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Will the seeds still sprout despite the cold?

Posted by kristie73 z5 Co Springs ( on
Fri, Apr 30, 10 at 12:13

With the cold temperatures, I'm worried that the seeds I planted a week or so ago are not going to sprout. They hadn't yet and now I'm wondering if it was a waste.

I planted outside, peas, lettuce, spinach, carrots, cucumbers, and pumpkins. I realized after that I probably should have held off on the cucumbers and pumpkins. I still hadn't seen anything sprouting yet though and now we have had cold temps. I should have covered them up! Maybe I should have just waited on them all.

I also haven't watered a lot on my own, because we had been getting rain here and there, but there may have a been a day or two that didn't get water and with all this wind. I hope they didn't dry up. Hopefully that wasn't a mistake too.

I'm still learning. :) I'm worried.

Follow-Up Postings:

RE: Will the seeds still sprout despite the cold?

Kristie, I'm not in CS but you may be okay. "A week or so" isn't a very long time, in the spring.

Linked below is information on germination times for vegetables. You can see that it takes a good deal longer for seeds to germinate at low temperatures. Yes, that can cause problems for the seeds; they may begin to decay.

One of the most difficult crops that I grow is carrots. They take so long to emerge and the seed sits just below the surface of the soil. There's lots of time for soil around them to dry out. It is important to keep their seed bed moist.

If you have lost some things, I don't think that you are anywhere near a time when they can't be re-seeded. Keep your fingers crossed and watch to see what happens. And, Here is Wishing You the Very Best of Luck.


Here is a link that might be useful: Days to Germination, at Various Temperatures, University of Minnesota

RE: Will the seeds still sprout despite the cold?

  • Posted by skybird z5, Denver, CO (My Page) on
    Fri, Apr 30, 10 at 14:25

Digit! I cant believe it! I just linked that same page over on your soil temps thread!

Kristie, ditto what Digit said! If it stays cold, you may have a problem with the cukes and the pumpkins, but dont give up on them until its been warm for a couple weeks in a row. If the ones you already planted dont make it, theres LOTS of time to replant them. I dont plant pumpkins since I dont have room for them, but I wont be planting my cukes out, sown directly in the ground, for a few weeks yet. They grow FAST once they get going!

And, as Digit says, with the carrots, be sure you keep the surface moist till you see them coming up. Thats important, because if the seeds germinate and then completely dry out before theyre visible, theyll die. (If they dry a little before they germinate, they shouldnt be affected.) With our hot sun, and with the WIND weve been having latelyand tend to have much of the time, you need to check them at least once a day, and maybe even more often, and moisten the surface anytime its looking dry. Its not a matter of keeping everything WET, just keeping the surface moist at least down to the depth of the seeds. An easy way to do it is to set a little sprinkler where the seeds have been planted and then to just check a couple times a day and turn the sprinkler on for several minutes when the surface is drying. Carrots, in my experience too, can take a while to show themselves, so dont give up on them!

Your peas and lettuce and spinach will definitely be fine! Over on Digits "This will never work!" thread I just posted how quickly mine came upeven in the COLD!

Enjoy your veggie garden! It is SO much fun to watch when things start coming up, and even more fun when you start getting things to eat!


RE: Will the seeds still sprout despite the cold?

I pretty much second what has been said above. Here in extreme SW KS where I'm sure I'm some warmer than you I've planted radishes,sweet peas and greens without any protection. I've planted a few cukes. Also a few plants of squash. I put an empty plastic milk jug with the bottom cut out and a hole in the top cap around them. Otherwise it would be too cold. The soil temp have been hovering around 64 degrees during the days. But at night it has been cool and they are saying possibly 34 tonight. I have cukes and squash up in the jugs and not too worried about them. If I would lose a few I just will replant. This is early for cukes, pumpkins, beans and those seeds that like warmer soil. The only way to get good germination is too give them some help. Whether a plastic jug, row cover or a WOW. I usually wait a little later too start mine. But the local farmer's market will open the first weekend in June and want a few things to take. Jay

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