Garden Chick - Notes from the Garden

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

The Test of Time: Are these seeds any good?

The weather has been so warm this last week, my thoughts have naturally turned to gardening. February in the south is a battleground for opposing weather fronts. Last year was ice and snow, this year, warm weather, rain, and the threat of tornados.   On any given day in February, you may be tempted to uncover those bundled up peonies, but you know this brief reprieve will be followed by colder days. The high for today is 58, but by the end of the week, the nights will be below freezing.  So what is a gardener, anxious to play in the dirt,  to do?  Well, clean of course. I found seeds downstairs in my office that were anywhere from 2-5 years old. 

I found vegetable, flower, and herb seeds.  I discarded the lettuce and cilantro, since many vegetable seeds may have a short shelf life.  The only way to see if your seeds may still be viable, is to do a seed test.

1. On a damp paper towel which has been folded in half, place about ten seeds. fold in half again, and then again into a square. 

2. Place in a plastic bag.  If less than than half of the seeds sprout in a week at room temperature, you should consider them unusable.

Four O'clocks, Shasta Daisy, Wildflower mix, Moonflower (the oldest at 5 years old), and Evening Primrose.

I will see you back next week to see if any of my seeds can be used.


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