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 resources (local and mail-order)

Gardening in Utah can be a wonderfully enjoyable and productive experience. Knowing how to get started however can be a major deterrent for many people. Fortunately, there are a number of local resources we can rely upon in order to help us to get started on the path to productive, self-sufficient gardening.

After doing some research myself, here’s my garden fertilized and tilled, ready for the first planting next week:

If you are interested in getting started, keep reading for some recommendations on local resources.
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