Have old seeds, and not sure if they're worth planting? Do a simple viability test to find out.
Time Required: Varies
- Lightly moisten a paper towel. Then, fold it in half.
- Place 10 seeds on the paper towel. Then, fold the towel in half again to cover up the seeds.
- Stick the paper towel in a plastic sandwich bag and seal.
- Write the seed name and date on the bag. Then, store the bag in a warm spot (on top of the refrigerator works well).
- Check the bag each day to see if any seeds have germinated and to remoisten the paper towel, as needed.
- Continue checking the bag until you reach the germination time listed on your seed packet.
- Count how many seeds germinated. Use this to determine your percentage of viability. If, for example, 8 of your 10 seeds germinated, that would be an 80% viability.
- If you decide to use your seeds, plant extra to make up for the seeds that aren't likely to germinate.
- If you handle them gingerly, your germinated seeds can be planted.
- Need to replace your seeds? Here's how to get free seeds
- Use this seed starting printable to track the success of your indoor seed starts
What You Need
- A paper towel
- A plastic sandwich bag
- A permanent marker