4 Steps to Test Your Old Seeds

January leaves me with time on my hands.  I was starting to crave a gardening project and ran across the idea of testing your old seeds to see if they are worth planting.  The fact is, I have a bag of seeds that I haven’t wanted to throw away because I remember the good stuff we grew. Some of these are looking mighty questionable though. I’m sure there are better ways to store seeds but I do well to stash them in the garden cupboard.

It’s a simple matter that only took 5 minutes to put together and a couple of days of patience – kinda like popping seeds in the soil in spring.  Only this yielded quicker results… to my decluttering efforts.

  1. Choose several of each variety of seed you want to test and arrange them on a damp paper towel.
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  2. Roll them gently to keep your seeds in individual rows and keep the moisture in,
  3. Put your roll of damp seeds in a Plastic bag to retain moisture. fullsizeoutput_131c
  4. Keep your seeds in a warm spot for a few days but keep in mind; seeds need moisture and warmth to germinate but not light – a closed cupboard is just fine.  Check them after 2-3 days for progress.  Mine took 5 days to show progress but it was in the single digits outside when I did this.

My results are below with the results in red to the right.  Way to go Asparagus pole beans!!!! Broccoli and  tomatoes brought up the rear but I’m not wasting precious garden square footage with a 50% chance of success.  Looks like it’s time to get out the seed catalog!  And I get to throw the rest away.  Ahhh! The satisfaction of decluttering.  Now, on to bleach those nasty tile counters! fullsizeoutput_132b

So much time…

2018 Calender…and so little to do in the garden.  I actually attempted to rid one of my future flower beds of weeds but realized the rediculosity of my endeavor when the plants just broke off in my hands.  Did I mention it was 22 degrees?  There is such a things as futility.

A friend of mine is plunging into the Master Gardeners course at our local extension and I crave the possibility of doing this someday but now is not the time.  Between homeschooling, work, home renovation, restarting my own gardens and a household to manage, this goal has to wait.  I am so looking forward to diving into my new dirt this year though!  The UT extension website has an incredible resource, free for the copying.  Check out your free 2018 gardening calendar here: https://extension.tennessee.edu/publications/Documents/W436.pdf

Not a Tennessee gardener?  Check out your local Agricultural Extension for fantastic resources.  I’m getting ready to use my local office to have my soil tested.  There’s no use fertilizing dirt that doesn’t need it or using the wrong materials.