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Successful Seed Germination Guide

Over the years I have learned a great deal (mostly through trial and error) about how to successfully germinate seeds. Notably, my method over the years has come to vary based on the type of seed / plant I am working with. Below are some general guidelines that I have found helpful.





  1. Buy high quality seeds. My favorite is Botanical Interests.
  2. Large Seeds - Consider pre-germinating larger seeds on a wet paper towel for a few days prior to planting in soil. I do this for things such as peas, cucumbers, squash.
  3. Tiny seeds can be sown indoors on top of the soil. I suggest misting the seeds heavily instead of watering. This method is useful for flower seeds such as peonies or any other seed that is tiny.
  4. Research whether the plant requires light for germination. Most of the tiny seeds do need this and thus is is helpful to include them on top of the soil.
  5. Use a light airy soil medium. You can consider using a soil-less seed-starting medium; however, I have had just as much luck with regular garden soil.
  6. Keep soil moist. Forgetting to mist for a day or two could mean a lower germination rate or no germination at all.
  7. Review required temperatures table below and days to germination. Keep in mind that if required temperature is not met consistently then the seeds will take more time to germinate.


VARIETY SOIL TEMP # DAYS TO GERMINATE
 Bean, lima  85 degrees F  7 to 10 days
 Bean, snap  75 to 80 degrees F  7 days
 Beet  75 degrees F  7 to 14 days
 Broccoli  65 to 75 degrees F  5 to 10 days
 Brussels sprout  68 to 75 degrees F  5 to 10 days
 Cabbage  68 to 75 degrees F  5 to 10 days
 Cantaloupe  80 to 85 degrees F  5 to 10 days
 Carrot  75 degrees F  12 to 15 days
 Cauliflower  65 to 75 degrees F  5 to 10 days
 Celery  70 to 75 degrees F  10 to 14 days
 Collard  70 to 75 degrees F  5 to 10 days
 Corn  75 to 85 degrees F  7-10 days
 Cucumber  70 to 85 degrees F  7 to 10 days
 Eggplant  75 to 85 degrees F  10 to 12 days
 Endive  70 to 75 degrees F  10 to 14 days
 Kale  70 to 75 degrees F  5 to 10 days
 Kohlrabi  70 to 75 degrees F  5 to 10 days
 Lettuce  65 to 70 degrees F  7 to 10 days
 Melon  80 to 85 degrees F  5 to 10 days
 Mustard Greens  70 degrees F  5 to 10 days
 Okra  80 to 85 degrees F 7 to 14 days
 Onion, bulbing  70 to 75 degrees F  10 to 14 days
 Onion, bunching  60 to 70 degrees F  10 to 14 days
 Parsnip 70 degrees F  14 to 21 days
 Pea  65 to 70 degrees F  7 to 14 days
 Pepper  78 to 85 degrees F  10 to 14 days
 Pumpkin  70 to 75 degrees F  7 to 10 days
 Radish  65 to 70 degrees F  5 to 7 days
 Rutabaga  65 to 70 degrees F  7 to 15 days
 Spinach  70 degrees F   7 to 14 days
 Spinach, New Zealand  75 degrees F  10 to 15 days
 Squash, Summer  75 to 85 degrees F  7 to 14 days
 Squash, Winter  75 to 80 degrees F  7 to 14 days
 Swiss Chard  70 to 75 degrees F  7 to 14 days
 Tomato  75 to 80 degrees F  7 to 14 days
 Turnip  65 to 70 degrees F  7 to 14 days
 Watermelon  75 to 85 degrees F  7 to 14 days
 *Chart courtesy of Heirloom Seeds.

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1 comments:

Fred Hutchinson said...

Thanks for all table of all the different temperatures for different plants. Did you look that up somewhere or did you experiment your self. Send me the link. Thanks for all the great tips!
Fred Hutchinson | http://www.apollopatiosnewcastle.com.au

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