Most of my veggie seeds planted didn't sprout - Mothering Forums

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Old 06-08-2010, 06:50 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I'm so disappointed. I planted them almost a month ago, and only a few seedlings per row are coming u--maybe 1% of what I planted.

I posted previously on the debris in my garden (e.g. bark, pebbles, etc from compost I added), so don't know if some of it inhibited the seeds from growing or what.

Or, did I not plant the seeds correctly? I hate wasting seeds by pouring a bunch in as I move through the row, so I try to plant just a seed or two per couple of inches to create the needed spacing rather than thinning. Did I do that wrong? It's tough to do with the smaller seeds, that's for sure.

I watered in the am and pm. I am in Zone 5. We've been very dry.
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Old 06-09-2010, 05:34 PM
 
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bumping for you because I am curious too

Single mom to 2 boys
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Old 06-09-2010, 09:17 PM
 
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This happened to my beginning of May seeds - everything except the peas was a no show (and the odd beet/ broccoli sprout)

My inexperienced diagnoses is.... soil was to dry, and I planted the seeds too deep. I've reseeded and seeded other things since which are doing better.

I know how disappointing it is
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Old 06-09-2010, 09:25 PM
 
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Our soil everywhere is terrible ... hard pan rock solid clay. I buy as much potting soil as I can (several kinds), vermiculite, pearlite, peat moss, and make up my own soil mix. I work up the soil really good by hand with a shovel, then clean out the soil really good from the weeds (get all the roots!).

Then I use a trowel to make my rows where I want to plant the seeds, and add some of my potting mix, then poke holes with my fingers every couple inches.

I always plant seeds too deep, but usually have very good success! On the average around 80-90 % of my seeds grow to healthy plants.

My garden has gotten out of control ... I can't keep up with weeding. Maybe Friday or Saturday morning I'll start the weeding (again). Miracle Grow does wonders for a garden, even the weeds ... !!! But don't fertilize until the plants are established.
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Old 06-09-2010, 09:34 PM
 
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My mom has given up starting from seed in her garden. Every single time she starts from seed, little to nothing sprouts. If she puts seedlings in, or starts in a planter, her garden does FABULOUS, but putting seeds directly into the ground just doesn't work for her. She believes it's either birds or underground bugs eating the seeds before they can sprout
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Old 06-10-2010, 05:49 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I'm going to try to plant another batch of seeds, using the idea of putting some potting soil in each row, which seems to be "fluffier" than what I've got, and perhaps more conducive to helping those tiny seeds sprout.

I had added bags of steer manure compost and turned the soil over, raked it as smooth as I could get it and planted in that. What happens is that once I plant the seeds, the dirt seems to develop a crust, despite my watering both in the am and pm. And, I can't hoe it because the seeds are there, so I'm not sure the water penetration is so good.

Also, does anyone have tips on how you plant, for example, carrot seeds? I try not to be wasteful and try to spread them out as I would ultimately thin them. Are those little plastic seed planters any good?
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Old 06-10-2010, 11:52 PM
 
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You can also...

...start your seeds in pots or flats then transplant the strongest healthiest plants into the garden at the proper spacing.

...make your own seed tape, internet search "make your own seed tape" for more detailed instructions but basics are you sit at the table indoors with a piece of toilet paper and glue the seeds down to the tp at the proper spacing the plant the seed imbedded paper in the garden (or pots)

I think the biggest mistake of planting is seeds too deep. rule of thumb - size of seed, that is the depth to plant. Some small flower seeds need light or darkness to germanate, if your having trouble with flowers I'd check into that aspect. Be careful when you water because water from the top can dislodge seeds and wash them deeper.
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Old 06-11-2010, 01:09 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lightheart View Post
You can also...

...start your seeds in pots or flats then transplant the strongest healthiest plants into the garden at the proper spacing.

...make your own seed tape, internet search "make your own seed tape" for more detailed instructions but basics are you sit at the table indoors with a piece of toilet paper and glue the seeds down to the tp at the proper spacing the plant the seed imbedded paper in the garden (or pots)

I think the biggest mistake of planting is seeds too deep. rule of thumb - size of seed, that is the depth to plant. Some small flower seeds need light or darkness to germanate, if your having trouble with flowers I'd check into that aspect. Be careful when you water because water from the top can dislodge seeds and wash them deeper.
I use a nozzle attached to our garden hose, set to fine spray for watering seeds. I also have the same problem with crusty soil in some places. I would like to get some real sand, and mix a little bit of that in my beds.

Vermiculite is sorta like sand. Try mixing in some of that. Just experiment with different mixes of soil until you find the mix that works best.

I've even scattered flower seeds, then cover them up with leaves and just a little bit of soil, watered often. Maybe I got lucky .... I seem to have a green thumb, and no matter what I do, I usually have pretty good success! Except when the gophers become a real problem. We are lucky ... the neighbor's cat, Thomas, likes to kill the gophers! I also have poison to put in their holes, but I haven't had to use that much at our new place. Thomas keeps the gophers under control.
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Old 06-11-2010, 01:33 AM
 
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I soak all of my seeds before I plant them. I soak them until the skin is soft, and then place them in a bowl, put a paper napkin over it, and then wet the napkin thoroughly, and keep it wet. Not just damp, wet. Then, I wait to see which ones send out a little root sprout. Those get planted.

Different plants have different germination temperatures they do best at. This one is a great one:
http://tomclothier.hort.net/page11.html

I had hard, crusty soil too, until I added sphagnum peat moss. It's pricey, but it has been completely worth it.

Any debris in your soil is going to make it harder on the plants.

And, by the way, that's a total bummer that nothing sprouted!!! How freaking disappointing is that!?!
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Old 06-11-2010, 02:12 AM - Thread Starter
 
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All great ideas. Thank you, thank you!

And, seed tape! I've never heard of it. Sounds like an interesting idea. I think I'll try it. It's about a month past our usual planting time, so hopefully I'll have enough time left to enjoy the veggies.
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