Why aren't my seeds sprouting? Could they sprout later on in the year if I keep watering them?

I hope that you can give me some advice about growing flowers from seed. My seeds never sprouted (moonflowers, four-o-clocks, forget-me-nots, money plant, painted daisies, and sweet peas). I soaked the seeds for a couple of days before planting them. The seed packets indicated that the seeds could be planted in January in my region. Is it still possible for them to sprout later on in the year? Is there any chance of them sprouting in March or April if I keep watering them?
Submitted by BHGPhotoContest

You don't need to soak seeds so long. Soak them overnight only. Seeds are alive and require oxygen to survive. By soaking for a couple of days, you may have drowned the seeds. Some gardeners have better luck by wrapping the seeds in moist paper toweling rather than soaking them in water. Cold soil temperature could also be the culprit. Your garden may be in a microclimate that is not conducive to seed sowing until a bit later in the season. Instead of planting seeds directly in the ground, plant them in seed starting mix in pots. Put the pots on a heat mat to keep the soil and seeds warm until they germinate. Transplant seedlings to the garden later, once they are established. Another option is to sow directly in the garden later in the season, when the soil has warmed sufficiently for rapid germination.


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