lettuce refusing to germinate

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This topic contains 10 replies, has 6 voices, and was last updated by  lizzy 1 year, 5 months ago.

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    Hi – I can get all my other seeds to germinate – parsley, peppers, aubergines etc etc but lettuce is just something else .

    This is what I do –

    Sow a few May Queen( bought this year) – seeds into damp MPC (multi purp compost)
    Press seeds in lightly
    Place piece of glass over the seed tray
    Put in a cool spare room on bright window sill – temp 10 – 15 centigrade.

    I have had 3 goes so far – 1 lot uncovered, 1 lot with vermiculite, 1 lot with light covering of compost.
    I moved 1 lot into a slightly warmer room – 15 – 18 centigrade.
    I made sure the MPC did not dry out.

    All to not avail – and the first lot went in on 22 Jan so I think I have given them long enough.

    Should I throw the seeds away as a bad lot?
    Use JI seed compost instead of MPC?
    Put in a warmer room?

    Any suggestions would be welcome – thanks.



    Lizzy, all your descriptions reveal that it’s the seeds, they must be old, throw them away and buy some more.
    A maddening waste of time and money: the seed company would send you more if you email them.
    I have not found JI any better than MPC, and more expensive too.



    Possibly try kings seeds for lettuce Lizzy. Without meaning to pat myself on the back here, the freckles and marvel of four seasons from them came up real quick and, following pricking out, are now on their way to becoming sturdy little plants. HTH.



    Charles and String fellow – thanks for advice – will get some more seeds to try.
    that does help.



    Lizzy, another good source is Seeds of Italy. I have bought several strains from them and all have germinated really well, two seasons running.



    Grenoble Red from S of I germinated well last summer (late) and have been a fantastic addition to winter salads. Tris



    Good to hear that Tris, I have bought some Grenoble Red for the first time this year.

    I have put up four new posts on my blog, starting with this one: http://urban-no-dig.com/?p=58

    Would you be good enough to take a quick look and give me your valued opinion?




    Don Foley

    Hi Lizzy,

    I had this same issue last year with Garnet Oak Leaf and as Charles said if you bring the issue to the attention of the company they will give you replacements. Not much compensation for your time and expense but it is at least something.
    Its the time that’s lost that is so maddening, 4wks before you realise something is definitely wrong with the seed, a week perhaps to get replacements and another 4 weeks to get to where you should have been with this batch of seedlings in the first instance. A full month or more lost.


    • This reply was modified 1 year, 7 months ago by  Don Foley.


    You’re right Don, and time that can’t be recouped.

    Rhys, I had a look at your blog. Great job on the horn manure application! Will be interesting to see what impact you ‘feel’ it has over the coming months.



    Hi Lizzy,
    I’ve bought a pkt of mixed all sorts of lettuces(I couldn’t decide or buy 10 varieties) from Real Seeds, & have just now potted on in the polytunnel, yes they are coming out of my ears now. Will be selling plants too @ this rate on the roadside. & I wouldn’t accept one pkt as compensation either, ask for the compost too delivered!More expensive than the seeds!!!!

    I like the Energy I get from Real Seeds too(comes FOC too) with every delivery. Or am I just saying honesty.
    Good Luck



    Hi all – just wanted to update you on my lettuce – hurrah success!
    I bought new seed and I now have 3 lots all beautifully germinated – Freckles, Blackseeded Simpson and Winter Density.
    So thank you all for your advice and encouragement – much appreciated.

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