Pelleted seed fail

ltiltonFebruary 17, 2013

This seems like such a good idea. I've used pelleted carrot seeds without problems. But this year, starting my onions, I got one variety, Candy, in a pelleted version. All the other onions are up and growing well, but the pelleted Candy onions have only a few isolated seedlings.

I'll not try THAT again!

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digdirt2(6b-7a No.Cent. AR HZ8 Sun-35)

I wouldn't give up on them yet. Sometimes it just takes the pelleted seeds longer to germinate because of the coating.

Dave

    Bookmark   February 17, 2013 at 11:45AM
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ltilton

Digdirt - 2 weeks longer?

I planted at the beginning of Feb. The other onions were up in a few days. And a dozen or so pelleted seeds did come up, almost as soon as the others. This isn't satisfactory. I may end up having to buy plants again.

    Bookmark   February 17, 2013 at 2:38PM
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farmerdill

Pelleted seed are susceptible to excessive water partcularly when planting in trays. Have not tried onions, but learned the hard way with pelleted tomato seeds. The coating gets wet, holds water and smothers the sprout. I avoid pelleted seed for indoor planting when possible.

    Bookmark   February 17, 2013 at 2:49PM
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digdirt2(6b-7a No.Cent. AR HZ8 Sun-35)

Dig one up and look at it. Sometimes you'll find much of the coating is still intact. They can be real touchy about sufficient soil contact. If so just wet it well and give it some time.

Obviously if the seed is soft and squash then it rotted and you can figure the odds are the rest did too.

Dave

    Bookmark   February 17, 2013 at 2:50PM
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ltilton

Given that they cost so much more, I'd rather have better performance than worse.

    Bookmark   February 17, 2013 at 4:06PM
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farmerdill

Pelleted seeds are a real advantage, when direct seeding with machine planters.

    Bookmark   February 17, 2013 at 4:34PM
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mandolls(4)

I have been growing a few annuals (Lisianthus, Wave Petunias) that usually come as pelleted seed with no problem. I place them on top of the soil, and then use a mister to spray them good which washes off or at least softens the pellet coating.

    Bookmark   February 17, 2013 at 4:46PM
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planatus(6)

Great advice from famerdill. When getting fall carrots up and growing in hot summer soil, the clay coating is very useful. Not so indoors! Priming the naked seeds in lightly dampened paper towels works better.

    Bookmark   February 18, 2013 at 8:13AM
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Mark(Oregon, Zone 8)

I've planted thousands of pelleted onion seeds just exactly the same way I plant raw seed, in open flats. They grew perfectly fine.

I wouldn't blame the pelleting, blame the seed stock.

    Bookmark   February 18, 2013 at 9:41PM
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barrie2m_

Agree with Madroneb. Consider how you stored the seed as onion seed shelflife is 6-9 mo. at normal temps whether pelleted or not. I've sown pelleted Candy onion seed that I kept frozen for 5 years with very good germination rate. I wouldn't even attempt to hold seed uncooled thru a season.

If the seed was subjest to alternating temps during shipping you might have some damage occuring. I complained many years ago when the UPS delivery truck set an $800 seed delivery in front of a garage door that was not noticed for 2 days. Now that company requests a signiture upon delivery. You might ask that your future onion seeds be sent by express mail if you have experienced problems.

    Bookmark   February 19, 2013 at 9:37AM
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ltilton

These were fresh from Johnny's, 2013 seed, and they came in the same shipment as the unpelleted seed that came up well.

    Bookmark   February 19, 2013 at 1:56PM
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