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When do you give up on germination?

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When do you give up on germination?

Post  cpl100 on 7/16/2012, 5:17 pm

I planted several squares of my box (not all yet as I am staggering my carrots, beans and beets). I am starting to see some life but am confused. For example, in my beans square, I planted 9 as suggested and have only two sprouts. Does this mean that only two WILL sprout? Should I give it more time or plant more seeds?

No square has sprouted the quantity of seeds I have planted as yet but I don't know how long to give it...the full germination time listed in packet, a few days after that, a week after that?

What do you all do in this situation?

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Re: When do you give up on germination?

Post  camprn on 7/16/2012, 5:23 pm

It often happens that seeds fail for one reason or another. You only sowed seed last week, yes? It could take a few more days yet. It is hard to be patient. Alternatively, you an take any left over seeds like the beans, soak them overnight and get them to germinate and plant any empty spaces with the ones that you sprout. This is why I always plant more than what is called for. and if everything comes up, I can thin the plants to the spacing I want.

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Re: When do you give up on germination?

Post  cpl100 on 7/16/2012, 5:42 pm

Yes, planted last week. And, in preparation for this possibility and after reading someone else's advice on one of my posts, I put seeds in a damp paper towel in a plastic bag tapped to my window prior to leaving for the weekend. Several of my types of seeds have sprouted while gone. Not every seed in every bag (and none of the carrots yet) but enough to do some planting tomorrow. In fact, more seeds sprouted than I actually want of some plants. Not quite certain what to do about that! If some of a certain type have germinated and others have not (in the same bag), does that mean they will not? Or give those a few more days also? I guess my question is: given the exact same 'start' do all seeds of a 'kind' germinate at the same time or is there hope that some will take longer and still sprout?

Once sprouted this way, they will definitely become a plant, right? Or is there still some element of risk once planted?

Since I only have 16 squares and a few pots, I am trying to maximize my yield/success ratio!

Thanks for the guidance!

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Re: When do you give up on germination?

Post  jdwheeler42 on 7/16/2012, 7:33 pm

@cpl100 wrote: given the exact same 'start' do all seeds of a 'kind' germinate at the same time or is there hope that some will take longer and still sprout?

Once sprouted this way, they will definitely become a plant, right? Or is there still some element of risk once planted?

For your first question, it really depends on the kind. Wild seeds will generally sprout at all different times, and this holds true for most perennials. For annuals, uniform germination is a trait that is selected for, even inadvertently, so named varieties are more likely to sprout uniformly than unnamed, and patented or trademarked varieties more than heirlooms.

I'm sorry, I couldn't help but laugh at your second question. A LOT can happen to your sprouts before they become established. I always plant at least 2-4 seeds for every plant I want and I never thin plants until they have at least 3 sets of leaves.

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Re: When do you give up on germination?

Post  cpl100 on 7/16/2012, 8:01 pm

Go ahead and laugh while you are helping me. I don't mind!

I cannot correlate your comment about wild seeds, etc. with my question as it pertains to vegetables. Are you saying that if my beans, for example, have a 'name' they should germinate at the same time IF they are going to germinate at all? I think that is what you are saying.

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Re: When do you give up on germination?

Post  plantoid on 7/17/2012, 10:01 am

Me no lafff cpl 100 .. I was where you are some 45 years ago.
Not all seeds need light to germinate in the method you are using ,some like the dark .
In a window in a poly bag if exposed to the sun the temps can be way too high and will effectively sterilize the seed .

I used the cupboard where we store washed bed linen & towels , there is a gentle heat all year round , even in periods of high summer heat it rarely gets above 80 oF .
I put my seeds on 1/2 inch squares of absorbant kitchen roll and place them on the lid of an oven proof glass casserole dish lid . Then cover the lid with the other half of the casserole dish . Check the seeds every evening and morning to see what has sprouted up .

Germinating in poly bags is not always as sucessful as this method .. it may be that there is less oxygen or folds /creases in the bag may stop air movement in th bag . I have had several very dead stinky bag contents this year .. it migh also be something on the kitchen towel thaqt is anti bacterial .
Next time I'm going to be germinating away from the soils withb this method I'll be using thick toilet tissue squares instead .

Most seeds are germinated in a fraction of time it says on th seed packet for they are for when you are sowing in mother earth .
Once the seeds show say 1/4 inch of growth I move them into small deep pots of well wet MM and set them so that just the tip of the seedling is showing and gently cover the rest over in very wet MM and grow them on on a window cill that is fairly well open to very early morning sun and rarely gets any hot sun later inthe day .
Once they are going green tipped they get moved to my green house if there is no danger of frosts till they are big enough to plant out into the beds
Some seeds do far better sown direct into small pots of mm and when tey are 1/2 inch high soak well for a couple of hours in a few inches of water the n slide the lot out of the pot into a well watered hole in your beds taking great care not to touch or otherwise damage the seedling . I usually use a plastic dessert spoon to assist the sliding/scooping out and putting them in the beds without damage.

Though sometimes you can almost pour out the small pot into your hand so the seedling is always son show and undamaged then slide teh plant in wet MM off your hand into the hole in the beds just as effectively as using the spoon idea .

