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.
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Gardening: Getting Ready for the Season

pottingsoilAll the authors on this site are avid gardeners and like any gathering of gardeners, we all have different approaches, best practices and preferences. This planting season will be the first one that we’ve had this site running so you can expect a lot of posts from us on our gardens! Each of us will be writing posts showing you how we grow our gardens and we’ll hopefully have some great guest author posts as well.

The New Year brings many exciting opportunities – one of the most exciting for me is the opportunity to start a fresh new garden! It’s hard to sit patiently by and wait for Spring to kick Old Man Winter’s behind so we can get out there and start turning the ground and planting. The best way to pass the time is to strategize: Are you going to plant more or different crops from last year? What plants would you like to put in? How will you lay out the garden? Are you going to use the same gardening approach as last year, or try something new?

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