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14 messages
05/04/2014 at 20:26

Hi folks, in your experience, is there any point in hanging on to trays full of seeds that I planted about 8 weeks ago with no sign of germination? They are in an unheated greenhouse.  I was a bit too keen and think I planted too early. Is it wishful thinking to assume they will just sprout when they are ready? What happens to them when they don't sprout? Do seeds sort of die??  I did tomatoes, chillies, cosmos, dahlias and sweet peas.  Not a cheap mistake!!  That'll teach me!

 

Lyn
05/04/2014 at 20:38

I would give up on those and do some more, can you have them in your kitchen, its still cold at night in an unheated greenhouse. They germinate very quickly now. Most of mine sown in the kitchen on the 1st april are up. 

05/04/2014 at 20:43

Tootles, I think that if the conditions are too cold then the seeds would just rot in the moist compost.

There is a thread about heated propagators; I am a fan, but some others aren't. I have an electric frost buster heater in my greenhouse so when the seeds have germinated in the heated propagator in the kitchen, they can be transferred to the greenhouse, liberating the propagator for the next batch of seeds. The propagator has 7 little troughs with lids and cost about £30.

05/04/2014 at 21:09

Thanks Lyn, Artjak. I saw a heated propagator today for £30: I might just get one now. Gutted about my seeds though. I might just have a go at singing to them tomorrow; give em one last day to make an appearance!!

05/04/2014 at 21:13

Tootles, just be aware; they don't like Cliff Richard's songs

05/04/2014 at 21:40

Noted Artjak, with thanks. I'll try a bit of lionel rich-tea then 

 

05/04/2014 at 21:40

05/04/2014 at 23:12

artjak, does anyone younger than 60 like CR songs?

 

06/04/2014 at 07:54

Not sure what the audience age for CR is nowadays - MIL is 70+ and has an apoplectic fit  if she hears CR or even if he's mentioned in conversation 

06/04/2014 at 08:17

I have to say some of the seeds I sowed back in late February only started germinating last week and I too have an un-heated GH so you never know you may have a little chance! 

06/04/2014 at 08:31

Before you throw the seed trays away, try bringing them into the warmth. Its a long shot but if they haven't rotted they might just germinate.

A lot of the seeds you have sown will need a minimum of 15 C, so give them a week indoors, the cosmos will probably be the first to show if there is any sign of life. I dont use a heated propogator, just rely on the ambient temperature indoors and it works fine for all the seeds you have mentioned

 

06/04/2014 at 15:42
Tootles wrote (see)

Hi folks, in your experience, is there any point in hanging on to trays full of seeds that I planted about 8 weeks ago with no sign of germination? They are in an unheated greenhouse.  I was a bit too keen and think I planted too early. Is it wishful thinking to assume they will just sprout when they are ready? What happens to them when they don't sprout? Do seeds sort of die??  I did tomatoes, chillies, cosmos, dahlias and sweet peas.  Not a cheap mistake!!  That'll teach me!

At the beginning of March I sowed some Dahlia seeds which I had collected last October/November from seed pods in my own garden. I 'overwintered' them in sealed packets in dry, airtight plastic boxes in my garage.  The seeds were sown on multipurpose compost, watered and put in an electric windowsill propagator at a temperature of about 19 deg C.  Most of them had not germinated after several weeks and on examination appeared to have rotted.

Interestingly, some Dahlia seeds bought from a commercial company all germinated quickly under exactly the same external conditions.

So, in your case, I don't think the reason is entirely due to the low temperatures in your unheated GH.

As a member of the RHS I raised the question with them. The Horticultural Advisor suggested that I had sown them a little early  and they could well benefit from cold chilling (cold stratification) for about two weeks before sowing again. I put them in the fridge and the two weeks is now up so I will sow some more this next week and see what happens (it being later also). I have read that even seeds that do not need chilling may germinate more quickly after a period of cold storage.

You may want to try the chilling before sowing now process.  Let me know your results good or bad and we will go from there.

Good Luck.

MH

 

06/04/2014 at 15:52

Thanks MH. Shall do. I emptied one of the trays of sweet peas and there wasn't a sign of any seeds at all.  I'm guilty of over watering too.  good luck with yours. Trial and error (a lot of error on my part) is all part of the learning curve I guess. 

07/04/2014 at 20:28

Now I don't know if it was the singing that did it, but two of the seeds I'd almost given up on have sprouted!  Yippee! 

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