Why won't my seeds germinate? We can help!

Having trouble getting your seeds to germinate? Don't give up, we can help!

I've outlined some of the main reasons why your seeds may not be germinating and solutions for these.

Light - some seeds need light to germinate, whereas others need darkness. 

Strawflowers, celosia and scabiosa all need light, cover ever so lightly with soil when sowing these seeds.

Planting depth - if the seed is planted too deep it may not be able to grow to the surface. Be careful when sowing very tiny seeds such as poppies, snapdragon and thyme, as if watered from above the seeds will wash to deep into the soil. When in punnets water from below. The general rule is; sow the seeds the same depth as the seed.

Season - some seeds will only germinate when the soil is at a certain temperature. For example, if soil is above 25 degrees lettuce will remain dormant. Check the seed packet or website for which season to sow your seeds.

Soil - if the soil is too dry or wet the seeds will not germinate. Making sure the soil remains damp and use the best quality potting mix available. 

Pre treatments - some seeds will germinate better after a pre planting treatment such as soaking in water overnight or for some Australian native seeds a smoke treatment to replicate what may happen in the bush naturally to promote germination. Sweet peas are a seed that will benefit from soaking in water overnight.

Other seeds such as Bells Of Ireland will benefit from a pre chill treatment in the fridge for 1-2 weeks prior sowing.

Pests - when sowing seeds direct into the garden there is always a risk they will get eaten by insects, birds or wildlife. To protect your seeds cover them with netting.

Storage - if your seeds have not been stored correctly this may effect your germination rate. Keeping them in an airtight container, in a cool area, away from sunlight will keep the seeds fresh. Stored in the right conditions they can last between 2-5 years!

Some seeds will naturally have a lower germination rate then others. 

Happy gardening!

Bec