Failure to germinate

I'm puzzled at failure of corn and chard to germinate this year. They've always done fine before. I planted the same corn that I did last year, and of two packets got only 8 plants. I'm guessing maybe I got a bad lot.
But that doesn't explain the chard. I planted the same chard that I did last year (not in the same place as last year, but a place where it did well a couple years ago) and it never came up. A second packet of a different kind from a different company failed. A third packet from yet another company failed. The area is moist but well drained, more evenly watered now than the last time I grew chard there. I screened it against birds and rabbits. Muskmelons, asparagus, beans, and cilantro are growing just fine all around the spot where the chard never came up, and weeds don't have a problem with it. Any ideas what went wrong?
Kathy
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too strong soil? chard does not like unfinished compost. Or too acid soil.
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I don't know, but if you find out, would you tell me? I've had terrible germination with chard and carrots. I've finally got a chard crop, but my carrots are horrible, I'll get a few.....I may replant yet again (this'll be the third time). Spotty rows are all I've got.
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Ann
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It might be that they germinate only after the soil temperature gets high enough. After they have been in the ground too long, some seeds will rot before germinating. I like to plant my onions, beets, potatoes, etc. early in the spring, and then after harvesting them, replant with carrots, radishes, and turnips. That way the temp is right since the first planting is of cold weather stuff, and the second planting is done when the soil temp is up. I am in zone 5 (Kansas).
Dwayne

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40 to 70 degrees F. For corn 55 to 85.
I had trouble with beans germinating this year. Started reading and discovered that they won't germinate if it gets too cold. So I decided to make sure next year that I would not plant unless it would stay warm for the entire germination period.
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Susan N.

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You all might be onto something with the soil temperature. I don't have a soil thermometer so I can't be sure. But we did have a very long cool spring this year, which is different from any other year when the same vegetables did well. Frosts ended early but summer heat didn't come on until a couple of weeks before the corn went in, after the third chard planting. I thought that would be enough to warm the soil; maybe it wasn't. I suppose I'll know if the fourth chard planting comes up well. It had better - I've run out of seed and run out of summer too.
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