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Basil often not germinating

 
pollinator
Posts: 1398
Location: cool climate, Blue Mountains, Australia
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It is almost embarrasing, but very often I have problems germinating basil. The nights are still a bit cold but way over frost.
I always cover basil seeds because the gardening books says so, but I have the susicion that this is wrong.
DO basil seeds have to be fresh?
 
steward
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Location: West Tennessee
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I know basil seeds germinate in warmer soils like 70f or 21c, but I'm sure there are exceptions. If your soil is still cold, that could likely be the reason why you're having difficulty. Try sowing some indoors, they generally germinate rapidly, so they ought to germinate in 5-7 days in warm conditions. Age of seed can matter too. If you've had these basil seeds for years, and are unsuccessful getting them to germinate indoors, you might want to get some fresh ones.
 
Angelika Maier
pollinator
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I now bought seeds from a company which is good. Hope it works. Royston Petrie is an Aussie company.
 
gardener
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Location: Arkansas - Zone 7B/8A stoney, sandy loam soil pH 6.5
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I always start my basil indoors with a heating mat under the tray, that seems to get them off to a super start then I plant them out when the soil is up above 65 degrees f

The best in ground startups I've gotten were when the soil was already above 65 f and covered with a cloche.
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