Germination: How long will it take for X to grow?

Share on FacebookPin on PinterestTweet about this on TwitterShare on LinkedInShare on Google+Email this to someone
Seed germination in two to three weeks, according to the label.

“Germination in 2-3 weeks.” They forgot to tell the basil seeds inside this packet.

The easy answer about seed germination time is “not normally overnight.”

One of the most common questions that new gardeners come up with is “how long will it take this seed to get going?” The best answer is “it depends.”

I know that’s not satisfactory… but when you think about all that’s involved for a seed to decide to grow, it’s pretty dang accurate.

Sweet corn, for instance, takes 4-12 days if the germination conditions are right:

  • – if the soil temperature is between 60F and 95F
  • – if the soil is prepared properly
  • – if the planting depth is at an inch
  • – if the seed is viable (alive and in the mood to grow)
  • – if the birds don’t dig it up and eat it
  • – if the seed isn’t too old or too dead to grow
  • – if it isn’t overwatered and turned to mush
  • – if the right nutrients are present
  • – if the right amount of moisture is provided.
Overachiever basil ignores seed packet instructions showing germination at 2-3 weeks.

Overachiever basil ignores seed packet instructions showing germination at 2-3 weeks.

This Basil is Ignoring Germination Guidelines

Here’s a basil that popped up after three days. The packet says to expect it in two to three WEEKS. Overachiever? Basil can’t read? Perhaps, or maybe it’s because all the germination conditions were perfect and the seed was in a hurry to get going. Who knows.

Maybe it knew I needed more basil.

Germination General Guidelines

I wrote about this earlier, but failed to take my own advice. I figured if I were going to ignore it ( and apparently so is the basil), it bears repeating.

So before you call your friendly seed purveyor in a panic, here are a few germination times for things you might want to grow.

Here, too, is a nifty Seed Germination Guide from Thompson & Morgan, which used to be included with each seed order. I don’t know if they still do that, but it’s a great way to get started.

To your garden success!
Casey – the Garden Lass

Share on FacebookPin on PinterestTweet about this on TwitterShare on LinkedInShare on Google+Email this to someone

Please add your thoughts