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Poor Germination Rate

How do you choose seeds? I have some bolthardy beetroot seed that was left over from last year in a module tray doing reallywell, but the albino I was given for Christmas, grown identically, is doing really poorly. My purple dwarf beans are also disappointing, 1 out of about 8 is coming up after a few weeks, and wasn't much better  last year. These are all on a sunny windowsill.  

Any thoughts?


  • LeifUKLeifUK Posts: 573

    Good point. Apparently most seeds come from a small number of suppliers. Hence a failure with one may mean a failure with another. I am not convinced seed is always fresh. The shop might have mistreated it e.g. too much heat. The only solution is to harvest your own, or buy from a source where you know they have high standards. Real Seeds is a small company, they grow their own, and have small growers supplying them. So seed does not sit around, it is fresh. They are a bit pricey but reliable. I am sure there are other similar suppliers. Generally I do not have problems, except with chillis, seeds are often not fresh, and should germinate in one week. 

  • Lupin 1Lupin 1 Posts: 8,916

    bookmonster, I put my seeds in a light place but not in sunlight. My beans rotted last year at the first attempt due to the compost being too wet. 

  • Sowed Tumbling Tom and T&M trial seeds on13/4 (unlucky???) So far 3 TT BUT not one trial seed .image  Will just leave but never had tomato seeds take this long.

  • WelshonionWelshonion Posts: 3,114
    Sowed courgette and cucumber seeds from DT Brown on Friday afternoon and they were up by Sunday afternoon in the propagator. Choose your supplier with care. Some are just bad!
  • bookmonsterbookmonster Posts: 399
    Wow, lots of ideas, thanks! I'll have a look at those companies, and it's a good point about direct sunlight. They're not likely to be over watered in this house, with a nearly-crawling baby!
  • LeifUKLeifUK Posts: 573

    "Choose your supplier with care. Some are just bad!"

    Yes, and it's not easy to know which are bad, I've had bad seeds from several well known names.

  • Might not always be the seeds, could be duff compost.

  • BoaterBoater Posts: 241

    Some plants are more fussy about growing conditions than others.

    So far this year I have a lot of seedlings doing well but I have also:

    - Gone on holiday and killed some Verbena and Mustard through drying out.

    - Overwatered some mustard and had it go mouldy

    - Forgotten to turn non-thermostatic electric propogator off in the day time during that sunny spell we had (anyone remember that with the snow and hail falling this week?) and presumably roasted the replacement Verbena, although I also tried scarthing it in instead of topping up the 1/4" of compost so maybe it was just too shallow to germinate. Second replacement sowing has come up in under 7 days (supposed to take 14-21!) in unheated propogator

    - Dropped a kayak on a sunflower seedling damaging the stem, but I propped it up with a plastic plant label and it has repaired the damage and grown beyond the label supporting itself.

    Anyone can make a mistake (especially me!)

  • Lupin 1Lupin 1 Posts: 8,916

    The seeds I tried to germinate in seed compost Bowyers didn't do well, it stuck to the first leaves and they couldn't open. I reverted to my usual sieved MPC and I'm not having any problems. 

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