Gardeners of all skill levels can significantly benefit from knowing how long it takes for a particular vegetable seed to germinate.
First, as a result, you can better plan when to plant seedlings and when to sow seeds. Secondly, it saves a lot of stress on your nervous system.
For example, does it matter that the carrot did not germinate in five days if the germination period is up to 14 days? But, on the other hand, isn’t it a little too early?
To make things easier for you, I’ve compiled this list of the most common vegetable crop sprouting times here for your convenience.
Since temperature affects seed germination, I’ve also included the minimum and ideal temperature for the first sprouts to appear.
Table of germination of vegetable crop seeds
|Vegetables||Time from sowing to sprouting in the open ground (days)||Time from sowing to sprouting indoors (days)||Minimum germination temperature °F (°C)||Days from sprouting to harvesting early crops||Number of days from sprouting to harvest of medium-early or medium-late varieties||Days from sprouting to harvesting late-maturing crops|
|Watermelon||10-15||7-10||59-63 °F (15-17 °C)||55-85||85-105||100 or more|
|Eggplant||10-14||8-10||55-57 °F (13-14 °C)||90-110||110-130||135 and over|
|Beans||4-8||3-5||37-39 °F (3-4 °C)||72-87||90-110||112-130|
|Peas||4-7||3-5||39-43 °F (4-6 °C)||45-60||60-95||95-120|
|Melon||7-10||5-7||59-63 °F (15-17 °C)||45-75||75-95||100 or more|
|Zucchini, Pattypan||7-8||4-6||50-54 °F(10-12 °C)||33-50||50-70||75 and over|
|Cabbage||4-6||3-5||35-37 °F (2-3 °C)||45-90*||90-130*||130-180|
|Cauliflower||4-6||3-5||35-37 °F (2-3 °C)||55-85 (25-75*)||85-100 (75-85*)||110 and more|
|Sweet Corn||6-10||4-6||45-50 °F (7-10 °C)||60-78||78-100||100 and more|
|Onion||14-18||8-14||35-37 °F (2-3 °C)||83-120**||120-125**||130 and more|
|Leek||20-22||10-12||54 °F (12 °C)||150-160||160-175||180|
|Carrot||15-20||9-12||39-41 °F (4-5 °C)||50-80||80-125||125-150|
|Cucumber||5-8||4-6||55-57 °F (13-14 °C)||40-45||45-50||50 or more|
|Sweet and Spicy Pepper||14-16||9-12||39-41 °F (4-5 °C)||90-110***||110-135||135 and over|
|Radish||4-6||3-5||33-35 °F (1-2 °C)||20-30||31-35||36-45|
|Turnip||5-7||3-5||33-35 °F (1-2 °C)||35-65||65-110||110-120|
|Lettuce||8-10||4-6||35-37 °F (2-3 °C)||30-50||50-75||75-100|
|Beetroot||10-16||7-10||41-43 °F (5-6 °C)||60-100||100-110||Up to 130|
|Celeriac||-||15-18||37-41 °F (3-5 °C)||100-130||130-175||180-200|
|Tomato||5-8||4-6||50-52 °F (10-11 °C)||65-110||111-120||120 and over|
|Pumpkin||7-8||4-6||50-54 °F(10-12 °C)||75-100||100-120||124 and over|
|Green beans||6-10||4-7||50-54 °F(10-12 °C)||45-50||55-65||65-85|
|Garlic||10-17||-||35-41 °F (2-5 °C)||80-90||90-125||120 or more|
|Spinach||8-12||-||33-35 °F (1-2 °C)||15-25||25-35||35-40|
* Time of cabbage maturing after planting seedlings in the open ground.
** Onions grown from seedlings matures three weeks earlier.
*** The technical ripening of peppers; the biological maturation is 20 days later.
Shelf Life of Vegetable Seeds
|Vegetables||Weight of 1000 seeds (grams)||Number of seeds in 1g (Pieces)||Shelf Life (years)|
|Welsh onion and leeks||2.0-4.0||400±150||3 (4)|
|Garden rhubarb||7.0-11.0||150±30||3 (3)|
|Green beans||150.0-550.0||3±0.5||5 (7)|
Keep in mind that all seeds have an expiration date after which they will no longer germinate.
As an example, the shelf life for the seeds from celery, onions, leeks, sorrel, and rhubarb is about 2-3 years; dill and parsley are good for about 3-4 years; carrots and peas, radish.
And turnips are good for about 4 to 6 years, and watermelon and melons are good for about 6 to 8 years.
It is possible to store beet seeds for up to 20 years. On the other hand, beans can remain viable for up to 700 years before they lose their ability to germinate.
There is no hard and fast rule when it comes to storing vegetable seeds without losing germination.
Seeds of many crops can be stored longer if certain conditions (proper humidity, temperature, and tightness) are met.
However, storage conditions can significantly impact the germination of seeds.
To check germination, you don’t need to take a lot of seeds. You can get away with 8-10 pieces.
You can place the seeds soaked in gauze in an oven-safe dish or foil to keep them warm. Ventilate at least once a day to prevent mold and check to see if they’ve sprouted.
Note: Seeds that have developed sprouted roots or sprouts are sprouted seeds.
Sprouting time for each crop varies depending on the season (see table above).
Don’t bother trying to sow if your radish or zucchini seeds haven’t sprouted after seven or ten days. They won’t germinate in the vegetable garden if they haven’t germinated at home.
How To Improve Seed Germination
In some cases, the test results indicated that the seeds had germinated well. Then, you sowed them in a pot to sprout, but they don’t germinate. Now what?
The seedlings can be “forced” out of the ground straightforwardly. But it is best suited for a small amount of seed. First, breathe into a plastic bag that you’ve put your seed pot inside.
Then, quickly tie the bag and put it back in its place. The seedlings will benefit from the high concentration of carbon dioxide you exhale in the bag. The first sprouts will appear soon.
Heating can speed up the germination process. To do this, place the seeds in a thermos filled with water at a temperature between 115-125 °F (45-55 °C). Then, put them in it for at least six hours.
You should avoid using this method for tomato seeds!
To make them more durable, you should put them through hardening first. Next, rinse the seeds in saltwater.
Finally, it’s best to clean them with a solution of manganese or colloidal silver.
After that, put the seed pot in a plastic bag and put it in the refrigerator, where you keep your vegetable seeds for 10 to 12 hours.
For a week, keep going back to this process every day. The seeds have been sitting at room temperature for 12 hours. After that, the remaining 12 hours are in the refrigerator.
How to Accelerate Germination
It takes a long time for seeds from crops like carrots, celery, and parsley to germinate because the essential oils in their shells prevent water from flowing to the embryo.
Therefore, before planting these plants, you will need to treat their seeds.
For these crops, I use blotting paper or a cloth to cover the seeds before placing them in a dish with a thin layer of water 115-125 °F (45-55 °C).
I let them sit there for about 15 minutes before moving on. It is during this time that most of the essential oils will dissolve.
Then I wash the cotton cloth with the seeds several times in cool water. Finally, I air dry them until they are loose from the cloth.
There you go. You can sow seeds. In this manner, the seeds germinate much more quickly.