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wtf? carrots and lettuce wont germinate...

Posted by carsonsig (My Page) on
Thu, Apr 9, 09 at 18:51

ok, I am having real germination issues, and wanted to see if anyone could guide me to a cause?

carrots... I planted them on 3/5 and out of two squares, I have 2 carrots. sprouted about an inch now. I THINK the seed was from last year, although I bought a bunch of packs and they got mixed in.... could that have done it?

I also planted bok choy and romaine (new seed) on 3/20 and I think there might be 2 total out of 3 squares total at mels planting densities. we have had some rain this week, but during their supposed "x" days to germinate it was sunny and 60's...

my radishes germinated and are jamming along quite well.... and my peas are 2 feet for one planting and 8 inches or so for the other....

all I can do I guess is follow the calendar and if weather gets me, what can you do... but if it is something else... I would love to know so I can remedy.

Follow-Up Postings:

RE: wtf? carrots and lettuce wont germinate...

Some lettuce needs light to germinate. I usually lay mine on the surface instead of digging them in and they do fine.

Do you think 'WTF', really needs to be in your subject line? Doesn't really inspire amicable relations.

RE: wtf? carrots and lettuce wont germinate...

probably not..... my juvenile humor and frustration bubbling forth....

light to germinate... hmmm. I had not heard that. I think in the future I will go with starts where possible, it is more $ though...

RE: wtf? carrots and lettuce wont germinate...

  • Posted by bencjedi 6 - Central Kentucky (My Page) on
    Thu, Apr 9, 09 at 21:38

I didn't know that either. One type of lettuce I am trying to grow refuses to germinate (Bibb). The seed packet even says 'guaranteed to grow'. Doesn't say anything about light. The other lettuce I seeded came up fine on my water heater: red, oak leaf, salad bowl, black seeded simpson. The light thing probably is what the Bibb needs. Thanks ribbit!

RE: wtf? carrots and lettuce wont germinate...

I currently have about 10 or more different lettuces & greens mixes, also spinach and chard and arugula in my greenhouse and they are doing great. I cover my with a very thin layer of a very fine starting (to keep from scattering the seeds when I water) mix I get from my local greehouse supply co. They do need light to germinate and keep them on the cool side. Mine will go into the ground this weekend.

RE: wtf? carrots and lettuce wont germinate...

My carrots took about 2 1/2 - 3 weeks to germinate. I don't know about lettuce. I would say just be patient with the carrots, but when in doubt, plant more! Make sure you are keeping the soil moist, and not letting it crust up--atleast that's what my packet says.

Seeds from last year aren't necessarily the cause, since most of my seed is from last year and it germinates fine. I heard that Reimer's seed doesn't germinate very well, so if your seed is from them, that could be why.

Here's what I found from Johnny's about bibb lettuce from seed: Lettuce can be dormant at high temperatures. For best germination results sow at soil temperatures of 68F (20C) or lower.

TRANSPLANTING: Sow in flats, 4 seeds/in., or in 3/4" plug trays, barely covering seeds with fine vermiculite, 3-4 weeks before transplanting outdoors. Shade the flats on sunny, warm days if necessary to keep the soil surface cool, below 75F (24C), until germination.

DIRECT SEEDING: Seeds germinate even at low, 40F (4C), soil temperature, but poorly above 75-85F (24-29C) depending on the variety and seed lot. Cover seed lightly, about 1/8", and firm soil gently. Dry soil must be watered to ensure coolness and moisture, and for even germination.

I hope this helps!

RE: wtf? carrots and lettuce wont germinate...

My carrots took a month to germinate - no kidding. I planted another square while I was waiting on them, and finally... the first ones started to poke through. They have true leaves now, but are still only about 1/2 inch to an inch tall above ground. I thought they would never grow, so give them time, they don't seem to be in a hurry :)


RE: wtf? carrots and lettuce wont germinate...

My lettuce came up in about a week...started inside. Unfortunately I started them too early...they aren't getting enough light...too spindly. Near a south facing window and using a 15W florescent (60W eqiv). Temps from 60F to 70F at most.

Typical frost free date is around May 12th here. They are going outside soon...I'll have to protect them from rain and too much sun at first...not to mention a month's worth of frost.

RE: wtf? carrots and lettuce wont germinate...

An old timer on this site (I forget who) told me to cover carrots with lightweight fabric and keep well watered. I scatter seeds on the surface of the soil, water lightly to keep from scattering, then cover with lightweight burlap. Works EVERY time. Seeds still take 7-10 days to germinate, but germination rate is very high with this method. I wonder if it would work with lettuce?

RE: wtf? carrots and lettuce wont germinate...

I use fine vermiculite over seeds to germinate.

My lettuce has been outside for 2 weeks...slowly growing. Had a plastic tent over them for a week or so to get them used to being outside. Just bought some tomato plants...will start cukes outside maybe end of this month. Tomatoes in the ground in a few days. Time to plant the remaining lettuce outside?

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