinate reliably. If one does not proceed as described, some seeds hang underground literally in the air and their rootlets find no support.

Video Board: Common Reasons Your Seeds Are Not Germinating.

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