why seeds are not germinating or sprouting? 7 Fatal Mistakes

In this post, we will see 7 Fatal Mistakes or reasons, why your seeds are not germinating or sprouting? After reading this article you will get all the answers if your seeds are not germinating.

why my seeds are not germinating?

This knowledge and certain tricks are shown in this post might take your vegetable gardening to the next level and you can achieve nearly 100% success in seed germination.

We will also look into the explanation in another post. All that’s coming up! Seeds are magical to gardens. Tuck them in soil, add a little rainwater and you’re on the way to a beautiful bloom or a tasty harvest.

you are a beginner for gardening or an expert gardener, you will certainly improve your success by avoiding these common errors that will be discussed shortly. Germinating seeds is in fact a simple process. But when seeds do not sprout, you feel bad for this and in fact, some lose their interest in gardening. But you should always take time to evaluate diagnose the problem.

7 Fatal Mistakes and Solve to Seed Germination Problems

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why seeds are not germinating? 7 mistakes

Here is the methods you can use if your seeds are not germinating.

1. You are using non-viable or old seeds

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If Your seeds have not sprouted or seeds are not germinating within the appropriate number of days, then the most likely or the most common reason could be the seeds are not viable.

During purchase time check the expiry date always or best before date on the seed packet and it is better to purchase seeds from reliable sources.

This Seed viability issue can be due to improper storage of seeds like in moisture which can cause them to rot or mold. We give two simple hacks to test whether your seed is viable.

The methods are the following

  1. Pour the seeds into a container of water. Always remember if the seeds are floating, they are not viable. Just left them and choose only those sunk to the bottom.
  2. Checking seed viability using a wet toilet paper method. Pour some seeds on wet toilet paper and to keep in a ziplock bag for 24 to 48 hours and wait until sprouting to check viability.
  3. Another important point to remember is the Seeds Pod Maturity, especially if you are growing from seeds from a fruit or vegetable. A fruit or vegetable develops from a flower after pollination and fertilization process on germination and is nothing but a seeds pod.

Read more: Top 8 vegetables to grow in containers at home

2. Wrong Planting Technique

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If seeds are not germinating please check the planting techniques are right or wrong. Planting your seeds too deep can cause problems with sprouting. So, do you know what is the ideal depth for sowing seeds? The rule of thumb is to plant seeds at a depth equal to two times or max three times the width. It is good to plant seeds too shallow than too deep. You should also avoid pressing down soil on top of your seeds after you plant them.

3. Bad seed starting potting mix or soil

If the seeds are not germinating, it may be of bad seed planting or soil. This Is a very important factor for success rate. Starting seeds in garden soil alone is not recommended because this soil is too compacted and the seeds won’t sprout. Also if there are many huge pieces of stones, wood, and many other things like that, can prevent the seeds from sprouting freely.

And moreover, this soil is full of harmful pathogens that can affect seed germination and also the health of the seedling. Many gardeners suggest baking this soil in the oven at 180 degrees for 30 minutes to kill most weeds and pathogens.

But the beneficial microorganisms like mycorrhizae and pseudomonas are also killed from the soil. So, it’s always better to prepare your own seed starting mix without using garden soil.

One such recipe, you can follow is a. Coco Peat or peat moss – 70% + Compost-like decomposed cow dung for Vermicompost 30%. This is more than sufficient and the best seed starting mix.

You can add stuff like perlite and fine-grade vermiculite into this mixture as it completely depends on you. Alternately you can also use seed starting coco peat pellets which can be directly transplanted into the soil when the seedling is ready for transplant.

4. Wrong temperature/wrong season

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Wrong temperature or wrong season is one of the reasons for seeds are not germinating. This is another common mistake most of us commit. Planting by the season depending on the zone you live in is really important because the temperature is a very important factor for seed germination. Temperatures that are too high or too low can cause problems germinating seeds. So, try to follow the planting calendar of the zone you live in.

5. Improper watering process

Seed germination is highly dependent on watering. For improper watering, process seeds are not germinating. If it’s too dry, they fail to sprout! And too wet they will rot in the dirt. Seeds need to be moderately moist to sprout and this is in fact difficult to assess.

Also, very young seedlings are even more tender and can die due to improper watering processes. The best trick to water these are using a bottom tray this method. Just keep the bottom tray filled with water and do not water from the top.

If the potting medium is too dry, it starts to absorb water through the drainage holes and this process goes on and is a completely safe method of watering seeds and tender seedlings.

6. Dirty or unsterile containers or seed trays

If your seeds are not germinating, one of the reasons is Dirty Or Unsterile Containers. For a better success rate in seed germination, it is always wise to use a fresh new container to thoroughly clean the old containers before adding the potting mix. Fungal and mold infections are the most common infections from dirty containers.

If infection occurs you will notice a fuzzy growth on the top of the planting medium. You may also see that seed sprouts, but then rot at its base and falls over.

This is called damping off and is caused by a fungal infection in your soil. To clean your old containers, You can use hydrogen peroxide or even use your kitchen baking soda – like 1 tablespoon per liter of water and clean the containers with this solution. Or simply clean it with soap and water or even a diluted bleaching powder.

7. Role of sunlight

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Another reason for seeds are not germinating is the lack of sunlight. For most of the seeds, sunlight is not required for sprouting of the seeds. Dark, damp, and warm conditions are best for the sprouting stage of germination.

But once the seeds germinate and two new tiny leaves are out, they need sunlight. You must follow the “Hardening Off” Method Which means a gradual exposure to sunlight, like 1 hour for the first day, 2 hours for the second, 3 hrs for the third, and so on to provide full sun exposure.

If your seeds are not germinating or sprouting please go through this article. We have covered almost all the problems. If you need any other help please let us know in the comment section below.

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Myself Pabitra Kundu. I am professional blogger, freelancer last 5 years. I am founder Petsmastro.com. I am an electrical engineer by profession but Gardening and aqua-hobby is my passion. I am writhing a Gardening blog for last 2 year.

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