Poor seed germination, onion, beetroot, spinach…


HomeForumsGeneral GardeningSowing and GrowingPoor seed germination, onion, beetroot, spinach…

This topic contains 66 replies, has 18 voices, and was last updated by  KevL 3 hours ago.

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  • #45574

    Stringfellow
    Participant

    Hi Charles, might have made a mistake here with some onions I sowed on 28th Feb. On gentle heat provided by a propagating tray, but it was turned off at night for the first 48hrs; still no sign of the seedlings emerging and wonder if they got started but then the temperature drop stalled them? Had a rummage in one of the modules and found a couple of these multi-sown seeds had started to sprout. So, should I wait a bit longer, or is it better to now re-sow and learn from this error? I have a second packet of seed so no biggie.

    Thanks for your help, Tris

    • This topic was modified 4 months, 1 week ago by  Stringfellow.
    • This topic was modified 3 months, 3 weeks ago by  charles.
    • This topic was modified 3 months, 3 weeks ago by  charles.
    #45585

    Cleansweep
    Participant

    I think they will still come unless rotted. Interestingly although quoted as” germinating in 8 days @ 20 deg c” in one table, it goes on to quote “172 days @6deg C” My labels would faded in that time!!
    Cleansweep

    #45588

    charles
    Moderator

    Stringfellow that is frustrating. We had some issues this year too, heat not quite enough to get them going evenly. I sowed some more a week ago and they are emerging beautifully, on a windowsill, where the night temperature is higher than on frosty nights over the hotbed. Also I sowed them more shallow!
    Your first sowing may make it but since you have spare seed, I would sow more too.

    #45590

    Stringfellow
    Participant

    Thanks both.

    I will re-sow and do so a little shallower; thanks for the tip. Something to learn every year 🙂 thanks again.

    #45592

    Rhys
    Participant

    Tris if you are worried about depth, I know from experience that onion seeds germinate really well in soil blocks. You do not cover seeds in blocks, so no worry about depth of sowing.

    Not suggesting a mass move away from module trays, just saying soil blocks work if for some reason you find germination of onion in modules a bit erratic.

    • This reply was modified 4 months, 1 week ago by  Rhys.
    #45600

    Stringfellow
    Participant

    Thanks for that Rhys, I looked in to soil blocks after reading books by Elliott Coleman, but decided against them due time constraints. I’ll probably come to it a little later in life once a couple of other projects come to a close 😉 Sounds like you’ve had great success with them though.

    I’d sowed fairly shallow, but wondered if the seeds had thought “damp and warmth, time to get started!” then literally ten hours later “blimey it’s cold, think I’ll give this up as bad job!”. I may just end up with about 500 onions this season….

    #45745

    Stringfellow
    Participant

    Hmmm….beginning to think this a batch of duff seed from Dobies. Second packet sown a week ago, on to gentle heat, still no sign.

    #45748

    charles
    Moderator

    Yes probably, actually certainly old seed. I have had some of that too, can see clearly from sowing a few batches.
    With beetroot too and it was Kings’ Boltardy that barely germinated, while others did. The germination rate had suddenly dropped, for whatever reason.
    This results in a waste of time, greenhouse space and compost, plus a later crop.
    They replaced my seed, and let’s hope this was a rare occurrence.

    • This reply was modified 3 months, 2 weeks ago by  charles.
    #45749

    Stringfellow
    Participant

    Thanks. Rather disappointing really, perfect planning resulting in, well, squat. F1 hybrid seed too. Will call them when I get a mo’ during the day. Thanks for the insight.

    #45777

    Rhys
    Participant

    I have had slightly dodgy Ishikura salad onion- and Boltardy Beetroot seeds this year from OGC. Their Amsterdam Carrot seed was excellent though. I know the compost I sowed the dodgy ones in is great because other seeds have flown through.

    #45778

    Stringfellow
    Participant

    Hi Rhys. It’s definitely dead seed as there’s still nothing through on either tray. I spoke to Dobies yesterday and they are sending out a couple of packs of replacement seed, hopefully fresh this time! Frustrating but part of the price of convenience I suppose. Sorry you’ve experienced some difficulty as well.

    #45779

    Rhys
    Participant

    Tris, the Ishikura is germinating but not at high enough frequency, a right pain as I bought three packets to sow at monthly intervals. I sowed the second last week so if that is dodgy I will ring them up. The Boltardy was rubbish: six seedlings from 72 seeds sown in 18 modules. I have resown new seed from Johnsons – too soon to have a result yet.

    On a more positive note I sowed first seeds outdoors yesterday: parsnip, turnip and 1 sqft of Amsterdam carrots (25 stations two or three seeds per station): all under fleece now. Peas will go out later this week along with spinach and cabbage.

    #45783

    Stringfellow
    Participant

    Thanks Rhys, interesting and I hope this isn’t a case of lower standards due to economic challenges for these providers; it’s the first year for a while since I have had any issues with poor germination.

    Good job on the carrot and parsnip, I’ve decided to delay slightly due to the weather forecast and being ‘oop north’ 🙂 Your record keeping is both thorough and excellent, mine less so. Although these Santero improved are easy to record…..zero…..

    #45793

    Dieter
    Participant

    Interesting… I should have read this topic before. My Boltardy seeds (King) were rubbish as well. I sowed a second time as I hoped I did something wrong in my first sowing, but again, as good as nothing. I sowed Chioggia beetroot at the same time, with exemplary germination rate (sourced from well-known e-bay vendor).

    I sowed a few onion varieties, Santero being among them and also being the only one that failed miserably (Suttons). I sowed a second time, just to make sure, but it looks as if the experience is going to repeat itself…

    Best germination + vigour for onion seeds are for seeds I purchased from Bingenheimer Saatgut (Stuttgarter Riesen, https://www.bingenheimersaatgut.de/) and Semailles (Rouge de Huy, a local variety, https://www.semaille.com/en/).

    #45799

    charles
    Moderator

    Ah Dieter this is vexing to hear. I suggest you write to King’s Seeds and attach a photo of the comparative growth of your Chioggia seedlings.
    Likewise the Suttons Santero, I think (hope) you were unlucky there.

    • This reply was modified 3 months, 2 weeks ago by  charles.
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