Seeds don\'t germinate

San Diego, CA

I live in San Diego, CA. I want to grow; herbs and partial sun flowering plants, on my north facing balcony, which get 4 or 5 hours of sun a day.

To give you some idea of the conditions a put some potted Snapdragons on my balcony and they are thieving, and blooming like mad.

But I want to grow plants from seeds. I believe it would be easier than driving to a nursery, trying to decide on what to buy, then hawling my purchases home in the back seat of my car!

I'm sure it would be cheaper as well, and far more satifying! I also believe plants grown from seed are hartier, when grow in a "normal envirenmnet". It must be a shock to be taken from an ideal, pampered, envirenment and transplanted ito a more challenging envirenment.

So I bought a seed growing kit, and a half dozen packets of "partial shade" seeds from ACE Hardware. I put seeds into each of the 36 pellits, added water, covered them with the plastic lid and waited.

After about a week 6 seed pellits germinated. I waited another week but nothing else germinated. I repeated this process 3 times and each time I got the same results. Plus, very few of the the seeds that did germiate thrived after I put the pellits into pots with fresh soil from the nursery.

Each time I replanted the kit I put planted 6 Nasturtium seeds, one seed in each pellit. Sometimes none germinated, this last time 1 germinated!

Based on this I'm suprised by the plantlife I see all around me!

But I must be doing something wrong or there is something wrong with the seeds.

Do seeds actually expire, or get damaged in storage?

I just ordered some new seeds from Amazon. I'll see what happens when I plant them.

Groves, TX

Seeds can go bad, but it's unlikely in your case, since you just got them from the store. For instance my nasturtium seed was dated to 2015 and still geminated quickly.

Might be a temperature problem. Generally, soil needs to be moist and warm with indirect sunlight. My nasturtiums germinated in about 10 days. 6 weeks to germ is way too long for most garden plants.

Did your pellets stay moist?
Where were you keeping your seedling tray?

This message was edited Apr 29, 2017 3:28 PM

San Diego, CA

Thanks for your response,

I just checked the date on the nasturtium packet and it has this year's date.

I have kept the pellets moist and kept them covered with the lid.

They are on the balcony, beside the snapdragons. They get morning sun but at noon the direct sun gets blocked as it passes over the condo to the south.

In the afternoon this spot is shaded.

Our temperature drops into the high 60's at night but is mostly in the high 70's to 80's during the day.

Thumbnail by rankNovice
Bridgeton, NJ

Those pellets can be kept too wet also, causing seeds to rot. Nasturtium seeds are big and should be pushed into the soil somewhat so they stay damp all over.

San Diego, CA

Quote from gzeiger :
Those pellets can be kept too wet also, causing seeds to rot. Nasturtium seeds are big and should be pushed into the soil somewhat so they stay damp all over.

Ok, thanks, I'll keep that in mind.

When I get a potted plant that is root bound, with roots wrapped all around the ball should I trim them away or leave them?

Short Hills, NJ

Should also try to soak the seeds in water for 24 hours before planting them. I have not tried this yet, but read from a lot of gardeners this helps with germination. Also, old farmers used to put a bunch of seed in a cup of water. The ones that sink to the bottom are good. The ones that float are no good. Good luck.

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