Seed germination?

I can use some insight on why some seeds germinate more readily than others. I have been using roughly one inc cubes of rock wool to germinate my seeds. I soak the cubes in water. That leaves them moist but not drippy. After germination, I add a dilute solution of nutrients.
Tomatoes: Do some varieties germinate more readily than others? I just bought some Celebrity seeds. They are already growing. Some other varieties, from last season, have been in the cubes for twice as long (two weeks) and show little sign of germinating.
Squash: I have always had some trouble getting zucchini and other squashes to germinate. Is there a trick to that? Should the apex of the seed point down? Is there a benefit to using real soil as opposed to the rock wool?
Bill
-- Ferme le Bush
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Seeds lose some of the vitality as they age, esp. if they are exposed to light, moisture, and/or heat. The standing advice is to store seed in a cool, dark place. This may explain what/s happening to your seeds from last year.
As for squash, I/ve never had any trouble getting them to germinate under lights. I plant them flat, as opposed to standing on end, in a shallow tray filled w/not-too-wet potting soil covered with a loose fitting plastic lid. They/re up in less than a week.
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Hi All, It is recomended that you plant squash seeds on their edge rather than flat. I allways do this and have had no trouble. Hope this helps you.
Richard M. Watkin.
"TQ" <ToweringQs AT adelphia.net> wrote in message

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I think it's important that the point not be down but pointing to the side. The reason is, if the point is down, the whole seed emerges from the soil as the root goes down. The the seed coat dries and the the seed leaves have a hard time breaking loose from the outer shell. If planted side ways, the shell usually stays in the soil as the seed leaves pull themselves free.
Steve
R M. Watkin wrote:

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Salmon Egg wrote:

early to be starting warm season plants. I've never used rock wool, so can't help you there.
Tomatoes: I think there are only minor differences in germination times among varieties. The problem is likely with the age or storage method for your older seeds. Just keep sowing more until some germinate. The standard rule of thumb for planting your transplants outside is to wait until soil temps (approximately the same as night time temps) are 50F or higher. They won't do anything in cooler soil.
Squash: I always sow these seeds on end, pointy side up, but I've never started them inside. I wait until the ground is workable and sow them directly where I want them. Usually, I put the seeds in plain water in the morning and let them soak until I plant them in the early evening. They've always been easy to germinate. -aem
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On 1/23/06 3:39 PM, in article snipped-for-privacy@o13g2000cwo.googlegroups.com, "aem"

I live in southern California. Although it has been a bit chilly here lately, I do have a small greenhouse that helps a lot.
My Celebrity tomatoes have germinated well. The others are not doing well.
I have a germinated zucchini. The other squash have not germinated. I find, from my own observation, that the root pushes out from the pointy end of the seed. While the coat pushes away from the root. That is why I think I should plant point down. Next time, I will try nicking the pointy end to see if that helps.
Bill
-- Ferme le Bush
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Salmon Egg wrote:

matter which way you plant it. The plant will figure out which way is up. ;-) -aem
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On 1/24/06 11:29 AM, in article snipped-for-privacy@g49g2000cwa.googlegroups.com, "aem"

partially away from the sprouting zucchini. I also split the aril near the point of another seed. I split two banana squash seeds in the same way. In a week or so, I expect to find out if this technique helps.
Bill
-- Ferme le Bush
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Salmon Egg wrote:

both the roots and the vines come out of the pointy end. If you nick it you may damage whatever would grow out of it and may kill it. (But yes, the plant will figure out which way is up.) I usually plant cucurbite seeds lying flat on the ground (potting soil). What you see after you peel back the seed coat will turn into the cotyledon (sp?).
Maren BTW, I'm in the northern hemispehre too, and the ground here (almost) never goes below 50F. Palms, Etc.: Tropical Plant Seeds - Hand-made Jewelry - Plants & Lilikoi http://www.jach.hawaii.edu/~maren/palms_etc /
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Maren, dear:
You are *just barely* in the northern hemisphere! *laugh*
Jan in Alaska
--
The way to a man's heart is between the fourth and the fifth rib.

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Jan Flora wrote:

not! I'm just barely tropical (19.8N) - but I know what you're saying, I moved here from 54N (long time ago).
<g>
Maren
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I was amazed at how well pot grows in rock wool. (No, not me. Someone who gave me many cubic feet of good potting soil when they switched over to rock wool has had great sucess with it.)
It's pretty early to be starting tomatoes and way too early to start squash, no matter where you are, if you're in the US. (Well, maybe if you're in NM, TX or AZ it's not too early. I don't know.)
Jan Zone 3
--
The way to a man's heart is between the fourth and the fifth rib.

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