Don't throw away those old seeds, test them to see if they're still good

Written by Doug Oster on .

blog seed jar 0124Stored seeds need to stay dry. A mason jar works great and with silica gel in the bottom of the jar, the seeds will stay viable longer. Photo by Doug OsterThis morning I was asked on Facebook if I bought new seeds every year or used old ones, the answer is yes.

Even though my basement is filled with mason jars stuffed with seeds, I still have ordered lots of seeds for the upcoming season.

Some of those old seeds go back 20 years are more. Sometimes it's a variety I fell in love with years ago which isn't available any longer or something I've forgotten about.

When I go through the jars, decideing what I want to plant, I will test the older ones to be sure they are still viable.

It's important the seeds are stored properly. Most importantly they must stay dry. All my mason jars have silica gel in the bottom to absorb any moisture. I bought the gel at a craft store. It's used for drying flowers.

The first step in testing seeds is to pull out about 10 and put them in a moist paper towel. The towel is then put into a Ziploc bag and stored somewhere warm like the top of the fridge.

In a week or so open the bag and if more than 50 percent sprouted, the seeds are good to go. If not, they go into the compost pile.

Sometimes I don't have enough seeds lift of a variety, I'll have to just plant one or two and hope for the best.

Seed starting will be here before you know it, test your old varieties so you can save a little money this season.





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