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Seed fertility

I'm new to the site and this is my first post so bear with me.

is it just me or do the Franchi seeds have poor germination? I've had 100% failure with carrots and parsley. Marmande tomatoes took 3 weeks to germinate and are struggling compared to tomatoes from other seed suppliers.

the seed is cheap and tempting but is it not really as good as other, dearer, seedsmen?


  • Hostafan1Hostafan1 Posts: 34,859

    welcome to the forum oldfool. That sounds so rude, but he ho , you chose the name. tee hee.

    I've never used those Franchi seeds, but I've heard folk swear by them.

  • DovefromaboveDovefromabove Posts: 87,864

    Welcome Old Fool image  I hope you won't pull rank over some of us ever so slightly younger fools image

    I've used Franchi occasionally in the past - I recall some very good lettuces image

    I don't know if it's relevant, but I've always found that the larger tomato varieties take longer to germinate.

    And of course carrots and parsley are notoriously temperamental - I sow my parsley direct but always pour a kettle full of hot water into the seed drill before sowing the seeds - it usually works ......... but not always. image

    Gardening in Central Norfolk on improved gritty moraine over chalk ... free-draining.

  • OldfoolOldfool Posts: 9

    I guess we are all right - gardening is such an inexact science. The second sowing of carrots, however, did come through in about 5 days (in a cold greenhouse) and Black Russian tomatoes, from saved seed, sown at the same time as the Italian Marmande, are good strong plants now.

    C'est la vie!

  • CarlyannCarlyann Posts: 52

    Hi OF (sorry can't call you old fool!) I have always had excellent results from Franchi seeds and they keep well too.If you are talking about what you sowed last year weather conditions were not favourable for germination until very late in the spring and it looks like this one isn't going to be much better. Don't be in a hurry to sow,wait for the soil to warm up.Dove fromaboves tip about hot water before sowing parsley is spot on and if you want to make a start put some fleece or a cloche over your veg bed to help it warm up a bit before sowing carrots. image

  • I sowed Franchi Nano Ricciuto 2 Parsley from PSD (online) a few weeks ago (bought Oct) and they have germinated OK in two very different situations.

    One in an old polystyrene fish box in the back garden, full sun and under a gutter leak.  The box has been hosting parsley for many a year except last when I had fennel in there too which should have biochemically killed anything in a radius of its roots.

    The other N facing kitchen window, clay pot, way too well-drained media and needs water at least twice a day (which I oft forget).

    I'd say it has been fine in a wide span. 

    Parsley seed is generally accepted to have one year viability. Ditto carrot (both Apiaceae) Both have physiological dormancy and are orthodox IIRC, so you may need to replicate the environmental lifecycle of the seed. Drying should have been done by seed producer, replicate winter in the soil seedbank by chilling. Ensure a good seal and pop the packet in the fridge. I'm not sure if that viability figure is for properly-stored seed; airtight container low RH, desiccant in situ (except for recalcitrant seed species) then chilled or in any old container under a humid kitchen sink. I've had acceptable but much lower germination rates from older parsley seed.

    Sorry I haven't seen any viability tables with actual academic origin, though Pritchard rings a bell, maybe that was something else. Baskins and Baskins is worth a read if you want further info on seed physiology, dormancy etc.

    It's useful to test germination rates of bought and collected seed or old suspect seed very early on in the season.

  • I've used Franchi seed for years and would recommend them with confidence.

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