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How to test your old seeds before buying new ones…

Its the time of year when you are thinking about buying new seeds…. but you still have some left over from last year, or even the year before, and wouldn’t it be good to know if they are still any good?

Here is an easy way you can test the viability of your seeds at home with very basic materials.

Materials required: seeds, tissue paper, water, small plastic bag⁣⁣⁣.⁣⁣⁣

  1. Moisten tissue paper (do not drench!)⁣⁣⁣
  2. Place 25 seeds in a zigzag across the top of the paper, leaving 1cm space from the top and two from the sides⁣⁣⁣
  3. Fold up the tissue paper over the seeds, bringing the bottom edge to the top
  4. Roll into a sausage
  5. Place into a small plastic bag (you can do a few at the same time) and leave upright in a warm place
  6. Unroll and count the sprouted seeds after a week or so – depending on the crop
  7. Multiply by 4 and you have a percentage of germination

Radish seeds being tested

Any seeds that have sprouted can be grown on in compost and planted out if it is the correct time of year to sow them. And remember – even if your seeds don’t germinate quite as well as you would like, you can sow more of them to get the amount of plants you need.

We also have a video of this process on our YouTube channel, along with other useful videos.

Watch germination testing video

P.S. visit the January page on our website to find out what seeds you can sow now

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