Monday, February 11, 2008

Tossing seeds and germination tests...

This weekend I went through all our old seed.

Wow, was there a lot of it! What I did was check seed storage ages against a book we have, and toss seeds that are beyond their storage time, leeks and carrots, for instance, only last a couple years, yet I had a packet of each from 2003!

For more on the line seeds I am running a germination test. 5 seeds of each kind in a moist paper towel. Keep it nice and moist and warm and we'll see what happens!

Seed starting will ba happening starting in mid March, so the time is quick upon us. The BIG seed order will go out this comming weekend, when we see what pops and what does not...

(I will post pictures of this when I get home today.)


Sarah Kleeger said...

it's alway sad to toss out old seeds.

all of the literature is conservative in their estimates of seed life, which is important for market gardening, but not necessarily for school gardens or hobbyists.

some ideas for future seed room clean-outs:

1. sprinkle the orphans on a patch of garden that you may not get to cultivate and see what grows. i once had a friend that had 10 year old parsnip seeds in his freezer, which usually last only one season. he did a germination test and nothing came up. then he tossed them on the edges of his compost pile and had a parsnip garden!

2. don't have any spare garden space? sprinkle the seeds along the edges of a(n) (sub)urban alleyway. guerrilla gardening is fun!

3. donate the seeds to a school garden project, or

4. bring them to your local seedswap. (don't have a seed swap? start one!) other people may not care that there may be low germ. rate.

5. sow thickly to use them up quickly!

best of luck with those germination tests!

CSA Farmer Girl said...

Thanks for the great ideas! A seed swap might be a fun fall activity for the farm. If anyone else would be intrested let me know, I will keep the idea in our possible event list!