Growing Mint from Seed

Hello. I just started my first herb garden, as a hobby, because I enjoy cooking. I love the smell of mint and the many varieties it comes in. I also have a large garden that I would be happy for mint to take over. Anyway, I bought some mint plants and some seeds, for experimentation.
So far (about 1.5 weeks) the mint plants in pots are doing fine. I have Chocolate Peppermint, Pineapple, Corsican, and Apple mint in pots. I also planted a Orange mint and a Chocolate Mint outside, in a hole filled with topsoil. Finally, I planted all the seeds in the packet of regular mint, and spearmint in small pots, with a little topsoil.
Like is said, the potted ones are OK. The ones outdoors are not OK, but I think it's because of the fact I haven't watered them enough. The seeds however are not sprouting. Is it because they are too close? I didn't leave but a few millimeters between each seed. I planted some basil in a similar way but it seems to be doing alright.
Where did I go wrong?
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Are the pots outside too? Experienceing the same level of sun and rain? The root zone of pots gets hotter and drier than their in-ground cousins. Usually they need more water as days get warmer.
To be clear... Plants were planted in pots AND outside, outside are "not OK". The seeds were ONLY planted in pots and aren't sprouting.
Seeds need to absorb water first. Soaking seeds for 24-36 hours before planting them has sped up and improve germination rates for me. Some seeds are very finicky to sprout. They need a certain humidity or specific temperature range to sprout. Sometimes refrigerating seeds first helps. Might need to research mint specific. DiGiTAL ViNYL (no email) Zone 6b/7, Westchester Co, NY, <1 mile off L.I.Sound 3rd year gardener http://pg.photos.yahoo.com/ph/royalfrazier/album?.dir=/2055&.src=ph
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Hello. Everything is outside. The pots are all on a screened in sun porch though. The ones I planted outside in the ground were already partially grown when I bought them. They went directly into the ground with no container.
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I'd assume they were nursery plants so they should have been outside before. Young plant grown indoors under lights are not strong enough to go directly outside. You have to harden them for a week or two. I usually do my on a porch that only gets morning sun(low in the sky sun is weaker). It is sheltered from the worst winds, but plants need to be hardened for wind as well as sun.
Also, transplanting takes a toll. Usually you will see little or no growth or response from them for a week or two, then they take off. Always keep a transplant watered well--cause any root damage ro shock redues their water uptake. So well watered ground nurses them through that first rough week. I always look at those no-top-growth weeks as root-growth weeks. The plant is building more roots so it has the strenght and resources to grow.
You never described exactly what was "not OK" with the outside ones. Also where are you...local climate matters.
DiGiTAL ViNYL (no email) Zone 6b/7, Westchester Co, NY, <1 mile off L.I.Sound 3rd year gardener http://pg.photos.yahoo.com/ph/royalfrazier/album?.dir=/2055&.src=ph
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Just a word of caution. Mint planted in the ground can be very invasive. I would recommend growing it all in pots.
Marv-Montezuma, IA http://community.webshots.com/user/vmwood
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where are you? Mint recovers quickly from transplanting. When I chop a rhizome into many plants for my friends, I leave only a little strand of roots for a one foot plant. It looks bad for a day or two, but then it perks up and is fine from there onward. At any rate keep in mind that a single plant will cover about four square yards completely in three years, so many mint plants are beyond overkill. I have about two square yards, but we drink mint tea most nights, and it all started with three mint plants.
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I'm located in Maryland. I think the problem with the outside plants is not enough water.
Do seeds need a certain amount of space to grow though?
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No. Usually you overseed then thin out the seedlings after they get to a certain size. Size is determined by root growth and top growth (only makes sense). JUst unpot a well established plant and you can see how dense roots can be and still have a healthy plant.
DiGiTAL ViNYL (no email) Zone 6b/7, Westchester Co, NY, <1 mile off L.I.Sound 3rd year gardener http://pg.photos.yahoo.com/ph/royalfrazier/album?.dir=/2055&.src=ph
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