When seeds don’t sprout

Are you one of the many that planted seeds a few weeks ago and there are no sprouts to be seen? I planted several square feet of spinach, lettuce, and swiss chard only to spot a sprouted plant every square foot.


If this is you, do not waste any time. If several weeks have passed and only a few of the seeds have sprouted, it is time to reseed. This means that the seeds did not germinate and there are several reasons this may have occurred:

  • Seeds are expired (most seeds are best in the first 2 years)
  • Watering too much or too little
  • Planting too deep
  • Planting too early
  • Rodents or birds dug up the seeds
  • Any others you know of?

My seeds were packaged in 2016 and have never been opened. However, I planted them during a hot spell and also spotted a crow in my bed the following day. These two things may indicate that I did not water enough and the crow may have gobbled up some of my seeds. Since my seeds are brand new, I am going to give them one more try.

If your seeds haven’t sprouted, try to narrow down why this may have occurred based on reasons above. Then get out in the yard and take a second stab – either with new seeds, watering more or less, and be sure to confirm you are planting them based on the directions on the package.

Good luck!


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