With some close observation and patience, seeds can sprout just fine! Mostly, extreme temperature and lack of consistent moisture are likely causes of seeds not sprouting or seedlings withering. Here is a list of factors that affect seed germination and the condition can be fairly avoided by taking care of these small things.
Storing the seeds in the appropriate manner is crucial to keep their potency. Seeds must be kept out of moist areas to avoid rot. They can pop too early otherwise. It is also important to keep them out of overheated areas so that they don't dry out. Store the seeds in an airtight container or packet, in a cool and dark place. Remember to read the seed packet for storage instructions.
If you saved your seeds last year:
If you make your own seeds, remember to never put them away without letting them dry completely as this can cause them to rot or mold.
The seeds you save should belong to a healthy parent plant otherwise they can harbour infection and prevent sprouting, however, this is not the most apparent case as most people do not make their own seeds and the contamination happens due to other variables.
Most of the stores and nurseries sell hybrid and GMO seeds but you would like to start with heirloom and pure seeds that are GMO-free for a healthier crop as most plants are otherwise treated with pesticides and fertilizers.
Be sure to purchase seeds from a trusted seeds company or a seed bank for the best genetics. Also look out for expiry date as expired seeds may not germinate at all.
Seed dormancy is a condition in which seeds fail to germinate under optimal environmental conditions. For example, some of the seeds of plants that thrive best in spring are auto-tuned to germinate only after cold temperatures have passed.
Seeds come out of their state of dormancy if their dormancy factors are broken in physical or chemical form. Seeds often might have a thick seed coat constituting physical dormancy. That’s why it is recommended to pre-soak or scratching the surface of some seed varieties. Many seeds have internal chemical dormancy that prevents germination. For these seeds, keeping them in the refrigerator for a specified time period allows them to gain required oxygen levels and energy to germinate.
Optimal Seed Starting
There is special premade seed starting mixes for sowing seeds indoors available in the market. Seed starting mixes are lightweight in nature and provide just what the seeds need in these special indoor conditions. They make it easy for the seed to receive moisture while garden soils and other potting mixes can be too heavy for the seeds at germination stage.