Seeds, those little things we love to buy, grow, store, and forget we ever had that particular packet until we run across them a few years later while cleaning the garage. Now, you get to question wither or not these seeds are worth the energy and heartache to plant and hope they will sprout. So to save you some of that pain and questioning, here are a couple of seed viability testing methods you can use to see if those seeds are good.

Water Cup Method

This is a pretty straight forward test and best done if you are ready to plant the seeds as soon as the testing is done. For this test you will get your seeds and a cup of water. Place you seeds in the water and wait 15 minutes, whatever seeds sank to the bottom are good to grow and the ones that floated are not. If you do not have the time or space though to now plant the seeds that sank, you can still plant them if you ensure that they fully dry out and then store in a cool dry area until it is time to plant them. I suggest making sure you label them thoroughly and use them as soon as you are able to.

Germination Test

The germination test is the most tried and true way of testing your seeds as long as you have the time and area to test them using this method. Below is a very detailed instruction on how to run this test and a list of how long some of the most favored type of seeds last in storage. You can transplant the seeds that do sprout so don’t worry about having them wasted. It is also a good reminder that you can do this with brand new seeds as still have some fail, almost all seed packets will have listed on them the germination percentage that company has guaranteed if you planted the entire packet of them.


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