The Q&A Archives: Vegetable Problems

Question: I have a great deal of difficulty getting my vegetables to germinate in my garden. The soil pH is 6-7. I've added organic matter and tilled it in, and I plant on Memorial Day weekend. Any idea as to what the problem is?

Answer: It sure sounds as though you're doing everything right! Perhaps you're planting the seeds too deeply. As a general rule of thumb, plant only as deep as twice the width of the seed. If planted too deeply, the seeds will run out of energy before the sprouts can reach the sunlight. Or, perhaps you're not keeping the seedbed moist enough. Once a seed begins to germinate it needs a constant supply of moisture. On the other hand, don't keep the soil soggy, or you'll exclude the air that theroots need. You can try pre-sprouting your seeds and then planting them. Just place them between damp papertowels and put them in plastic bags. After the seeds have sprouted and developed a little root, you can carefully plant them in the ground. If theydon't come up after that, it's possible that birds have gotten them. Better luck this year with your garden!

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