How to Test Stored Seed for Viability

Vintage Poster Victory
Sow the Seeds of Victory Poster by GardenGuerilla


Nothing is more frustrating than sowing tons of seeds and then after a few weeks finding that only a few if any have sprouted. You can save yourself a lot of disappointment by testing your stored seeds for viability first, before going through the trouble of putting them into the soil. 


How to Test Stored Seed for Viability

Materials needed:

  • Seeds
  • a plastic tray
  • paper towels or coffee filters
  • plastic bags
  • water
  • water spray bottle

Seeds must be soaked for several days to remove the hard seed coats. To do this follow these simple steps:

  1. Moisten the paper towel and place it on the tray
  2. Remove 10 equally sized seeds from your seed packets and place them on the moist paper towel.
  3. Cover with another moist towel 
  4. Spray with water if you notice the paper towel drying out
  5. If you place the paper in plastic bags( see video), make sure to not seal it all the way so some ear can get in. 

In a couple of days, seeds should start to sprout giving you a good indication if your seeds are ready for planting. 

Vintage Poster

vintage seed catalog cover by earthdaygardens

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