Nature Notes: Germination

Germinated seeds, spring 2009: Probably mostly radish seeds
Germinated seeds, spring 2009: Probably mostly radish seeds

Growing from seed can be so satisfying. My favorite part is when the little seed germinate. Germination is when they pop their little green heads out from the soil (or whatever the substance in which they are growing, some planting material is described as soiless).

Pictured are probably mostly radish seeds that have germinated in my garden, although there might be a lettuce seed that has germinated as well. I saved these seeds in my refrigerator from past years; in a few rows behind these smaller seeds I planted peas. Those I ordered new this year, along with inoculant that is supposed to help the peas germinate.

If you have never planted from seed, two seeds you might want to try are radish and marigold. Radish is quick to germinate, so you can plant it with other spring seeds, and the radishes will come up first. But radishes prefer soil that is a bit on the sandy side (our soil here in Highland Park is naturally full of clay; one needs to mix in other organic elements for better results), and it make take a while to get the actual radish. Radishes grow in the ground, but after a while you may see the bright red head of the radish popping out, requesting you pull out the radish. Marigolds are long, straw like seeds, so they don’t get lost in the soil like some tinier flower seeds. And once they germinate, they already look a bit like the fancy leaves of the marigold. And then you can watch them grow, grow, grow, and you will have fun marigolds all the way until the fall frost.

Have you planted anything from seed?

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10 thoughts on “Nature Notes: Germination

    • A lot of times the problem is over-watering as opposed to under-watering. Seedlings only need a bit of water to grow. If planted in a container, watering by putting a little dish of water under the container is a good way to go.

      Then there’s the question of what are they planted in? I have more luck with soiless seed-growing mixes than regular soil.

  • I hadn’t planted anything from seed since we had a vegetable garden when my daughter was little. I am a novice but I am going to plant a monarch garden and ordered my kit from Monarch Watch which contains seeds for milkweed and plants for nectar. I am excited about it..This is a great post for Nature Watch..thank you Leora…Michelle

    • Good luck with the Monarch Watch garden! Sometimes my gardens get really pretty butterflies. I’ve never managed to capture one on film, but maybe I’ll aim to do so this summer.

  • Don’t they look hopeful? I have grown from seed, and have pretty good luck outdoors. Starting seed indoors hasn’t been so lucky; everything damps off before it gets a good start.

  • I love starting plants from seeds. I used to start almost everything in my small greenhouse to be planted outside when it was warm. Not doing as much as I used to but I am with you, seeing the seeds germinate is the best part. Great nature notes post.

  • Thanks for visiting my nature notes. I wanted to answer your questions. Most of the tree blossoms I showed were white dogwoods. The mixed one from my house had white and pink dogwoods with a Japanese maple on the far right.

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