The Q&A Archives: Understanding Germination Instructions

Question: I am trying to germinate several different seed types indoors. I ordered the seeds from Burpee, but the package came with "a variety of instructions". I am puzzled as to whether once I have sowed the seeds, do I keep them in the dark or in direct sunlight until the seedlings appear? One set of instructions says to keep the tray out of direct sunlight until the seedlings actually appear and then put them by a window. Another package does not mention this aspect of the germination process. I am growing (or trying to grow) bell peppers, hot peppers, marigolds, and hollyhocks. Sara McDonald Atlanta, GA

Answer: It is confusing isn't it? The set of instructions that tell you to keep the tray out of direct sunlight may have been referring to the fact that that kind of seed likes germination temperatures a little lower than that which ordinary sunlight provides. If there are no other instructions, you can make the assumption that 70-75 degrees (warm!) is an appropriate temperature for germination....or sunlight through a window!

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