Guidelines for Successful Seed Sowing

tomato, pepper and roselle seedlings Sow seed in a light, well-drained soil. Seeds need air as well as water to germinate. Sow no deeper than 3 to 4 times the diameter of the seed or in the case of oblong seed no deeper than 1 to 3 times the length of the seed. Fine seed should be sown on the soil surface. A salt shaker can be used for sowing fine seed. Moisten the growing medium with mist from a misting nozzle or misting bottle until seedlings are well established.

Most seed requires constant moisture to germinate. Pay strict attention to temperature and moisture requirements for germination. Refer to the extensive cultural notes in our catalog, including the table titled "Vegetable Seed Germination Temperatures."

Failures in seed germination are almost always caused by improper attention to cultural requirements. The most common causes of seed failure are sowing seed in cold soggy soil, heavy waterlogged soil, cold soil (warm weather crops), hot soil (cool weather crops), or soil that has been allowed to dry out. For seeds started indoors, we recommend the use of sterile seed starting mix, not potting soil which may give poor results. For transplants, use a professional-quality commercial potting soil. Many cheap potting soils are poorly drained and need to be lightened with coarse vermiculite or perlite.

If in spite of your best efforts your seed does not germinate, let us know the details and we will help you with a solution and replace the seed if necessary.