Seed Germination Length of Time Posted on 10 Dec 16:22 , 1 comment

We are working on adding more helpful, seed specific articles to our planting guides.  Different seeds sometimes require different environments  for optimal germination.

For germination techniques, check out The Wonder of Seeds and Germination.

In this tutorial, we are sharing the germination times for different seed varieties under optimal conditions.


Amaranth: 4-10 days

Artichoke: 10-21 days

Asparagus: 21-28 days

Beans: 8-10 days

Beets: 5-8 days to

Broccoli: 10-14 days

Brussels Sprouts: 5-12 days

Cabbage: 5-8 days

Carrots: 14-21 days (or more)

Cauliflower: 10-14 days

Celery: 14-21 days

Chard: 7-14 days

Collards: 5-10 days

Corn: 5-14 days

Cucumber: 3-10 days

Eggplant: 7-14 days

Endive: 14-21 days

Gourd: 7-30 days

Kale: 5-10 days

Kohlrabi: 3-10 days

Lettuce: 5-14 days to germinate

Leek: 10-14 days

Mustard: 5-10 days

Okra: 2-14 days to germinate

Onion: 4-10 days to germinate

Orach: 7-14 days

Parsnips: 14-21 days

Peas: 7-21 days to germinate

Peppers: 7-21 days to germinate

SUPER HOTS may take longer: 21 days or even 28 days

Pumpkin: 5-10 days to germinate

Purslane: 7-10 days

Quinoa: 4-10 days

Radicchio: 5-10 days

Radish: 3-7 days to germinate

Rhubarb: 7-14 days

Rutabaga: 4-7 days

Squash/Zucchini: 7-10 days to germinate

Spinach: 7-14 days to germinate

Tomatillo & Ground Cherry: 7-10 days to germinate

Tomato: 7-14 days to germinate

Turnip: 3-10 days


Borage: 5-14 days

Cornflower: 7-10 days

Marigold: 3-14 days

Nasturtium: 10-14 days

Sunflower: 6-10 days


Melon: 4-10 days

Strawberry: 7 days to 4 weeks

Watermelon: 3-10 days


This list will continue to GROW as we add more varieties.


If you're not sure what to plant of when to plant in your region, we have our
which is packed with helpful planting guides, tutorials and DIY garden projects

If you have specific garden or seed related questions, please contact us via email at MARY@MARYSHEIRLOOMSEEDS.COM
Happy Planting!

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The Wonder of Seeds and Germination Posted on 26 Oct 19:12 , 8 comments

Growing food from seeds is AMAZING.  It is truly an awe inspiring experience.  These tiny seeds can grow to be huge plants, sometimes producing hundreds of pounds of food. Sometimes those tiny seeds grow a beautiful radish or flower.



Understanding Seed Germination

When you decide to grow from seed, you'll need to decide if you're going to start indoors or outside. In this article, we will explain the process of seed germination as well as indoor/outdoor seed starting requirements. We also have a tip using Cinnamon!

But first, what is germination?

In simple terms, it is the process of a seed developing into a plant. Germination usually occurs below ground, before the stem and leaves appear above the soil.

All fully developed seeds contain three basic parts, the embryo, endosperm and seed coat.

The embryo is the part of the seed that develops into a plant. It contains the embryonic root (radical), embryonic stem (epicotyl and hypocotyl), and one or two seed leaves (cotyledons).

The endosperm contains the starch or stored energy for the developing embryo and is the largest part of the seed, packed around the embryo.

The seed coat is the outer layer that protects the seed’s internal structures.

In order for a seed to germinate, there are a few important factors: Water, oxygen and proper temperature.


Water is one of the vital elements when starting plants from seed. Too much water and your seeds will drown or rot. Too little and they will either fail to germinate or die once they do.

When a seed is exposed to the proper conditions, water and oxygen are absorbed through the seed coat and cause the embryo cells to enlarge. If there is not enough oxygen present, germination may not occur. The most common reason for a lack of oxygen is too much water in the soil due to over-watering or flooding.

Temperature is a bit trickier. Temperature requirements vary between species, but the general guide is between 68 F and 86 F, but 77°F is optimum.

Sometimes, it's not just as simple as sticking a seed into the ground.

Planting depth matters!

Seed sowing depth has a key role to play in germination. If you plant seeds too deep, they may fail to germinate. Alternatively, if you plant them too shallow, you could expose tender roots at germination, or the seeds could even wash away entirely.

The general rule for seeds is two or three times as deep as the seed’s diameter. That means those tiny seeds can often be surface sown while those giant beans need to plant planted plenty deep.

We have several articles and videos about seed starting (posted below).  Some seeds need light, others need darkness.  Some seeds do better with a 12-24 hour soaking and some require cold stratification or scarification.

Cold stratification is an extremely easy process and once you’ve done it once, you’ll no doubt get the hang of it. The time you need to keep your seeds in the refrigerator depends on the variety, but 4-5 weeks should be a sufficient amount of time for most seed varieties.