One of the fastest ways of getting seeds going that I have found if they are less than pea sized is to place them in small pots off sieved MM . gently press it flat , lay the seeds on top and cover with a light sprinkle of very fine vermiculite chips ( particles not much bigger than a cabbage seed ) water it well and stand in a tray in 1/4 inch of water at room temp in a sunny room or in a greenhouse..

The capillary action of the MM and the vermiclulite keeps the seeds quite damp but not overly wet and they seem to like this as they grow like mad in just a few days so long as you keep an eye on the water in the tray.

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Re: When do you give up on germination?

Post  camprn on 7/17/2012, 10:08 am

@cpl100 wrote:Go ahead and laugh while you are helping me. I don't mind!

I cannot correlate your comment about wild seeds, etc. with my question as it pertains to vegetables. Are you saying that if my beans, for example, have a 'name' they should germinate at the same time IF they are going to germinate at all? I think that is what you are saying.
CPL, please KNOW that no one is laughing at you, that we were, ALL of us, in your shoes at some time or another. Hang tough, keep doing that good research and asking the questions. You know more today than you did yesterday, and that is a fabulous achievement! What a Face

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Outlander is outstanding!


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Re: When do you give up on germination?

Post  cpl100 on 7/17/2012, 10:23 am

OMG Plantoid....hold the phone! I thought I would just take these sprouted seeds and put them into my SFG. Please say I did not misunderstand that and that all that planting and replanting you mentioned is not mandatory at this time of year.

I have a lot of seeds that have sprouted on my window pane (in the bags with paper towels). In fact more sprouted than expected and I have a surplus. Maybe I will plant all of them and then see which seem to grow stronger (not that I'd know that anyway, what am I thinking!).

Now, this may seem self-evident to all of you but I must ask: The little 'tail' that has sprouted: is that the root that I should plant downwards or is it the beginnings of the leaves/plant that I should plant upwards in the soil? Embarassed

No wonder Mother Nature can't be beat by humans....It is hard, hard work trying to replicate what she does naturally and even harder to 'help her along'! IMHO

Thank you for all that information in your post, too! I know you spent a lot of time formulating it and typing it and I appreciate it.

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Re: When do you give up on germination?

Post  plantoid on 7/17/2012, 10:42 am

@cpl100 wrote:OMG Plantoid....hold the phone! I thought I would just take these sprouted seeds and put them into my SFG. Please say I did not misunderstand that and that all that planting and replanting you mentioned is not mandatory at this time of year.

I have a lot of seeds that have sprouted on my window pane (in the bags with paper towels). In fact more sprouted than expected and I have a surplus. Maybe I will plant all of them and then see which seem to grow stronger (not that I'd know that anyway, what am I thinking!).

Now, this may seem self-evident to all of you but I must ask: The little 'tail' that has sprouted: is that the root that I should plant downwards or is it the beginnings of the leaves/plant that I should plant upwards in the soil? Embarassed

No wonder Mother Nature can't be beat by humans....It is hard, hard work trying to replicate what she does naturally and even harder to 'help her along'! IMHO

Thank you for all that information in your post, too! I know you spent a lot of time formulating it and typing it and I appreciate it.


No you don't always need to pot on , sometimes you can carefully slip the germinated seed on the paper directly into the bed . Be careful in covering it though . The resaon for potting on is to harden off the plants most of the time .

Look carefully at the germinations on the paper , get a magnifing glass use two pair of spectacles to make a lens or a macro shot with your camera.
There will usually be many tiny hair like tubes going down into the tissue .. these are the seed roots, the longer slightly yellowish bit is the stem of the seedling

When putting them direct in the the bed and gently covering all but the tip of the seedling ensure that all the tissue is covered or it will tend to wick moisture away from the seedling.

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Re: When do you give up on germination?

Post  cpl100 on 7/17/2012, 11:06 am

I took a picture of one of the sprouts, but can't figure out how to post it. Will check the 'forum how to' and see if I can figure it out and add it to this post.



HA! I did it! Okay now, I see a long sprout and little ones coming out of same sprout. I do not see anything separate from that. This is a Tenderpod bean btw. So, am I missing something here (like another set of smaller sprouts you mentioned) or did I misinterpret yet again?

Thanks much!


Last edited by cpl100 on 7/17/2012, 11:11 am; edited 1 time in total (Reason for editing : Adding picture)

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Re: When do you give up on germination?

Post  camprn on 7/17/2012, 11:11 am

I SEE IT! Hey, you need to plant the baby now! Wink

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Re: When do you give up on germination?

Post  cpl100 on 7/17/2012, 11:19 am

And here is Royal Burgundy bean:



Which way is down/up though?

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Re: When do you give up on germination?

Post  camprn on 7/17/2012, 11:23 am

Dig a little trench about an inch deep and lay the beans and roots right in the trench, the roots will grow downwards on their own. If you do not plant those today the roots will soon fail.

