I live in the San Francisco / Bay Area and have a few raised vegetable beds. I have tried growing seeds outdoors (recently I sowed carrot, beet and cilantro) but have not had any luck with germination. I have done this indoors in a heating mat without issues. What am I doing wrong?

  • What's the soil temperature? Commented Feb 25, 2016 at 23:46
  • Have not measured the soil temperature. Should I? Ambient temperature has been ranging between 40 and 60 degrees Celsius
    – JStorage
    Commented Feb 26, 2016 at 0:00
  • 1
    I assume that's actually Fahrenheit, about 22 degrees Celsius. Commented Feb 26, 2016 at 0:46
  • Yes, I meant Fahrenheit
    – JStorage
    Commented Feb 26, 2016 at 1:11
  • Is the soil the same indoor and outdoor ?
    – imrok
    Commented Feb 26, 2016 at 10:18

1 Answer 1


If the soil temperature is adequate, the seeds are good, the depth is correct, then likely the seeds are rotting in the ground or are being eaten by animal life.

That's why people use seed mixes to plant seeds into, to avoid bacterial and fungal pathogens, to avoid competition from other plants (allelopathy), and for good drainage.

  • 1
    (out of votes). I find that it's less the temperature I have to wait for in the spring, but I have to wait long after it warms up for the moisture to go. If you squeeze a handful into a ball and it keeps it's shape, that's too wet. Sometimes you can lay an inch of seed starting mix onto wet soil and sprout the seeds in that.
    – J. Musser
    Commented Feb 26, 2016 at 1:07
  • Thanks both. You mentioned seed mixes (seed starting mix). I have never heard of it or is this just a fancy name for fertilizer? What is it and how exactly do I use it?
    – JStorage
    Commented Feb 26, 2016 at 1:14
  • @JStorage It comes in a bag like potting soil. It's lightweight, drains fast, and is good for germination.
    – J. Musser
    Commented Feb 26, 2016 at 4:35
  • @J.Musser So you are suggesting I mix it in with the soil when I plant my seeds in the raised bed right?
    – JStorage
    Commented Feb 26, 2016 at 19:11
  • Not mix, layer a thin layer of seed raising mix on top of the soil, and plant into that. Commented Feb 26, 2016 at 19:16

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