Thanks guys, I appreciate the comments. I'll keep my fingers crossed and hope for the best. At the same time, I'll prepare for the worst and plant another 1/2 pound of seed throughout the woods this coming fall.
There have been some really useful comments to you post above. I would add only this...
I have found that refridgerator storage *sometimes* gives that delayed response mentioned. However, short-term storage (a few days maybe a week) has given me excellent germination. For example, I live well away from my patches, I have the seed I buy delivered. To my home, Avery close to the time I am planning to plant, and then it goes into the ground. Like within a week of my getting it.
Well, I will also add that predation by the critters out there is a real problem. Voles chipmunks, and mice get the seed before it has had a chance to come up. Deer are like lawnmowers for our crop. Find a good tree to go up with your climbing stand near every patch you put in.... This is helpful.... Slay a few of them near your patches, and it will help.
Don't give up! Check every place you!ve planted next year, and you might be pleasantly surprised....
By the sounds of it you planted before all the leaves fell off. Could be the leaf layer may have been just too thick. I had this problem when I planted test patches. The only patches that survived were planted under pine trees.
YOu might. As a general rule, you want to keep your seed about the temperature of your ground (air temp in a cool spot is fine). There is some speculation (not aware of any studies) which would suggest keeping seed in the fridge and then planting too soon (before the temps match) might cause delayed germination.