Seed Testing | Germination Testing for Seed Viability

 

Why Do Germination Testing?
After you have collected seed, and are considering long term storage, you might find it helpful to conduct germination testing to determine the viability of your seed if considering for planting, or to test the viability of a seed that has been in storage. Germination rates naturally vary from species to species, but there are some general guidelines to consider when doing a testing.

Seed Germination Testing

Germination Testing

After you have collected seed, and are considering long term storage, you might find it helpful to conduct germination testing to determine the viability of your seed if considering for planting, or to test the viability of a seed that has been in storage. Germination rates naturally vary from species to species, but there are some general guidelines to consider when doing a testing.

Germination Testing

When testing, be sure to mark clearly the variety and beginning test dateto avoid confusion later on. To conduct a simple germination test:

     
 
 
 
  1. Obtain a sample of of seeds to be tested, typically 10 seeds or more depending upon supply.

  2. Place seeds onto paper towel, and fold along middle crease, leaving seeds covered near middle crease.

  3. Apply some water to paper towel, to provide a dark and moist atmosphere simulating the environment of seeds below surface of soil.

  4. Place bag into plastic ziploc bag open slightly, or similarly permeable bag that retains moisture but allows some movement of air vapor.

  5. Allow for 3-10 days for seeds to germinate. Do not allow paper towel to dry out-this will deter germination and skewer final results.

  6. After 10 days, most of the seeds that will germinate will have done so. To obtain a germination rate as a percentage, simply divide the number of seed that have successfully germinated by the initial number of seeds. Most common garden vegetables have a natural germination rate of 80% or more, which gradually declines with the passage of time.
 
     
     
 

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