Once there’s no more chance of frost in your area, take your seeds out of the fridge and plant as normal. The simple, quick process of cold stratification helps the seed germinate quicker and grow more readily in your garden bed.


Seeds That Benefit from Soaking in Water include:

asparagus, beans, carrots, corn, okra, parsley, peas, pumpkins, squash, beet and Swiss chard seeds

Seeds That Germinate in Cool Soil include:

arugula, broccoli, Brussels sprouts, cabbage, carrots, cauliflower, Chinese cabbage, collards, garden cress, kale, kohlrabi, leeks, lettuce, mustard, onions, parsley, parsnip, peas, radish, spinach, and turnips


-Quality seeds
-Growing medium



If you read our online reviews on our website and social media, you'll see that customers report very successful germination rates with Mary's Heirloom Seeds.  If you're not sure about growing a certain variety in your area, we are just an email away and we're happy to answer your seed or garden related questions.


Growing Medium

If you are starting seeds indoors or in containers, it is recommended to use "sterile" seed starting mix or soilless medium such as coconut coir mixed with perlite.

A good seed starting medium should be fine, uniform, well aerated, and loosely packed. It also needs to be free of insects, disease organisms, and weed seeds.


As we mention above, too much water can reduce oxygen levels and kill your seeds.  Not enough water can cause developing seeds/seedlings to shrivel up and die before they reach the surface.

Keep your soil/medium moist but not waterlogged.


Temperature was also mentioned above.  If you are starting seeds indoors, there are several options to warm up your soil: above the refrigerator, in a greenhouse (preferably heated) or a heating mat.


This is an important factor.  While some seeds need light and others need darkness to germinate, plants NEED light.  When your tiny seedlings begin to emerge, they will need a light source.  If you are starting seeds indoors, it is best to use a grow light or something similar that is very close to your seedlings.

The type of light you use will determine how close it needs to be to your plants.  In general, a florescent should be 10-12 inches away, while an LED should be 24-36 inches away.  These are just general recommendations.

If you use a sunny windowsill indoors, seedlings often become "leggy" and not very strong.  Rotating them daily and using a fan on low can help.


Remember how I mentioned Cinnamon?

Damping off is a soil-borne fungal disease that affects seeds and new seedlings. Several fungi can cause decay of seeds and seedlings including species of rhizoctonia, fusarium and phytophthora. 

The most common way damping off will present itself is when your plant stalks become water-soaked, thin and mushy, and fall over at the base and die.

The seedlings, especially the cotyledons (the first leaves produced) may have a kind of gray-brown color, and young leaves will wilt and turn from green-gray to brown.

There is no cure for plants that already have damping off. However, you can easily prevent the problem by providing good air circulation

Cinnamon is a natural anti-bacterial and is often used as a rooting hormone.  Bonus, it's delicious and most of us have a bottle or two in our kitchen cabinet.

Once your seeds are planted, gently sprinkle cinnamon over the surface.  If you are starting seeds in trays, be sure to "bottom water" and don't over-water.


My best advice is to plant more seeds than you think you will need. Some will be eaten by bugs, some might not make it after transplant ans some may not thrive.  The remaining seedlings might feed you for years to come.  Have patience, plant seeds and enjoy the experience!












If you have specific garden or seed related questions, please contact us via email at MARY@MARYSHEIRLOOMSEEDS.COM
Happy Planting!

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Seed Germination Posted on 1 Nov 12:13 , 0 comments

If you read our online reviews on our website and social media, you'll see that customers report very successful germination rates with Mary's Heirloom Seeds.  Growing from seed can be tricky so here's a bit of information to help you get started.


What is Seed Germination?

Germination is the process of seeds developing into plants.  Environmental conditions need to be right in order for seeds to germinate.  Several factors are involved if/when a seed germinates.

Water is a crucial factor in seed germination.  Too much water or not enough water can affect seed germination and growth.

Temperature is also an important factor is seed germination.  Some seeds prefer cool weather or even "overwintering."  Most seeds germinate when soil temperature is between 68 and 86 degrees fahrenheit.



Cold Stratification

Cold stratification is the process of subjecting seeds to both cold and moist conditions. Seeds of many trees, shrubs and perennials require these conditions before germination will ensue

Quite a few herb and flower varieties require cold stratification.  Some of these include: Butterfly bush, Comfrey, English Lavender, perennial sweet pea, Verbena, Lupine, St. John's Wort, Larkspur, Coneflower and more



Seed Scarification involves weakening, altering or weakening the coat if a seed to encourage germination. 

Nasturtium seeds kind of look like small brains.  When I volunteer at local schools I say they look like monkey brains and the kids usually laugh or say "gross."  Nasturtium seeds can benefit from scarification prior to planting.


 Watch our video on Seed Germination for more info.

If you have additional questions please give us a call or email

Happy Planting!

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