I started cilantro in jiffy pots. Only about 50% sprouted. After
planting, I placed the tray on top of my 'frig, since I do not have a
heat mat. I noticed that the jiffy pots that did not sprount had this
whitish, mold-like substance on the surface of the peat. Is this a
problem? How can I improve my sprouting success?
The white stuff isn't a big deal unless it creeps over to the soil and
affects very tiny seedlings. Once most plants are up and growing the mold
won't affect them.
As far as the 50% germination rate, that may be as good as it gets for the
brand of seeds you bought. And cilantro can be a bit fussy. So, plant more.
If you want to rule out your technique and get a better estimate of
germination rate, count some seeds into the folds of a clean, moist white
piece of cloth. Keep it slightly damp and count how many sprouts you get.
Not rigorously scientific, but hey...whattya gonna do?
Look closely, on the back of the Burpee package it says "Packed for 2006"
which implies the seed were produced and processed in 2006(maybe 2005). The
seed may actually been gathered in 2002, 2003 who Knows. The vitality of the
seed is the one best determiner of the germination rate. The older the seed
the lower the germination rate.I have had good luck generally with Burpee,
but I have had some really bad seed from them also. The best all around seed
companies: Territorial, Johnny's, Tomato Growers..IMO.
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