And now - back to Sunday Favorites . . .
Chari came up with a great idea for reviving some of our old posts that have been buried in the archives - posts that someone new hasn't had a chance to read or one you may have missed - she calls it Sunday Favorites. As soon as you get to the end of my post click on the link to Chari’s Place and see what ‘blast from the past’ everyone is sharing today.
This post was originally posted on February 12, 2009 . . .
The love of gardening is a seed that once sown never dies.
- Gertrude Jekyll
- Gertrude Jekyll
Testing Your Seeds
I was reading this article in a Garden, Deck and Landscape magazine and thought it was something interesting to know and try if you have any older seeds.
Some flower species germinate happily after 20 years or more, but the average life expectancy of a seed is from one to three years. Melons have a long shelf life of seven to ten years; peas, beans, broccoli and cabbage can be safely stored for three to five years. On the other hand, many garden favorites such as onions, parsnips and corn are not reliably viable for much more than a year.
You'll never know just by looking at them so you can perform this germination test.
1 Place a double layer of damp paper towels on a countertop or table; scatter 10-20 seeds on half of the square.
2 Gently fold the paper towels in half and then in half again so you have a square one-fourth the size of the original.
3 Slip this damp square into a plastic sandwich bag, but don't seal it - the seeds inside must be able to "breathe." Then write on the bag with a waterproof marker what kind of seeds you're sprouting and the date you started them.
4 Lay the bag in a pan, box or other container and set the container in a warm out of the way location. On top of a refrigerator works well.
5 Check the seeds after a couple of days to make sure they're still moist and have begun to sprout. Remoisten the paper towel if necessary. After the required germination period for each type of seed (see package), count to see how many have sprouted. If fewer than half the seeds show signs of life, it's time to buy new ones.
Remember, some seeds must have their protective coatings scratched or scarified before they can sprout.
Now head on over to Chari's place by clicking at Happy To Design and see what great old posts everyone will pick this week for Sunday Favorites.