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Germinating Nasturtium Seeds for GROW Project

My failed attempt at germinating the seeds

As I mentioned in an earlier post (you can click here to read it), I’m participating in the Seed GROW Project and growing Nasturtium “Spitfire” along with other garden bloggers across the country.

Today I’m going to share what I’m doing to get the Nasturtium “Spitfire” seeds from Renee’s Garden to germinate.  So far I haven’t been super successful with indoor germination. I typically germinate directly in the garden so starting seeds indoors is new for me.

I started my first seeds on March 13 with my tomatoes.  I followed the directions on the back of the seed pack and in addition placed on our heat mat with heat lamp over head. As you can see in the picture on the right – nothing germinated.  Because I was curious, I dug up the seeds to see if they even attempted to germinate and they didn’t. I wonder what I did wrong…

Recently I’ve read some tips on twitter that I’m trying with my new batch:

  1. I’ve scored some of the seeds with a knife
  2. I’m soaking the seeds between two damp paper towels to soften (similar to what we do with pea seeds)
  3. Some seeds I scored and set between damp paper towels

My "Red" Chicken Coop Garden

Later today, I’m going to pot some of the “softened” seeds inside and plant some in the chick coop pots I just got.  I’ll mix it up a little to see what plants do best. Eventually I’ll figure out what works best for me.  I’m really looking forward to see what others did to get their seeds to germinate.

You can read all the posts here on the Seed GROW Project site. Like all the other participants, I’ll be posting my progress every first Sunday of the month.

“I’m growing Nasturtium “Spitfire” for the GROW project. Thanks, to Renee’s Garden for the seeds.”

10 Comments Post a comment
  1. You know I have the opposite problem, I can’t successfully germinate seeds directly in the ground but have pretty good success with growing indoors.


    April 4, 2010
  2. Do your trays have a plastic dome? If they don’t maybe the heat mat & lamp combo may be a bit of overkill and not allowing the medium to stay moist enough to get the seed to germinate.

    Also, the tips you got about pre-soaking the seeds should help you out some.


    April 4, 2010
  3. Hmm. Did you use seed starting mix? I bet the ones that were scored and soaked will germinate the quickest. I wish I had tried combining scarification methods in my little experiment.


    April 4, 2010
  4. What a challenge, this gardening business :)

    Have fun in the garden this spring!


    April 6, 2010
  5. Hi Angela!
    I think it’s the soaking/scoring thing. Those outer shells are impossibly hard. In nature they would sit and soak in the rains for awhile softening up so the sprout can make it out. I just toss mine into a cup of water overnight–though that usually ends up being a day or so because I forget about them–by then they are soft enough to rub the shells off with your fingers. They’re sprouting maniacs after that.
    Oh, and I love your red chicken coop garden. It’s gorgeous. Wonderful color!


    April 6, 2010
  6. leanna #

    should i pinch back my nasturtium seedlings. they are 2 weeks old.


    April 12, 2010
  7. Glyclitty #


    Really glad to get into this forum
    It’s what I am looking for.
    Hope to know more member here.


    May 2, 2010
  8. reem #

    I went to know what the perfect cndation to sow nasturtium in vitro


    June 6, 2010
  9. Grdn #

    Hi…I’ve started my Nasturtium seeds both ways this year. In peat pots under growing lights and right in the garden. I have had great succees both ways. The best advice I can give is to plant the seeds in the ‘worst’ soil possible and give them lots of heat…18c to 20c, light and water. NO fertilizer or you will only get leaves. The roots don’t like to be disturbed either, so starting them in pots you can plant directly in the ground is a must!
    Patience is a virtue here as it can sometimes take up to three weeks for the seeds to germinate…but boy, worth the wait!
    Happy Gardening!


    June 7, 2010
  10. GR #

    early summer is the best time to plant Nasturtium. I planted some seeds in my back yard in late June and they are all germinating.


    July 12, 2011

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