How to plant miswak tree seeds

7 reasons why your seeds won't germinate and what to do about them!

You seem to have done everything right and are well equipped with a seed tray and pots, potting soil and seeds. Nevertheless, the seeds just don't want to sprout and there are no seedlings to be seen anywhere. What can that be? We have collected for you the 7 most common reasons why seeds do not germinate and show you in 5 easy steps how your seeds can become strong seedlings.

There's nothing to see here - that's why seeds don't germinate

When spring is just around the corner and it gets warmer outside, the gardening season also begins. Most vegetables, including summer flowers, must first be grown from seeds before they can move into the bed or outdoors. In addition, many hobby gardeners want to grow their plants themselves right from the start and do not want to reach for seedlings straight away. After all, it's a very special feeling to be there from the start.

You can therefore start sowing seeds and growing seedlings even when the temperatures outside are still quite low. However, sometimes it can happen that the seeds do not sprout despite your best efforts. If you too are waiting in vain for the first seedlings, you should take a close look at the following 7 points, because they are the most common reasons why it remains suspiciously quiet in growing trays and pots.

1. The seed is too old

Yes, seeds also have a best-before date. The older the seed, the weaker its ability to germinate. This overview shows you how long seeds can normally germinate:

  • 1 year: onion, chives, garlic, parsnips
  • 2 years: carrots
  • 3 years: celery, fennel, spinach
  • 4 years: radishes, peas, beans, radish, lamb's lettuce
  • 5 years: tomatoes, cabbage, pumpkin, cucumber

So the fact that your seeds are not germinating could be because they are simply too old. Take a look at the packaging, there should be a best-before date. You can also do a simple test to see whether your seeds are still capable of germinating: Take a piece of damp kitchen paper, spread a few seeds on it and roll it up. Then you put the rolled up paper in a bag made of plastic film, in which you have previously punched small holes. Keep the whole thing at room temperature and see if seedlings form within the given time. If more than half of the seeds have germinated, the seeds are still usable. If fewer seedlings appear, you should dispose of it and get new ones.

2. The seeds were stored incorrectly

If the seeds were stored incorrectly during the winter months, problems with germination can also arise at the beginning of the planting season. To prevent this, you should always store seeds in a cool place protected from light. Make sure there is good air circulation and make sure to pack your seeds so that they are air-permeable to prevent mold formation. Paper bags are ideal, while plastic bags are a no-go. If your seeds are really one hundred percent dry, you can also store them in a screw-top jar.

3. It's still too cold

It is not uncommon for soil temperatures that are too low to prevent seeds from germinating. To be on the safe side, you should therefore rather wait a little longer before sowing outdoors than what is stated on the packaging of your seeds. If the soil is then significantly warmer, germination is often even faster than expected. Another advantage: At higher temperatures, the tender seedlings are not overgrown by weeds as quickly as at lower temperatures.

4. The wrong substrate

Sometimes it is also due to the wrong substrate if the seedlings simply do not want to show themselves. Basically, this should be loose and finely crumbly with a rather low nutrient content in order to allow seeds to germinate optimally. In addition to coconut pellets and special potting soil, you can also use soil you have made yourself. This should consist of one part each of sifted garden soil, sifted compost and sand. Heavy soil with a high proportion of clay is by no means suitable, as this is very difficult for young seedlings to penetrate.

5. The wrong sowing

With seed bands and seed discs made of cellulose in particular, things can go wrong when sowing. Although these sowing aids are intended to simplify sowing, there are a few important points to consider. Ribbons and discs should be thoroughly moistened after being laid out. Only then can you cover them with earth. For optimal contact with the seeds, this must be pressed down well and also well moistened. If, on the other hand, you just lay the soil loosely over the seed discs and bands, the first tender roots will not find a hold.

6. Too little water

Lack of water is one of the most common causes of non-germinating seeds. Especially after sowing and in the germination phase, you should make sure to keep the seedbed well moistened so that the seeds can swell and sprout. In this phase, too little water inevitably leads to the tender seedlings dying off.

7. The wrong sowing depth

In principle, seeds can be divided into light germs and dark germs. While some need light to germinate, others only germinate in the dark. Small seeds should only be sown shallow and barely covered with soil so that the seedling can make its way to the surface. Larger seeds, on the other hand, have to go deeper into the earth. You should keep this in mind as a basic rule. You can use this as a guide if you do not have information on the correct sowing depth from the manufacturer at hand.

Your 5-step plan for strong seedlings

If you follow a few basic tips, you can significantly increase the germination rate of your seeds and look forward to numerous strong seedlings.

  1. Soak seeds before sowing. You should soak particularly hard-shelled seeds before sowing or, if possible, even roughen something with sandpaper. This will make it easier for them to germinate.
  2. Use special potting soil or coconut fiber. These are loose, water-permeable and poor in nutrients and not only offer seeds the ideal conditions for germination, but also ensure that strong roots form. However, since the plants will need a nutrient-rich environment later on, we recommend that you fill the lower half of your growing pots with potting soil and the upper half with potting soil. If the roots of the plants are long enough, they automatically reach into the nutrient-rich potting soil. Very important: Fine seeds should be covered with at most the same to twice as large amount of soil, while large seeds should be covered with three to four times as large amount of soil.
  3. Make sure there is enough warmth and humidity. Dry room air is poison for germination. This can be remedied by mini greenhouses and growing boxes, which are equipped with transparent lids and thus ensure ideal germination conditions. If the lid does not have ventilation openings, you should remove it for a few minutes every day to prevent fungal infections by circulating air.
  4. Keep the soil well moist. Regular watering is mandatory to germinate seeds. It is best to use an atomizer for this so that the fine seeds are not washed out of the substrate.
  5. Use a planting cord. When sowing directly in the field, a planting cord is an extremely useful tool with which you can keep the recommended row spacing as well as a straight sowing line. This makes it much easier to sow very fine seeds.

With the right know-how to a cultivation paradise

Avoid mistakes and work with the right tricks - this is how you are guaranteed to germinate your seeds. With our tips, sadly empty growing trays and pots are a thing of the past and you can look forward to lavishly growing seedlings. The right time, the right substrate, heat, water and light turn dry seeds into juicy plants.

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