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.
(Clearly, I already have a lot of cucumbers, but how can one resist a variety called Dragon’s Egg? It’s going on the list!)
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!
Amy Lou says
This is great! I’ve been struggling with getting seeds started, as this is the first time I’ve tried to grow anything, ever. Now I can check to make sure I’ve not gotten some bunk seeds.
Dumb question: the “warm location” where you put the plastic bag, does it need to be in sunlight for the seeds to germinate?
Teri Page says
No, they do not need light to germinate. It can be dark! Have fun!
I always love your posts! Pinning for later 🙂
Teri Page says