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Problems getting spinach seeds to sprout? Try this...

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Re: Problems getting spinach seeds to sprout? Try this...

Post  CitizenKate on 4/24/2016, 11:40 pm

Hmmm, silver stuff...  thinking What seed company are they from? Is it on all the different kinds you have?

The temperature in your basement is just about right.  Maybe germination performance varies by the variety, but I would have expected to see more variation between the different kinds that you started.  I just started another 16 to get a dozen new plants, and I had 11 of my dozen with root tails in two days, and the 12th on day 3.  But I grow mostly Bloomsdale - it's what's most commonly available in the stores here.  I'll have to try another variety or two.

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Re: Problems getting spinach seeds to sprout? Try this...

Post  yolos on 4/24/2016, 11:45 pm

@jimmy cee wrote:I'm giving up on spinach, not because it didn't grow, they did nicely this season due to Kate's  program. I can sit and devour a ton of spinach. I love it, always have and always will...Having 5 beds, with just under 200 squares I want to devote my planting to a more robust crop. A large bowl of spinach cooks up into about 1/2 cup. I'll buy mine at the market...kohlrabi's are crunchier...
I agree.  When you just barely cook it it shrivels up to almost nothing.  But I also use it in a salad and then it is worth growing.  Especially since it survives the winter here fairly well.  The bed would be empty over winter if I did not plant the spinach so what the heck.  It is bolting now just in time to plant some cucs in that bed or maybe some sweet potatoes (haven't figured that out yet).  And will be a nice addition to my compost pile.

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Re: Problems getting spinach seeds to sprout? Try this...

Post  jimmy cee on 4/25/2016, 7:28 am

@yolos wrote:
@jimmy cee wrote:I'm giving up on spinach, not because it didn't grow, they did nicely this season due to Kate's  program. I can sit and devour a ton of spinach. I love it, always have and always will...Having 5 beds, with just under 200 squares I want to devote my planting to a more robust crop. A large bowl of spinach cooks up into about 1/2 cup. I'll buy mine at the market...kohlrabi's are crunchier...
I agree.  When you just barely cook it it shrivels up to almost nothing.  But I also use it in a salad and then it is worth growing.  Especially since it survives the winter here fairly well.  The bed would be empty over winter if I did not plant the spinach so what the heck.  It is bolting now just in time to plant some cucs in that bed or maybe some sweet potatoes (haven't figured that out yet).  And will be a nice addition to my compost pile.
Yolos
That's a great idea, I never considered, will try it as a cover crop when all is done in fall.  I'll never do another rye cover crop again.I flooded the beds with rye grain seeds and it grew beautifully, however in spring  there was so much growth in roots, I am just about finished getting it out..

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Re: Problems getting spinach seeds to sprout? Try this...

Post  yolos on 4/25/2016, 7:45 am

@jimmy cee wrote:
@yolos wrote:
@jimmy cee wrote:I'm giving up on spinach, not because it didn't grow, they did nicely this season due to Kate's  program. I can sit and devour a ton of spinach. I love it, always have and always will...Having 5 beds, with just under 200 squares I want to devote my planting to a more robust crop. A large bowl of spinach cooks up into about 1/2 cup. I'll buy mine at the market...kohlrabi's are crunchier...
I agree.  When you just barely cook it it shrivels up to almost nothing.  But I also use it in a salad and then it is worth growing.  Especially since it survives the winter here fairly well.  The bed would be empty over winter if I did not plant the spinach so what the heck.  It is bolting now just in time to plant some cucs in that bed or maybe some sweet potatoes (haven't figured that out yet).  And will be a nice addition to my compost pile.
Yolos
That's a great idea, I never considered, will try it as a cover crop when all is done in fall.  I'll never do another rye cover crop again.I flooded the beds with rye grain seeds and it grew beautifully, however in spring  there was so much growth in roots, I am just about finished getting it out..
I had the same problem this year with the rye.  Way over seeded and have had to keep turning and hacking the roots.  But it now has a lot of worms and after a month of sitting it is finally ready to plant.  Last year I did not seed quite as heavily and was easy to turn under.  Lesson learned.

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Re: Problems getting spinach seeds to sprout? Try this...

Post  BeetlesPerSqFt on 4/25/2016, 8:47 am

@CitizenKate wrote:Hmmm, silver stuff...  thinking  What seed company are they from?  Is it on all the different kinds you have?

The temperature in your basement is just about right.  Maybe germination performance varies by the variety, but I would have expected to see more variation between the different kinds that you started.  I just started another 16 to get a dozen new plants, and I had 11 of my dozen with root tails in two days, and the 12th on day 3.  But I grow mostly Bloomsdale - it's what's most commonly available in the stores here.  I'll have to try another variety or two.
It looks like the silver stuff is on the two hybrid varieties from High Mowing organic seeds, but not on the open-pollinated variety I have, and not on the two varieties from Pinetree seeds. The Space seeds have some nubbins this morning Smile , but I'm still not seeing anything on the others.

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Re: Problems getting spinach seeds to sprout? Try this...

Post  BeetlesPerSqFt on 4/28/2016, 10:32 pm

I'm still trying to figure this out.  I know it should work -- I've had both cold stratification and scarification work before on other seed types. I want to it to work for me -- and others who might attempt it and have it not work well on the first try. At this  point I've had germination on and sown: 90% of the Regiment, 2/3rds of the Space and Renegade, 1/3rd of the Dash, and none of the Butterflay. The basement has been nearly steady at 59oF - briefly went down to 57 when we had a low of 40.

My fridge is at 36 according to my best reading of the non-digital thermometer.
So could it be my hydrogen peroxide? It still fizzes, but apparently has an expiration date of 06/15.

Relative to the silvery stuff, the High Mowing site says "Some of the varieties we carry receive an organic film coating applied to the seed, which make the seed easier to see during planting." So I don't know what it is, beyond organic.

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Re: Problems getting spinach seeds to sprout? Try this...

Post  CitizenKate on 4/28/2016, 11:38 pm

Do you see any discoloration while they're in the paper towels? If so, that would probably indicate some kind of fungus. That also usually comes with an off odor. The H2O2 is supposed to suppress fungi, but I've still had it appear on some occasions, and once I see it, I chuck the entire batch and start over.

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Re: Problems getting spinach seeds to sprout? Try this...

Post  BeetlesPerSqFt on 4/28/2016, 11:55 pm

No odd smells, or fuzziness, or discoloration of the seeds (yet), but there's a little pink/red discoloration of the paper towels in the corners where I've handled them - probably either Serratia marcescens bacteria or a yeast.

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Re: Problems getting spinach seeds to sprout? Try this...

Post  CitizenKate on 4/29/2016, 12:58 am

I've seen that before, too, and I don't worry about it if it isn't really close to where the seeds are. At any rate, I think we can rule out a problem with the H2O2. It sounds like everything is just about right.

So you got 90% germination with the Regiment, but not as good germination with the others? That would rule out most factors in your environment and procedure you're following, so I wonder if the other varieties just require different temperatures... I took a look at the producers' growing info on the Renegade and Dash varieties, and found the Renegade likes slightly warmer temperatures than the Regiment. Dash likes it cooler.

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Re: Problems getting spinach seeds to sprout? Try this...

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