Seed Germination Concerns

"Bad Seed": No or Poor Seed Germination Concerns

  • We only sell fresh, healthy seeds.
  • Our seed is frequently and thoroughly tested to ensure it meets or exceeds Federal Standards.
    • Seeds are tested by our germination lab and independent germination lab.

Manifestations of "bad seed" are poor germination or NO germination. If a seedling comes up and then dies - this is an issue caused by growing conditions, NOT the SEED!!

If fresh seed did not yield seedlings, what conditions were not met for proper germination?

  • #1 cause - Lack of moisture - Media (soil) was not kept sufficiently moist. Even a few dry hours can stall or halt growth completely. Ingestion of water into the seed embryo is what awakens and activates growth. If this hydration is not achieved or if it stops, a seed will die.
  • #2 cause - No pre-soaking - Were seeds soaked prior to planting? 30 minutes to 8 hours pre-soak can greatly improve germination %. (pelleted seeds require no pre-soaking)
  • #3 cause - Wrong soil temperature - What is the soil temperature? Soil temperature is 2nd most critical factor affecting seed germination. Know the optimum soil temperature needed for the type of seed you are attempting to germinate.
  • #4 cause - Too much water - Media (soil) is kept too wet, causing a lack of oxygen and seed suffocation.
  • #5 cause - Seed too deep - Covered too much or planted too deep. Stem and cotyledons form but do not break the soil surface to absorb light for needed photosynthesis and die from lack of energy. Germination is all a seed has the capacity to do.

All seeds, no matter what the variety, have the same mission: to break dormancy, put down a root (radicle), and send up seed leaves (cotyledon). That is it!

A seed is a dormant embryotic plant that has limited capacity for the stored energy it has. The smaller the seed, the less stored energy.

The seed or seed performance has nothing to do with or has any effect on plant performance, fruit size, quality, or overall yield.

Plant performance or growth, how large a plant gets, how healthy it is, how much fruit (vegetables) a plant produces, etc., all depends on growing conditions in your garden like soil moisture, soil nutrition, environmental conditions, and flower production & pollination. Not the seed itself.

Seeds come from many different sources, and some errors may occur in what named variety is packaged and shipped. We do offer options of replacement or credit, depending on the situation, for "not true to name." incidences.

For more information about seed germination, read our Seed Germination Guide.