How to do a Germination Test on Seeds
If you have saved seeds from your own garden, or been given some seeds from another's, you may wish to check to see if the seeds are still viable before you plant them. A simple germination test will give you the answer. Here's how to do it:
- for each packet of seeds you will need a paper towel and a small ziplock baggie. Use a separate test for each package of seeds to be tested.
- begin by wetting the paper towel just to moisten, and folding it in half.
- put 10 seeds in a row on one half of the paper towel and fold the other half of the paper towel over the seeds.
- slide the paper towel into the ziplock baggie and zip it 3/4 of the way shut; place the baggie in a relatively warm spot;
- check the paper towel every day to make sure it is still moist, misting gently with water if needed. After a week or more has gone by take the paper towel out of the baggie and see how many seeds have germinated. If 6 - 10 of the seeds have germinated you can now plant the seeds you have left in your packages. If less than 6 seeds germinated you will wish to get newer seeds.
- You can also plant the seeds which you tested, but be careful as they may be fragile.