Causes of poor seed germination

This is what really causes your seeds not to germinate. Find out now!


Have you ever wondered why you sow some seeds and they fail to germinate? Poor germination rate is a big loss to the farmer. When most seeds don’t germinate, the farmer has to do gaping on the empty hole for her to get a good yield. This is an additional cost to the farmer.

There are several causes of poor seed germination. These causes are either soil, seed or farmer-related.

Soil-related causes for poor germination

Water, air and warmth are the major conditions that must be present in the soil for any seed to germinate. If these factors are absent no germination can take place. This is the reason why most seeds don’t germinate in extremely dry seasons or in deserts for that sake.

Seeds-related causes of germination failure

Buying seeds with Low germination rate

Germination rate represents the average number of seeds that can germinate within a period of 5-10 days and expressed as a percentage. A lower percentage means more seeds will not germinate. It is a requirement that seeds breeders should indicate the germination rate on the package.

Always look at the packaging date on the package before buying. Go for the seeds with a higher germination rate to increase to avoid a low germination rate.

Poorly stored seeds

If the seeds are stored poorly and exposed to moisture it can initiate premature germination followed by die-off. Therefore, if these seeds are planted majority won’t germinate regardless of the germination rate.

Expired seeds

Do seeds really expire? The answer is yes. But how?  What happens is that as the seeds age their viability decline with time. The strength of the chemicals used to treat the seeds also declines with time.  These combined contribute to some extent to poor germination.

Before buying any seeds ensure you look at the packaging date as well as the expiry date. If you want good germination and yield, don’t buy expired seeds.

Check out seed purity too. This is the percentage of seeds in the packet that are pure. Buy the seeds that have the highest percentage.

Farmers-related causes of poor germination
This is what really causes your seeds not to germinate.
A farmer planting his seeds

Deep sowing

The depth of sowing seeds is directly proportional to seed size. Most seeds are small to medium in size and do not require deep planting. Most farmers, unfortunately, sow their seeds deeply covering them with hips of soil. These seeds germinate well but die before reaching sunlight. Farmers interpret this as germination failure which is not.

Scorching ‘burn’ by fertilizer or manure

Seeds should not come into contact with fertilizer or manure either at the hand or on the hole to avoid scorching. Unfortunately, most farmers don’t care about this. The same hands that apply fertilizer are the same that sow the seeds which in most cases don’t germinate. Always clean your hands after applying fertilizers and before touching the seeds.

It is good also if you know;

Everything you need to know about common maize herbicide

How to identify and control the worst pest in melon farming

The right capsicum planting spacing with high yields

How to formulate own animal feeds at home

why do 70% of your chicks die before their 28th birthday?

How to get a high germination rate

Buy seeds with a reasonable germination rate, high purity, not expired and are in good condition.

Then ensure the seeds are sowed in the correct depth and are not in contact with fertilizer or manure.

If then there is available wetness in the soil and warmness defiantly the seeds will have to germinate.

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