Check Old Seeds For Germination

You are probably already planning the next gardening year during the winter months and wondering which of the many seed packets you have collected still contains germinable seeds. Unfortunately, the small grains do not show how many of the seeds will actually sprout. In order not to experience disappointment, it is advisable to check the germination capacity before sowing.

Check the germination rate

Sow seeds with poor germination, no seedlings will show up, and the work was in vain. You lose valuable time and at the end of the gardening year, you may have to do without a follow-up crop.

It is easy to check how well the seed will sprout:

  • Spread a piece of kitchen roll on a flat plate and moisten it well.
  • Place ten seeds of each type of seed on top.
  • Make a note of where you put which seeds. Alternatively, you can write on waterproof stickers, for example, cut from an empty Tetra Pack, and place them next to the corresponding seeds.
  • Cover the plate with cling film and poke a few holes in it.
  • Place in a bright, warm place and keep the seed evenly moist.
  • For cold germs, choose a cool place, for example in front of the basement window.
  • After a few days, the first cotyledons should appear.

If only half of the seed sprouts, the germination capacity is low. In this case, it is advisable to sow significantly more. Discard bags of seeds that are less than half sprout.

How is seed properly stored?

If the seeds lose their ability to germinate very quickly, incorrect storage is often to blame. Seeds should always be stored in a dry and cool place, for example in the cellar. Never expose the seeds to light. Opaque, lockable containers in which you place the bags are ideal.

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Written by Emma Miller

I am a registered dietitian nutritionist and own a private nutrition practice, where I provide one-on-one nutritional counseling to patients. I specialize in chronic disease prevention/ management, vegan/ vegetarian nutrition, pre-natal/ postpartum nutrition, wellness coaching, medical nutrition therapy, and weight management.

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