How To Handle Low Germination Rates

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Mass Seed Planting

Seeds do not last forever and the germination rate lowers as time passes. Thus, the day could arrive when we fill our cell tray with medium, plant seeds and see a jaw dropping success rate. We could scratch our head, remembering yesteryears 95% success rate and this years rate at under 10%.

Marigolds with low germination rates

What do we do when germination rate is low?

When the rate is extremely low and the conditions were ideal, we can foresee the viability of these seeds as not useful for following years. Therefore, we can do a mass planting in a nursery flat and transplant them as they pop up.

This way, we will get something to fill up our flats. Next year, we obviously save seed or buy new seed.

After we mass plant our seeds, we can cover the tray and place it on a heat pad, or just cover with saran wrap and place it under lights. With either method, although the former being better, we just hope for the best.

Mass planting seed
Plastic bags or saran wrap will trap moisture in nursery flat


With mass seed planting, we can get the final viable seeds to germinate so that we can eliminate waste and cost.

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