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There are certain pursuits which, if not wholly poetic and true, do at least suggest a nobler and finer relation to nature than we know. The keeping of bees, for instance. ~ Henry David Thoreau

http://squarefoot.creatingforum.com/t1306-other-gardening-books

Outlander is outstanding!


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Re: When do you give up on germination?

Post  RoOsTeR on 7/17/2012, 11:27 am

This is just my.02 but at this time of year I would direct sow, and do so a little heavier to account for germination.

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Re: When do you give up on germination?

Post  quiltbea on 7/17/2012, 12:43 pm

Rooster beat me to it. Its summer and the soil is warm enough to germinate any of your seeds. I, too, would sow the seeds directly in the squares. Sow more than needed and if too many come up, thin them when they are a few inches tall so you can easily see which is the strongest.

I've had seeds germinate at different rates so they don't all come up at the same time. Give Mother Nature a chance to do her thing. If you sowed 4 times the amount needed, enough are bound to come up. Good luck. We were all newbies like you at one time and needed help from our brethern. If there's laughter, its because we remember when we, too, were new at this and everything was confusing.

I never knew that when tomato packets gave their harvest date.....as in 60 days or 75 days.....it was from the date the seedling was TRANSPLANTED in the garden. Makes a big difference in figuring your harvest times.

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Re: When do you give up on germination?

Post  cpl100 on 7/17/2012, 12:50 pm

@quiltbea wrote:
I never knew that when tomato packets gave their harvest date.....as in 60 days or 75 days.....it was from the date the seedling was TRANSPLANTED in the garden. Makes a big difference in figuring your harvest times.

I can't believe you posted this to me. I was wondering exactly how to calculate it earlier today. Was going to post the question and then got caught up in another question and forgot.

So, you really are not gaining anything starting seeds inside?

What does the harvest date mean if you direct sow? Given # days from when seeds are sown or from when you see them pop up merrily in the soil?

The reason I tried someone's suggestion of the germinate on the window thing is that I planted some beans in a pot and not a single one came up---and I did wait long after it was supposed to 'hatch'.

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Re: When do you give up on germination?

Post  plantoid on 7/17/2012, 1:34 pm

On the beans the long bit withnthe tiny side sprouts is the root .

As they unfold the seed pod encases the leaves and as they break out of the seed pod they still stick to the seedling for a few days .

Seeing you have the seeds at that state , poke a pencil hole in the bed carefully slip the root down the hole , so that the rest of the bean seed is just below the level of the Mm water it well with rain water if you have it or tap if not , lightly cover with 1/4 inch of MM and re water .

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Re: When do you give up on germination?

Post  cpl100 on 7/17/2012, 1:58 pm

Uhm.... uh oh...I already planted them the way camprn said to do it...in a trench on their side, as deep as posted and then watered well. Will water again today.

Am I in trouble? Maybe there are two schools of thought rather than one rigid 'get it right the first time or you're sunk' way? I hope, I hope????

I also had some Spacemaster cucumbers that were sprouted in a similar fashion and planted those 1/4" deep as stated on the pkg and on their sides as well.....

Have three sprouted Swiss chard (though much smaller 'tails') which I was just going to put out following the same method.

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Re: When do you give up on germination?

Post  camprn on 7/17/2012, 2:05 pm

@cpl100 wrote:Uhm.... uh oh...I already planted them the way camprn said to do it...in a trench on their side, as deep as posted and then watered well. Will water again today.

Am I in trouble? Maybe there are two schools of thought rather than one rigid 'get it right the first time or you're sunk' way? I hope, I hope????

I also had some Spacemaster cucumbers that were sprouted in a similar fashion and planted those 1/4" deep as stated on the pkg and on their sides as well.....

Have three sprouted Swiss chard (though much smaller 'tails') which I was just going to put out following the same method.
OMG! YOU are becoming a GARDENER! cheers

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Re: When do you give up on germination?

Post  plantoid on 7/17/2012, 2:18 pm

OMG! YOU are becoming a GARDENER!

Correction you are a gardner .. Laughing Wink

There are many ways to skin a cat, and so it is in gardening .

No you are not wrong at all , usually things soon catch up .

Poking the root down a hole and watering it in well just gives a day or so less for the plant till harvest time .
Putting the root down first off, helps the root stay in the more moist MM instead of getting too dry if the sun is strong .

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Re: When do you give up on germination?

Post  Triciasgarden on 7/18/2012, 12:56 am

Cpl100 you are asking great questions and they are easy to understand what you are asking! Next year or even later this year you will probably be helping someone else! There are great people here on this forum because they love to garden and love to help and are great at helping!

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Re: When do you give up on germination?

Post  cpl100 on 7/18/2012, 8:31 am

@Triciasgarden wrote:Cpl100 you are asking great questions and they are easy to understand what you are asking! Next year or even later this year you will probably be helping someone else! There are great people here on this forum because they love to garden and love to help and are great at helping!

Thanks. I hope others are 'wondering' the same things I have wondered and the 'research' is helpful to others as well. And I did get to post, twice I think, with what I hoped were helpful comments for someone else. I know it is a learning curve, but it's been a long time since I was so far back on the curve!

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Re: When do you give up on germination?

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