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Thread: new seed viability

  1. #1
    glyn is offline Seedling
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    Default new seed viability

    just a general question ,im a relative newbie to growing veg , ive sown cauli ,sprouts,calabrese and cabbage recently and had what i think is not very good germination ,any comments or ideas please ? its all new seed and at a constant temperature of about 14 deg c

    cauli 21 sown ,13 germinated
    calabrese 18 sown, 12 germinated
    sprouts 8 sown , 3 germinated
    cabbage 12 sown, 10 germinated

    all in new compost and at the same depth as per suppliers recommendations, in modules , been sown now for 14 days , the seedlings that have come through are doing well and have been through for about 5 days now, is this ratio normal/acceptable ?

  2. #2
    Alison's Avatar
    Alison is offline Gardening Guru
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    I find brassicas germinate easily if the seed is viable so expect almost 100% germination even on seed which is 5 or 6 years old. However, if you're getting low rates across several types then it is possible that your storage or sowing methods need tweaking. Where are the seeds? They don't need warmth but if they're too cold it will slow them right down.

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  3. #3
    glyn is offline Seedling
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    seeds have been stored at 7-12 deg c since i received then back in december, 2/3rds ish seem to be ok and im pretty careful that all are sown the same !, to be honest i was expecting a near 100% germination ,they are in a double aspect south east/south west facing room on the window cill thats about 13-14 deg at night and about 16-17 max in the day

  4. #4
    Thelma Sanders is online now Gardening Guru
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    Close to the window on a cold/frosty night, they may get colder than that

  5. #5
    solway cropper is offline Cropper
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    Agree with Alison, that's a pretty poor germination rate so something's not right. I usually germinate brassicas in my unheated greenhouse which can get pretty chilly overnight this time of year but it doesn't seem to bother them too much. Tough love, I think it's called.

  6. #6
    glyn is offline Seedling
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    im probably just the other side of the water from you solway , i thought about using the GH its gone down to about 4 deg recently so thought indoors may have been better

  7. #7
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    Bigmallly is offline Think outside the box
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    Brassicas don't need a lot of heat to germinate. Try a pot in the GH and see if there is any difference.
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  8. #8
    Kristen is offline Early Fruiter
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    Are the seed trays/containers covered? If not the surface can dry out. I use little clear plastic domes on mine (because they have little vents that I open for a few days after germination prior to removing the lids altogether), but sticking the container in a [clear] plastic bag would do the same job.

    If covered in this way they won't need any additional water until germination - and condensation on the cover/bag runs back round and gets reabsorbed, and the air in the enclosure is humid. That removes any risk of over watering (provided that the seed compost is not sodden when you start!) and also any wet/dry cycling of watering/leaving, so in that regard they are better off than Mother Nature which rains on them and then suns them dry!!
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