Wednesday, January 27, 2016

Testing Seeds before Planting

The seeds in attractive packets are on display in various stores and I am browsing and looking and in most cases the companies recommend sowing after all danger of frost has passed.  It is still too early to direct sow herbs but this is a good time to start the seeds indoors.

Most of the time, I have bought enough seeds for sowing,  but sometimes I have miscalculated big time; however, there are times when I want to stagger the planting.  How is that for an excuse?

For the early planting of Oregon Sweet Peas, I had a large bag of seeds left from last year.  It looked as if I had not used any at all.  What to do?  Do I sow the seeds and hope that they germinate or do I just throw the seeds out?

I like to use all the seeds that I have bought or saved so this is how I tested the peas:

I soaked a paper towel and laid it on a flat surface near the kitchen sink. I then spread out  ten (10) seeds on the towel and covered them up with another wet towel.  I kept the towels moist at all times.

Considering that it will take about eight (8) days for the seeds to germinate, I kept checking for any sign of growth.  I found that eventually all 10 of my seeds germinated so it was a 100% success.  If half of them had germinated, it would have been a 50% success or failure.  You do the math.  For me, it was a no "brainer".

Even if all the seeds had not germinated, I could have sown them, just sown them closer together or more in a "hill."  Still, it is no guarantee that all the seeds will germinate, grow, and produce.

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