Are my old seeds still good?

By now you may have ordered or purchased new your seeds for the coming season.  But often you will have seeds left over from a previous year.  Don’t throw away those old seed packets quite yet.

Here is a quick way to test for seed viability

  • Place 10 seeds on a damp paper towel sealed in a plastic bag.
  • Put the plastic bag in a warm, bright location and watch for the seeds to germinate.
  • Multiply the number of germinated seeds by 10% to gain a viability percentage.
  • Greater than 70 percent, sow as directed!
  • 40-60 percent sow more heavily than indicated on seed package
  • less than 40 percent, replace the seeds with a new seed packet.

The key to storing seeds well is to keep them cool and dry. If you have seeds you want to keep until the next year seal them in a plastic bag and keep them in a cool dry place. Next year you can repeat the same test for seed viability.

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