Seed sowing advice

I’m growing seeds like there’s no tomorrow. Very occasionally they don’t germinate… do you think it’s ok to reuse the compost to plant another (different) lot of seeds, or would you start again with fresh compost? I’m growing them in a small heated windowsill propogator.

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The correct answer is probably always to start afresh but personally, I do reuse compost. I’ve done exactly this a few times this spring as old seed hasn’t germinated for whatever reason. Not sure what others think?

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Ah ha, on this note how long should you leave seeds to fully assess germination… beetroot 3 weeks…

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I’d say after three weeks beetroot is probably unlikely to come up, but it’s not impossible. I think older seeds often take a little longer to germinate. And rather than sow fresh seeds in the same compost, I tend to mix it in with fresh compost when I am potting on slightly bigger plants. And then sometimes what you sowed originally, comes up in a different pot!

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Thank you so much for that, I will try again, I think I probably put them out too early, bit cold or cheap seeds, as they were new. I’ll do them properly inside.

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I reuse. Unless it’s manky for some reason. Then it goes in the compost pile. Might rehydrate first as sometimes it can get over dry in the propogator. A from my very limited experience.

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Yeah, I have to say I will reuse compost if seeds fail to germinate, e.g. old, dodgy seeds. But usually, I will put this toward my pots or compost bin and use fresh (IF I have more compost, of course!). It depends though, if the seeds fail, say from damping off, it definitely does not have a second seed go.

The instructions say to always use fresh and this is best practice but reality is it can be a bit expensive to do this, especially for say, salads. And I am a frugal soul (read: cheap old bat). But I would use fresh seed for, say, some expensive or exotic seeds that I want to have a go at - just to be sure!

My view is if it doesn’t come up, give it a bit more time ( I am prone to be impatient). And If I start new seed and it is expensive or hard to get, I may keep the old one going just to see if it proves me wrong (has happened on more than a couple of occassions :upside_down_face: ).

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I use seed starter compost and plug trays that I set out on my balcony or windowsill to germinate. I usually reuse the compost if it doesn’t germinate. I figure I haven’t really ‘contaminated’ it per se.

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That’s for the advice I started a fresh and have baby plants coming thick and strong!

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Hooray! That’s great to hear, well done.