Testing Seed Germination Rates

If you have seed saved from prior years, it is a good idea to test the germination rate before planting your whole garden with it. Depending on the rate of germination, you can decide if you want to plant normally, plant more thickly, plant single sprouts, or just toss the seed out and start with fresh seed.

Testing seed germination also just happens to be a requirement for the Boy Scouts’ Gardening merit badge, so my son got to do this project for us this year while I took pictures. Here’s how we do it.

1. Gather the seed you want to test. Just for fun, I gave him some cucumber seed I had left from the survival seed can packed for planting in 2000. That’s 12 year old cucumber seed.
Continue reading “Testing Seed Germination Rates”

Skills as a prep

A few weeks ago a guest author on a popular preparation blog discussed the value of gardening as a resource. He put forth the opinion that while he enjoys gardening as a pastime, the decision as to whether to engage in it should be based solely around time and cost. Citing the inability to move a garden in an emergency and the amount of labor required to get to harvest, he concluded that it is better to save your seeds for a bug-out and expend today’s efforts and money on a trip to the grocery store. “It’s all about time,” he says, “not a skill or desire.”

A few weeks ago a guest author on a popular preparation blog discussed the value of gardening as a resource. He put forth the opinion that while he enjoys gardening as a pastime, the decision as to whether to engage in it should be based solely around time and cost. Citing the inability to move a garden in an emergency and the amount of labor required to get to harvest, he concluded that it is better to save your seeds for a bug-out and expend today’s efforts and money on a trip to the grocery store. “It’s all about time,” he says, “not a skill or desire.” Continue reading “Skills as a prep”