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Germination Surprise (and questions)

Posted by mayzu Zone 5 (My Page) on
Wed, Mar 24, 10 at 16:33

I'm so excited!!

This is my second time ever growing from seed. After sowing a bunch of seeds on Sunday (some of which were cold-moist stratified), I have some new little seedlings!

Some of them were slightly unexpected. I read that a few of my native perennials would sprout at least a week after being taken out of the fridge. But they've sprouted so quickly! My swamp milkweed and purple prairie clover are mostly sprouted. Common violet is thinking about it, and one little New England aster is poking its head out.

The one that surprised me most was lupine (Russell blend). The packet said germination would take more than 20 days. It took more like TWO!
Have any of you been surprised by super-early, super-late, or just super-odd-circumstance germination?

I've also got lupine in peat pots because I've heard various sources describe its intolerance to transplanting. But, as I've also read around here, the soil in the peat pots is having trouble staying moist. Gaah!

One more thing I'm worried about are my seedling flats. I'm afraid of over-humidifying them and growing mold. The dome gets quite a bit of condensation (to the point that it drips a little when I move it), but the surface of the soil feels dry to the touch. This especially worries me when it comes to surface-sown seeds. Shouldn't I be afraid of drying them out? What should I do?

Thanks for your help!

- Laura

Follow-Up Postings:

RE: Germination Surprise (and questions)

I never use a dome since I am worried about damping off. & yes I am often "surprised" by a unexpected short or long period for germination..... In on case it took over a year.....

RE: Germination Surprise (and questions)

There are so many variables when it comes to germinating seeds. I've had seed that germinated in 2 days (that said it would take 14-21 days!). I've had seed that took 3 weeks or more, and should have germinated in 5-7 days.

If your container is dripping from the bottom, that's good. At least it's draining. I've taken to using bakers' cooling racks under my light setup.

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