London (change)
Today 11°C / 10°C
Tomorrow 13°C / 9°C
13 messages
12/03/2013 at 09:13

I started a load of veg & herb seeds in pots, trays and guttering at the weekend (9th March) and placed them on a shelf under the window in my garage. Since then, temperatures have plummetted and some of the compost in some of the pots has partially frozen! I don't think they're frozen solid, perhaps just the surface and edges.

Can anyone please tell me: will this kill my seeds? I've since covered them up in a blanket to try to thaw/protect them.

12/03/2013 at 09:56

you might be lucky just wait and see , but if they have failed I would wait until the last week in March or the first week in April .

Derek

12/03/2013 at 10:03

It may depend on what is sown-which is-??-but in nature, seeds go through all sorts of conditions- and still germinate

12/03/2013 at 10:03

It depends on what seeds they are. Some are tougher than others. But in that sort of weather it's safer to have them on windowsills in the house.

12/03/2013 at 10:53

Some seeds only grow if they get a couple of weeks (sometimes longer!) low temperatures, infact some seeds you may need to stick in your fridge before they will germinate correctly, the process is called stratification. Problem will be if the seeds had already germinated then got whacked with the frost.. it's a suck it and see I'm afraid, but I haven't sown anything other than some chilli seeds myself, was going to this week but with the weather I'm happy to wait. Even if they all have snuffed it, you've already prepped the soil so just resow, a week or two won't make a huge difference in the grand scheme of things. Good Luck.

12/03/2013 at 11:54

Some seeds actually need a frost, thaw, frost process to break dormancy and I have several small bags of seeds in damp cmpost out the back of the house.

Others will germinate given damp compost and normal temps.  Some like lettuces won't germinate when it's too warm while others require bottom heat to convince them it's safe to germinate.

As for your seeds, you'll just have to wait and see.   Give them at least 10 to 14 days indoors on a window sill before you give up but be prepared to re-sow.

12/03/2013 at 11:56

Some seeds actually need a frost, thaw, frost process to break dormancy and I have several small bags of seeds in damp compost out the back of the house to see if I can provoke them into germinating - Japanese maples, clematis, rowans....

Others will germinate given damp compost and normal temps.  Some like lettuces won't germinate when it's too warm while others require bottom heat to convince them it's safe to germinate.  It depends on the origins of the plant.

As for you seeds, you'll just have to wait and see.   Give them 10 to 14 days indoors on a window sill before you give up but be prepared to re-sow.

12/03/2013 at 16:26

Better off sowing later & hoping things will catch up.  Especially with the prices of some seed!

13/03/2013 at 07:59

Obelixx, as you said, sometimes we have to do things twice 

Sorry! ................... I'll get my coat ........................... 

13/03/2013 at 12:44

Rather than keeping the seeds under a blanket, try pinning some bubble wrap over the window. I would also lay a piece on the window sill to stand the pots and trays on. Wait a few weeks to see if anything germinates, unfortunately a lot of seeds which need sowing inside are frost tender so you may lose quite a few. It will not be too late to resow later in the month or even into April.

14/03/2013 at 11:56

Thanks, everyone.

I guess I'll just wait and see if they sprout!

16/04/2013 at 08:32

UPDATE: About 30% survived and germinated, the rest rotted or simply disappeared! Re-sowed at the weekend, so fingers crossed...

(Broad beans and brussels sprouts all survived and germintated; nothing else did)

16/04/2013 at 09:06

It will all be OK ths time round JossVam, it's spring now

email image
13 messages