This week, I began my annual seed-buying and garden planning process. What I really love to do is open up my huge seed container, and take out each type of seed, in turn, deciding how many more varieties I should purchase. So, for instance, I’ll take all my cucumbers and lay them out, and note how many pickling and slicing cukes I have already, how old the seeds are, and how well they performed for me in the past. Then I get to flip through the seed catalogs, making notes of varieties I’d like to purchase for this year.
When I came to my tomato seeds, I realized that in the craziness of building last summer, I completely neglected to save seed from some of my favorite tomatoes. I still have some seed from 2011, but I am not sure how viable they are. I also made the mistake of leaving some seeds from 2013 in our outside storage trailer, and I’m concerned that the extreme cold temperatures we’ve been having may have damaged the seed. So I decided to do some seed viability tests. Here’s how:
I discovered that my 2011 seeds had very poor germination rates – well under 50%. I could try sowing them very thickly, but my guess is that the quality of the plant, and the resulting fruit would be compromised. So I’m going to replace my favorites seeds and try really hard to remember to save seeds from them THIS fall!