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Why Your Seeds Aren’t Sprouting

Photo: kazoka (Shutterstock)While our elementary school science classes may have taught us the basics about seeds and how to plant them, if you’ve gotten into gardening as an adult, you’ve probably figured out that there’s plenty more to learn. And unfortunately, growing a plant isn’t necessarily as simple as putting a few seeds in dirt…

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Photo: kazoka (Shutterstock)

While our elementary school science classes may have taught us the basics about seeds and how to plant them, if you’ve gotten into gardening as an adult, you’ve probably figured out that there’s plenty more to learn. Unfortunately, planting a plant is not as easy as just putting some seeds in the dirt and watering it.

For example, even if you seemingly do everything right, your seeds may not sprout. Seeds are fickle, as many people don’t realize. These are the reasons your seeds aren’t growing.

Why your seeds aren’t sprouting

You’ve followed the directions. You have waited. You’ve waited and waited. Yet, your seeds are not even beginning to sprout. Here are some of the possible reasons why that may be happening, to help you avoid a similar situation in the future:

Overwatering

Yes, seeds need water to grow, but

give them too much
and you run the risk of drowning them. Overwatering can kill beneficial bacteria and cause the seeds to rot.

Something ate them

Just because your seeds are in the ground, it doesn’t mean that they’re safe from predators. Sometimes, seeds don’t sprout because critters like mice, voles, birds, and wireworms ate them for lunch.

They were stored incorrectly

Seeds should be stored in a dry, airtight container in a cool spot in your home, garage, or shed. Too hot can cause seeds to stop sprouting. Even if the seeds were not technically wet but they were located in high humidity, excessive moisture can cause the same result.

They were planted too deep in the soil

Pay attention when you’re planting seeds: If you put them too far down into the soil, they can run out of steam before getting to the soil, making it look like they didn’t sprout.

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