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germination guide

The soil temperature must be warm enough around the seeds for them to germinate. If it’s too hot, seeds “cook”. If it’s too cold, seeds will stay dormant or simply rot. All vegetable varieties have an optimum range of soil temperatures for proper seed germination. Here are a few examples:

If these three requirements (moisture, temperature, and air) are met, and fresh seed is used, you should get a high germination rate. If your seed germinates, and then your seedlings die, this is not because the seed is “bad”. All a seed has the capacity to do is germinate. That’s it!

3 Requirements For Germination

You should also know that all of a vegetable plant’s growth habits like how large it gets, how healthy the plant is, and the size, quantity, and quality of the fruit produced is totally dependent on 4 main things:

If a plant becomes infected with a disease, or the plant produces inadequate to no fruit, this has nothing to do with the seed. Failures of fruit production like the size, quantity, or quality of the fruit, relates to care and the environment a plant is growing in, not the seed itself.

Proper oxygen seems straightforward, but if the air is not present in your soil mix, seeds will fail to germinate due to suffocation. The most common cause of seed germination failure is a lack of oxygen from the starting mix being kept too wet. Potting soil is not an appropriate media for starting seeds, it is too dense and holds too much moisture. It is meant for use with transplants that already have a strong established root system. Always use fresh, sterile Seed Starting Mix for the best success.

Now, that you’ve got your seeds ready – you will need to plant them. It is possible to plant seeds both straight away directly in your garden soil or alternatively in containers that can then be transported outside further down the line. This decision depends hugely on the species you wish to plant as some require more sensitive care than others. To do so, you will need to know the ideal growing conditions for your plant; the germination time, and also the earliest time from which you can transport your plant outside.

You can purchase propagators which are designed for growing multiple fruit or vegetables from seed. These containers are perfect for the task at hand.

1) Buy Your Seeds

Many seeds do not need lighting to germinate while others do. You may need a source of heat and light as sunlight will most likely not suffice. Pick up a plant lamp to keep your seeds happy with lots of lights and heat. Please note: You may use a fluorescent lamp without trouble but you will need a white bulb to provide the right heat and light for your seeds without burning them. A heat mat may also be a good idea for plants that require extra heat.

We suggest covering your container lightly with plastic sheeting/damp newspaper. This will act as a way to regulate and trap moisture and temperature. This is important as if your seeds dry out they will not germinate properly.

You will need a container that is two to three inches deep and features holes at the bottom, for drainage purposes. The width of the container can vary – it all depends on how many seeds you wish to plant. However, remember to ensure you leave enough room for the seeds to germinate. You can buy trays from your local garden centre or online, or you can even use an egg carton. Now that you have your container ready, you will need to line your seeds with your growing medium. Do not fill your container right to the top with this combination, instead leave approximately half an inch at the top. Lightly wet with water to provide a good environment for the seeds to grow in. However, do note that soil-less mixture contains zero nutritional value so it may be a good idea to use seed and cutting compost.