Wake up, Seeds!


Wake up, Seeds!

Each year we do germination tests on our seeds to test their viability. As a seed company, we're required to meet Federal Germination Standards for each variety. This year we were met with great success. Not only did our seeds pass the germination standards, but many far exceeded it!

To share our process, I sprinkled fifty seeds of each variety on a wet paper towel and folded it up. Then each paper towel square was placed into an open plastic bag (to maintain air flow) and labelled with the variety and date. All the bags were placed inside a cooler with a heat mat set to 80 degrees. Every other day I watered them. Here are some of our results two weeks later!

[caption id="attachment_106" align="aligncenter" width="224"]Sugar Baby Watermelon 88% germination (Federal Standard 80%) Sugar Baby Watermelon 88% germination
(Federal Standard 80%)[/caption]

[caption id="attachment_107" align="aligncenter" width="300"]94% germination (Federal Standard 80%) Moon and Stars Watermelon 94% germination
(Federal Standard 80%)[/caption]

[caption id="attachment_108" align="aligncenter" width="300"]Juan Flamme Tomato 92% germination (Federal Standard 75%) Juan Flamme Tomato
92% germination
(Federal Standard 75%)[/caption]

[caption id="attachment_109" align="aligncenter" width="300"]Costoluto Genovese Tomato 88% germination (Federal Standard 75%) Costoluto Genovese Tomato 88% germination
(Federal Standard 75%)[/caption]

[caption id="attachment_110" align="aligncenter" width="300"]Armenian Cucumber 100% germination! (Federal Standard 80%) Armenian Cucumber
100% germination!
(Federal Standard 80%)[/caption]

[caption id="attachment_111" align="aligncenter" width="300"]Muncher Cucumber 94% germination (Federal Standard 80%) Muncher Cucumber
94% germination
(Federal Standard 80%)[/caption]

[caption id="attachment_112" align="aligncenter" width="300"]Ancho Pepper 90% germination (Federal Standard 55%) Ancho Pepper
90% germination
(Federal Standard 55%)[/caption]

[caption id="attachment_113" align="aligncenter" width="300"]Purple de Milpa Tomatillo 94% germination (Federal Standard 75%) Purple de Milpa Tomatillo
94% germination
(Federal Standard 75%)[/caption]

[caption id="attachment_114" align="aligncenter" width="300"]Winter Luxury Pumpkin 94% germination (Federal Standard 75%) Winter Luxury Pumpkin
94% germination
(Federal Standard 75%)[/caption]

 

Some home gardeners start fresh each year, throwing out old seeds. But many of these seeds are probably still viable. With just a few household materials, you could easily do your own germination testing. Since you probably don't have a heat mat readily available, a light bulb nearby or placing the bags on top of your fridge would also work. If your germination tests are less than 60% consider purchasing new seeds or sow your seeds extra thickly to compensate.