n2cork
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planted seeds....how long can they survive?

i have garden 50 ft. wide, 90 ft. long. planted several rows of peas, beans, corn, okra. since i planted about 2-3 weeks ago, little or no rainfall. we are also having cool weather for this time of year, actually about one month behind typical temps for this time of year. i have seen just a few small plants? should i do it all over again? how long before the seeds die? thanks for any help.

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rainbowgardener
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You didn't water?

I expect your seeds are all dried out and dead.

I never let new planted seeds dry out (you want them damp, but not wet and waterlogged, they can rot out and die from too much water as well as from too little). I water them almost every day that there is no rain.

Once the plants are established, there's no need for that kind of care, but the seeds have no root system.

On the other hand, sometimes seeds and plants have more survivability than we expect. Couldn't hurt to give them a good watering and see what happens.

When watering plants you want to water deeply, infrequently to encourage them to develop deeper root systems. Watering seeds and very young seedlings, since they don't have root systems, the opposite is true... water frequently but it doesn't need to be very deep.
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freedhardwoods
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I guess I have a different way of doing things than some of the members on the forum. I had never heard of watering seeds until I read it on this forum. The only time I have trouble is when I plant too early (too cold to grow) and they rot from too much moisture. This area is a farming community and everyone around here just plants the seeds and lets them grow.

You could dig down in the row in a few places and see if they are growing. If they aren't about ready to pop through, I would replant.

DoubleDogFarm
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There is always the second knuckle test. Put your finger in the soil up to the second knuckle. If it's moist no need to water.

I have to also say, I always water in my seeds and transplant, even if the soil seems moist enough. Then I go day by day. :)

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applestar
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I don't know if it's because I sow seeds in the ground as early as I can, but typically, it takes at least 2 weeks for them to sprout. So it's just possible that they're not up yet.

Also, you said "peas, beans, corn, okra" If the peas are the regular green peas, snap peas, or snow peas, this is probably your best guide, especially since you say it's been cooler. If the peas haven't come up yet, then the soil is likely to be cooler than what the others would like. I believe in order of soil temp, your seeds should germinate as it gets warmer:
PEAS -- CORN -- BEANS -- OKRA.

They might just be waiting to grow, and if the soil is not warm enough yet, then watering them to make them germinate may result in premature attempt with the consequence freedhardwoods mentioned:
when I plant too early (too cold to grow) and they rot from too much moisture
It's also possible that they'll all hurry up and germinate after the next good rain. Do you expect one soon?

If these ARE the cool weather peas, by the way, I'm a bit concerned that you missed your spring sowing timing on sowing peas. We were discussing over in [url=https://www.helpfulgardener.com/forum/viewtopic.php?p=130523#130523]this thread[/url] when to sow peas in the heat of the summer for fall harvest.

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jal_ut
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In two weeks these seeds should be up. There are several possibilities.

The cool weather has slowed germination. If this is the case they will come soon.

There was not enough moisture in the soil to germinate the seed. If this is the case they will come when you get some rain, or you can water them.

The soil was too wet and the weather too cool and the seed rotted. This doesn't sound like your problem though, but be aware it can happen.

Planted too deep. 1.5 inch is good for seed as large as peas and beans. This is deep enough that the wind drying out the surface will not be likely to dry the level where the seed is. Deeper planting will delay the emergence.

Failure to firm the soil well after planting. The wind will quickly dry the top inch or two of fluffy soil. If your seed germinates, but before it can get a root down the wind dries the soil, you have lost it. Firm soil will not lose moisture to the wind as fast as fluffy soil. Firming the soil also lets moisture wick up from down lower where there is moisture. I know, I got thumbs down from some of the community for saying I walked on my rows after planting, but believe me, this is best. I don't water my plantings, I firm the soil to take advantage of the water that is already there.

I would dig up some of the seed and see what it is doing. If it is laying there dry, just water it. If it is laying there rotted, replant. If it has germinated but hasn't emerged, patience. Hoping the best for you. Have a great garden!
Gardening at 5000 feet elevation, zone 4/5 Northern Utah, Frost free from May 25 to September 8 +/-

n2cork
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watering a large garden

I understand the importance of water, however, what about the guys who plant 100 acres of corn or have a 2-3 acre garden? there is no water source other than rainfall?

My garden is too large to start watering. i don't have a well and if i have to start watering, i would be better off going to the farmers market and buying the veggies. thanks.

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rootsy
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I don't water in seeds.... Only transplants and then they just get a cup of H2O + starter fertilizer... My sweet corn is the only thing that needs A LOT of water to germinate as Sh2's require almost double the H2O of Su and Se varieties to germinate...

Good soil compaction on top of the seed is important in order to ensure firm and adequate soil contact with the seed. This helps to bring the seed to soil temp as well as transmit moisture.

Different plants take different times to germinate. Being in Alabama I doubt you have any issues with "cool" soil at this time... Surprised you have moisture issues.

Often times when you have germination issues it is due to poor seed, poor soil contact with seed, cool soil or lack of moisture in the seed zone.

Inconsistent planting depth can also delay break through of some plants as they have further to travel to the surface. When plants begin to emerge give them a week or so to see if others come up behind them.

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mrsgreenthumbs
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Well I don't have a huge plot of land and have never worked on that much space but I have to say it just does not make any sense to plant little seed's and not water. But then again I live in a dry and warm state. If I depended on rain fall Id be in trouble. I water seed's daily until they germinate then I sprinkle daily to avoid root rot and after they have a few set's of leaves I diminish my watering practices. But that's the way we have to do it here. IDK where the OP is from maybe someplace damp...
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applestar
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jal_ut and rootsy, thank you for your posts. I think we got our Cliff notes for Seed Planting 101 -- The Basics, right there. *I*m putting them in my garden notes for future reference. :D

I'm not ignoring the other respondents. I tend to baby my little garden, too. :wink: But I like learning new ways to do things, especially ways that save me time and energy. 8)

DoubleDogFarm
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Foo, or retaining old ways :wink:

scot29
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jal_ut wrote:I know, I got thumbs down from some of the community for saying I walked on my rows after planting, but believe me, this is best. I don't water my plantings, I firm the soil to take advantage of the water that is already there.
I just said I'd be scared to step on my seeds. Certainly not a thumbs down by any means. I firm the soil either with my hand or a hoe. Just a different way to the same end. I certainly wasn't criticizing your method. :wink:

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rootsy
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do the sobriety test walk right down that row... You won't hurt em...

Joyfirst
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Well, it rarely rains here, so I don't have to think to water or not - just how much and how often. Maybe you should just see, how much rains and then water if it doesn't. I do water seeds more often than my plants.

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applestar
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I should qualify -- I usually don't water the seeds in, but if they were planted in relatively moist soil or once it does rain and the temperature is right and I'm pretty sure the seeds have been awakened, I keep track of rainfall levels and water the seeded area so the sprouting seeds don't dry out even if the rest of the growing, rooted plants are doing OK without.

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