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Strange problem with direct sown seed germination

Posted by a_name CA (My Page) on
Sat, Oct 30, 10 at 21:28

Hi everyone

I am new here and have a strange problem with some of my seeds germinating. I've looked high and low for an answer but found absolutely no info on what is going on. I'm hoping someone here can help me.

I have a small but efficient vegetable garden. 7 raised beds, all 3' x 6' filled with loamy humus rich soil. Generally I direct sow my carrots, beets, turnips, radishes and all other root veggies and transplant my kale, broccoli, squash, tomatoes, peppers, lettuce, spinach, onions, etc that were either started in local nurseries or started by me in flats in a cold frame or inside under lights. This year, I decided to direct sow some of my "transplant" plants (peppers, onions, spinach). All the seeds germinated at the appropriate times for their species, but then some of them all of the sudden stopped growing right before they got their first true leaves. They then stayed in that state for months. They didn't die, they didn't grow, they just stayed in a state of stasis. Just tiny little sprouts everywhere for months. It was like they had transplant shock. Some of the onions ended up growing after a month or so, but no luck with spinach or peppers. They were just stuck. I pulled the pepper sprouts out of the soil today (I planted them in May!) and root growth looked good, just like it should for sprouts! No underground pests that I could see with my naked eye.

I live on the coast of the Pacific Northwest in northern California (Humboldt county). I planted these seeds at the appropriate time for each plant (proper light requirements, soil temp).

My question is has anyone even heard of this? And if so, what is going on?

Thank you

Follow-Up Postings:

RE: Strange problem with direct sown seed germination

I have lived in this northern California area for almost 80 years and do not remember a summer with less heat. I don't think you did anything wrong. Al

RE: Strange problem with direct sown seed germination

Thanks Al

You are right, this was a terrible growing season... I guess I have next year to test this out. Would the bad growing season affect direct sown seeds vs. the ones I started in a cold frame that much? Because although the peppers/spinach didn't grow, my tomatoes (started in the cold frame) produced this season.

I don't know enough about direct sowing seeds (not enough experience!) so any information is welcome! Thanks!

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