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Tomato germination

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  • Tomato germination

    My toms planted about 3 weeks ago have not germinated. I simply planted three to a 4inch pot at a depth of about 1/2 inch and have kept indoors

    The seed is last year's - could this be an explanation, or does anyone else have any suggestions to help germination

    thanks VF

  • #2
    Hi

    Half an inch sounds very deep for toms.

    T

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    • #3
      Vegetarian Fox,

      You didn't metion about the temperature as tomato need at least 18C constant temperature to germinate (they will do better if given higher temperature).
      I always sow my tomato seeds pretty shallow lesser than 0.5cm deep. Have you try to gently dig in the soil ? They might have germinated but hasn't managed to emerge. If it is from last year seeds (last year harvested seeds), they should be still viable as they will keep well for 4 to 5 years if stores in constant cool temperature.
      I grow, I pick, I eat ...

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      • #4
        Originally posted by Vegetarian Fox View Post
        My toms planted about 3 weeks ago have not germinated. I simply planted three to a 4inch pot at a depth of about 1/2 inch and have kept indoors

        The seed is last year's - could this be an explanation, or does anyone else have any suggestions to help germination

        thanks VF
        Sorry to hear that, it is somewhat long time for germination. Last year's seeds should be perfectly alright, tomato seeds keep well even beyond 5 years.

        I had problem with 3" pot even in heated propagator, never mind without it although I did have 1-2 successful germination out of 10 sowings which may have been have due to the tomato variety.

        For me personally, I prefer to use the heated propagator as it can take around 5 days to germinate using fresh compost (do not cheat), shallow tray (mine was 1 inch deep) and only very lightly cover the seed, do not bury and keep the compost moist. I'm sure you can replicate the temperature without a heated propagator but the toms need warmth.
        Food for Free

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        • #5
          I planted my seeds at 1cm depth one and a half inch seems a bit deep. What variety are they, I've always been lead to believe that F1 varieties dont keep well after a year.
          Do not meddle in the affairs of dragons for you are crunchy and good with ketchup!

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          • #6
            Half an inch depth shouldn't cause a problem.

            I think they'll still germinate but you need to warm them up a bit. It is surprisingly difficult to kill an undamaged tomato seed. You might get a few duff ones, but it's very rare for them not to appear eventually. This is why impatient people who recycle their compost for another crop find tomato seedlings coming up too

            When I'm not in a rush (and I'm usually not!) I just sow tomatoes in modules and put them anywhere indoors - they can take a while to come through (a couple of weeks or so) but they always pop up in the end. If I want some certainty or the seed is out of date I might try a bit harder and put them in the airing cupoard for a few days.

            As spring moves on, if the weather is good, a sunny windowsill and mild nightime temperatures will make them germinate more quickly, too.

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            • #7
              Originally posted by Alison C View Post
              What variety are they, I've always been lead to believe that F1 varieties dont keep well after a year.
              Really? If it helps, all my quickly germinated tomatoes were non-hybrid variety. Don't do hybrids here, esp toms.
              Last edited by veg4681; 02-04-2008, 03:51 PM.
              Food for Free

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              • #8
                Shouldn't be any problem with keeping tomato seeds from one year to a next whether they're F1s of not. Basically some varieties of seed keep, some don't and toms are pretty good. Have managed to germinate ones which claim to be 5 years out of date in the past.

                Some of us live in the past, always talking about back then. Some of us live in the future, always planning what we are going to do. And, then there are those, who neither look behind or ahead, but just enjoy the moment of right now.

                Which one are you and is it how you want to be?

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                • #9
                  Hi

                  The oldest viable dated seed that has grown into a plant was a Judean date palm seed about 2,000 years old, recovered from excavations at Herod the Great's palace on Masada in Israel. It was germinated in 2005.
                  Not sure how long your toms will last.

                  T

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                  • #10
                    Thanks for all the comments - its sounds like they were not quite warm enough and/or I was a little impatient

                    The varieties were all true, non-F1 hybrids - Costoluto Fiorentina, Orange Banana, Gardeners Delight and Urbikany from RealSeeds.co.uk

                    VF

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                    • #11
                      Hi

                      I had to wait ages for my cherry tomato seeds to germinate. They were meant to expire last August but I thought I'd give them a go anyway. I also ended up doing a seed viability test and would you believe it whilst I was waiting they started to germinate! I definately think the temperature made a difference as when the weather got warmer they started to germinate. By the way, the viability test showed they were ok.

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                      • #12
                        I'm using 3 year old F1 seed for my Sungolds - the only F1 tom I grow. I buy a new packet about every 4 or 5 years and they germinate no problem. I think temp - and not too much water - is critical. They don't like it cold (just like me!)
                        Whoever plants a garden believes in the future.

                        www.vegheaven.blogspot.com Updated March 9th - Spring

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                        • #13
                          I am interested in the minimum germination temperature the average tomato seed.

                          Does anyone know what the absolute consistent temp that a tomato seed will germinate at? I see that its about 8-9C on the web.

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                          • #14
                            When my mum gave up her allotment in January - (she's 85 this year)! she gave me a bundle of seeds. There was a packet of Alicante from Tuckers dated "sow by 2004".

                            Out of 20 ish seeds I've got about 70% germination from them over a week in a moderately warm airing cupboard, I understand that tomato seed has a long life so I wasn't too suprised.

                            I know there's also a few "well out of date" squash and courgette packets in that same bundle, so I'm going to try a few out of interest and see how they do.


                            KC
                            Jiving on down to the beach to see the blue and the gray, seems to be all and it's rosy-it's a beautiful day!

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                            • #15
                              Hi

                              The sub arctic plenty tom seeds, whoch were free with the GYO mag, they germinated ok, but only 2 are left; because I have been putting them outside during the day.
                              Only one has survived of other types, so maybe thats not too bad.

                              I have sown some more today, so it might be warm enough now.

                              T

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