In our experience, there are a few possibilities as to why the seeds in your plant pods are having a hard time germinating and getting started. But don’t worry! There are also a few remedies that you can try to get your seed pods back on track.
What is Germination?
In order to start growing plants in your Rise Garden, the first step is getting a successful germination of your seeds. Germination is when a “baby” root and stem are grown and can be seen from the top of the plant pod- it’s the first growth stage of a plant that you will witness. It is also the most important growth stage because it sets the standard for the plant’s growth for the rest of its life! If your seeds are not given optimal conditions to germinate, it might result in less successful growing later on.
Before you germinate...
Before you start your seeds in a Nursery, there are a few things you should check on:
- Check that the seeds haven’t fallen out of your plant pods during shipping.
- Peel back the foil on the pods to check to see if any seeds are on top of the pod- if so, push those seeds back into the center of the pod.
- Replace the foil, and make sure you have poked a hole through the center of the “sticker” for your plant to grow through.
- Make sure your Nursery and your pod net cups have been sterilized. You can use a cleaning vinegar-warm water solution to do this (mixing 1 part vinegar with 2 parts warm water).
- Fill water correctly, using cold, filtered water.
- Seal the Nursery tight.
- Make sure your seeds are getting at least 16 hours of light under your Rise Gardens Grow Lights.
What’s the reason why my seeds aren’t germinating?
There are a few reasons why germination might not have been successful:
- Seeds fell out of plant pods during shipping
- Lid of Nursery was not sealed on correctly or completely, letting air escape
- Seeds are not getting enough light
- Seeds are not getting the right amount of water (too much water can drown them and create mold, but too little water won't give them enough nutrients)
- Seeds received nutrients (germinating seeds should never be fed nutrients)
- Seeds are receiving poor water quality
- Specifically when watering your Nursery, you should use "Brita filter" water, or water that has been filtered/distilled.
- DON’T USE a sodium ion filter water softener for the water going into your Nursery
- NOTE: it isn’t necessary to use super filtered water for the rest of your Garden, just the Nursery stage
- The foils and stickers that were sent on the pods were removed, and too much algae/ mold grew
- The seeds weren’t given enough time to sprout in the Nursery
- We recommend giving seeds at least 14 days to sprout
- Fluctuation in the temperature of the air in your home and in the Nursery
- Ideal air temperature in the Nursery is 70-75 degrees
- If you have a Single Family Garden, you should elevate your Nursery (by about 1 ft) to get it closer to the lights and keep it warm
- Using an older Nursery
- Our older Nursery models are less ideal for germination growth. If you have an older Nursery, please be sure that it is sealed all the way! You might also consider purchasing a new Nursery on our website, here.
What to do if seeds won’t germinate:
If you are worried that your seeds aren’t germinating correctly, please give them 14 days to try to get started. If after 14 days your seeds aren’t growing, you might have gotten a bad batch of seeds. Please reach out to email@example.com to let us know- be sure to provide the following information:
- What is the email address you use to log into the Rise Gardens app?
- What is/are the plants that didn’t germinate?
- How long have they been trying to germinate in your Nursery?
- Please describe what you're seeing going on with your plant(s).
- Please provide a photo of your affected plant(s).
- Please provide a photo of all current plants in your Nursery.
Additionally, next time you grow seeds, you should:
- Sterilize your Garden
- After each use, you should sterilize your Nursery with a vinegar-water solution (2 parts water, 1 part vinegar)
- The bottom of your Nursery is dishwasher safe, so if you’d like, you can wash your Nursery in your dishwasher- just be careful not to put the lid/dome of your Nursery in your dishwasher, because it will melt!
- Fresh water each week
- Clean the net cups in between each use, using the same vinegar water solution
Patio Pride Peas (and other plants with large seeds)
Bean and pea seeds have a relatively low germination rate because the seeds are much larger. If there is mold present in your Nursery or in your home, these seeds in particular will mold much faster.
Pro Tip: To fix this, it might be helpful to push the seed further down into the soil. This will create a buffer so the seed can’t attract mold as quickly. You can also try keeping your water-level lower in your Nursery, so it is closer to the bottom of your plant pods and they stay a bit more dry. This should limit mold growth as well.
Up Next: When should my plants start getting Nutrients?
In general, we can't give specific information about when seeds will start to need nutrients. Each seed is unique and doesn't always grow in the exact same way at the exact same time, even if you're growing two seeds of the same type of plant. In other words, some seeds might take longer to germinate and reach the second growth stage, which is when they'll start needing nutrients.
The good news is, because we are using a Smart Care app with A.I., information about when to feed your plants will all be automatically calculated for you. Just make sure that all of the information that you’ve added into your app is correct! Most importantly, make sure that in your app you’re moving your plants from the Nursery in the app to the Garden in the app when you’ve done so in your Garden, physically. Otherwise, you will never be asked to add any nutrients!