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Three Reasons Your Seeds Haven’t Germinated

Have you ever thrown some seeds in the soil on a Saturday only to be searching the desolate ground for them the following Friday? We’ve all been there. Or maybe we haven’t! Planting from seed is somewhat of a lost art and I, too, used to be extremely intimidated by planting from seed until I realized how easy, cost-efficient, and successful it can truly be in the garden.

If you can read a recipe or put together your kids’ lego sets, you can plant from seed. It’s as easy as turning over the seed packet and reading the 4 or 5 steps provided to start your plants off right!

Like I said, planting from seed is easy and Fall is a time when MANY things benefit from being planted as seeds instead of from transplants. If you planted from seed this August or September and you’ve yet to see those little sprouts bursting out of the ground, here are four reasons why that may have happened.

  1. The soil dried out. What are you doing to make sure your seeds don’t dry out? Check out this video that shows you how I like to use a product I always have on hand to keep my soil moist. Find out how this FROST CLOTH has saved me more times than none when it comes to amazing carrot germination!

  2. The seeds were planted when it was still too hot. This happens to me all the time when I try to plant spinach too early in the fall. I always try to plant it in the beginning of September but my garden is in full sun and it’s just too hot. You would think I would have learned but, alas, I end up replanting every year. If knowing when optimal plantings times are and you also live in Zone 8b, this FREE FALL PLANTING GUIDE may be helpful to you.

  3. The seeds were planted too deeply. Do you know how to read the back of a seed packet? It tells you everything you need to know including exactly how deeply to plant and how far apart to space your seeds. Watch this YouTube video for instructions on exactly how to understand your seed packet instructions. Common tools like this DIBBER or my most-used tool, my HORI HORI, help me estimate depths and spaces between plants.

  4. It simply hasn’t been long enough for them to germinate. Things like arugula will sprout so quickly that if you blink too fast you’ll miss it! But, did you know that certain plants and especially herbs can take 10-14 days to germinate? If your seeds dry out in between some of those days, they may not come up. That’s a long time to remember to hand water daily so it’s easy to see how these seeds sometimes get a bad wrap.

So, is it too late to replant everything in my garden? Well, that depends. It’s crucial to know your predicted first frost date. Once you know that date, you can decide if you have enough time to plant.

1. How many days are the days to harvest on the back of your seed packet?

2. How many days is it until your first predicted frost?

If the number you got for question one is less than the answer you got for question to you than you are good to plant!

If you're interested in planting fast growing and slightly frost tolerant, things, like arugula or lettuce, and if you also plan to use frost cloth in your garden, you can get away with planting closer to your first frost date because you know those little seedlings will be protected when the first few frosts arrive!

Happy growing to you and yours!!


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