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When do you give up on germination?

Posted by mandolls 4 WI (My Page) on
Sun, Apr 3, 11 at 11:49

I have mostly been having great luck germinating my seeds, but I have some that haven't budged. I sowed thyme, tarragon and impatiens 18 days ago. I had one tarragon come up in 8 days and nothing else from those three, except for a couple beautiful mushroom type things. In the same tray Lichnis, Coneflowers and Cleome all came up fairly quickly, 3-9 days.

I dont want to waste the space if these are all just duds, but I dont want to toss them prematurely. Nothing I have read says these need anything different or special to germinate them.

Any suggestions?


Follow-Up Postings:

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RE: When do you give up on germination?

I just googled, "germination Thyme" and the first link I clicked on says "21-28 days to germinate." I don't remember what my experience was growing it, as I haven't in a long time. Did you put more than one seed in each cell? If so, I would wait another couple of days before trashing them. It also says they need 70 degrees to germinate. Are the in a warm enough environment?

I had some seeds that I gave up on, I was trying to grow peppers, and finally gave up after about 6 weeks. I hate wasting time/space under the lights. Anyway, good luck I hope they germinate for you!


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RE: When do you give up on germination?

hmmmmm.....thats a little embarrassing. I hadnt seen that thyme can take that long. I think the fact that one sprouted in 8 days has had me expecting all of the rest to come shooting up. I have been keeping them in the 70 degree range and checking moisture regularly. Apparently Impatiens can be tricky too.

My grow lights are on built-in shelves and I hang a mylar curtain over the the top three at night to hold heat when the lights go off. Bottom shelf stays between 55-60, top shelf 75-85. It gives me fairly good control of temps. Most of the germinating seeds stay some where in the middle.

My peppers all sprouted but one variety took 2 weeks, and they sure are slow growers !


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RE: When do you give up on germination?

Try germinating coffee or banana seeds! You don't count the time in days or even weeks, but in months!

Mike


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RE: When do you give up on germination?

What type of impatiens are you growing? If it's wallarina types, I've found them to be quite easy. They do like it warm however. I would move them to your top shelf and give them another week. They need to sit on top of the soil surface, and kept moist, like with a plastic bag over them. Don't put them under lights yet, as that might cook them, and if you don't have them covered, then they dry out too fast.

I grow mine with a plastic bag over them and on top of a heat radiator, so you know they are quite warm!!


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RE: When do you give up on germination?

The Impatiens are from a big box store, either Ferry Morse or Burpee seed "Blueberry Hybrid". The packet only had about 15 seed in it, so I have tried to be careful with them. They haven't been on the hottest shelf, but they have been around 70 degrees, not directly under the lights, but siting next to them, in a domed tray. I may have planted them to deep, if they are best on top of the soil. I did use the little peat pots for them, but that hasn't been a problem for me in the past. It was only a 1.00 pack of seed, so I can scrap them with out a tear, but its frustrating when almost everything else is growing like crazy.

I am having a very bad germination rate on sugar peas also (3 different kinds) - I have had a few come up , but I think the germination rate is about 20 % at best. I'll try them directly outside when it warms a little

wordwiz - I am definitely not ready for coffee and banana growing! But who knows, maybe I'll work my way up to it in a few years. This is my first year with a decent light set up and real successes (thanks to the members of this forum!)


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RE: When do you give up on germination?

Last year my tomato seeds never germinated. I had them in paper cells I just throw away the entire block in my raised bed. When I can to work my raised bed for planting other stuff I was surprised that all the seeds germinated. So don't give up.


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RE: When do you give up on germination?

Just as a follow up - I re sowed the thyme and tarragon, and didnt cover them with dirt, just pressed them into the soil. The thyme started sprouting in 4 days, I havent seen the tarragon yet, but I have high hopes. (and one impatiens sprouted yesterday!) I am tossing the ones I planted earlier, I must have buried them to deeply.


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RE: When do you give up on germination?

Mandolls - another thought on impatiens. They don't like any fertilizer when sprouting, so if you sow them in potting soil rather than seed starting medium they won't sprout. And yes, those tiny seed don't like to be covered with anything other than a dusting, so burying them would inhibit sprouting. I have a small bag of seed starting mix that I keep DRY and just sprinkle a little over small surface-sown seeds, then mist/spray with water to settle-in the seeds and mix for good contact.


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RE: When do you give up on germination?

Wait until you try to germinate native wildflowers. You don't give up until the grandkids are out of college!


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RE: When do you give up on germination?

I am afraid you will be disappointed with the flavor of what you are growing for Tarragon. French Tarragon can only be grown from cuttings or division as it does not make viable seed. It is perennial and only has to be bought once and will last a lifetime. Mine was bought in a two inch pot over twenty years ago and has been divided and repotted many times. Al


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RE: When do you give up on germination?

I am not sure why I bought the Russian Tarragon seeds. I do have a French tarragon plant growing (if it made it through the winter). None of the Russian has germinated, I guess it isnt that big a loss.

My cucumbers were pushing at the soil in 2 days !! now thats my kind of seed!


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RE: When do you give up on germination?

I have trouble with Impatiens too...and I have a greenhouse. I grow alot of different plants, some difficult, some easy, with most in the middle...but those darnit impatiens give me pause every year!


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RE: When do you give up on germination?

Oddly enough, I sowed some Arugula seeds and they didn't appear to want to sprout. To test them before giving up on them, I sowed 6 (2 to three different cells of a heated seed flat) and in two days 5 out of the 6 sprouted. Two of the seeds from the original flat they were planted in ALSO sprouted in the same time.

Just kinda weird, but cool too.


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RE: When do you give up on germination?

Hmmm, I also have been having slow progress with my Thyme seeds this year. Last year I didn't plant thyme until the middle of summer, and it did very well, so maybe it's a temperature thing. But perhaps I'm also covering them with too much soil, like someone mentioned above. I think I will try again, with just pressing them into the soil like Mandolls described.

I have given up too early on some seeds. Usually, I plant several different types at once, and when the others have sprouted and I still have a few lifeless pots, that's when I "recycle", I plant in new seeds, or empty the pots and put in fresh soil. I have a habit of reusing my soil too (which I've learned is not a good idea, as the soil might not be sterile and could destroy my plants) -- and this has led to some surprise seedlings from the seeds I "gave up" on.

One example: this past winter I planted some quince seeds that I saved from fruit, but they never grew and I assumed I did something wrong; so I forgot about them, and casually left the pot on the sill. But one day there was a sprout! It was kind of like that thing with water, it won't boil if you watch it. I've learned to be a little more patient, and also to have faith that, even when I mess up in gardening, nature will find it's own way. :)


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