The Walden Effect: Homesteading Year 5. Farming, simple living, permaculture, and invention.

Homestead Blog

Innovations:

Homesteading Tags

Recent Comments



Blog Archive

User Pages

Login

About Us

Submission guidelines

Store


Seed germination test results

Sprouting bean seedsIn our seed germination test, 100% of our corn seeds and 60% of our bean seeds germinated in 2 days.  The other two bean seeds promptly got moldy, suggesting to me that they probably weren't viable.  The beans are seeds that I grew myself, and I didn't go through and pull out obviously damaged seeds (something I often do while planting), so I suspect the germination rate of the ones I hand select for planting is more like 80%.  I concluded that the corn is a definite keeper, and I'll just plant the beans a bit more thickly than I normally would due to their age.

Sprouting corn seedsNothing much seemed to happen for the rest of the week, except for a peanut  and some parsley succumbing to mold.  The same temperature and humidity that promote seed germination are perfect for mold growth, but I figure that a viable seed should be able to survive mold and sprout.  Finally, seven days after starting the experiment, one peanut sprouted and an onion seed showed a tinge of white that might be an incipient root pushing through the seed coat.  I'll give the seeds one more week, then put in my seed order.

By the way, I realized that the days to germination chart I linked to last time is really days to emergence from the soil.  That's a very different length of time since seeds first send down their roots and get established before sending up their cotyledons to poke out of the soil.  As my experience suggests, you should see sprouts of at least beans and corn in a couple of days if conditions are optimal for your germination test.

Our homemade chicken water is the poop-free alternative for the backyard chicken keeper.


Want to be notified when new comments are posted on this page? Click on the RSS button after you add a comment to subscribe to the comment feed, or simply check the box beside "email replies to me" while writing your comment.


Reading this entry reminded me of one of the sites on seeds and a way to get germination from old seeds with a quite high success rate. I don't remember the site url, but basically what they did was take the seeds and depending on what they were, soak them in water for hours or up to a day then lay them out on a moist media (like paper towels) and when most of them sprouted transfer them to pots or trays of compost, then to the garden when appropriate.

Nothing was stored in plastic and some were stored in a freezer for a few weeks before doing this, while the rest were in paper packs stored in an organized box in a cabinet. All the seeds were said to be at least two years old.

I was surprised that the germination was so high over 80%. It looked like tedious work though as some of the seedlings were extremely small. If you get a green house or use cold frames it might be worth some thought.

Comment by vester Sun Jan 16 19:35:17 2011

Pre-germination tactics like that are widely variable by type of seed. I routinely presoak pea seeds, although I like to germinate them straight in the garden for simplicity.

I'm not sure the folks who you read about actually needed to do anything special, though. Different types of seeds last very different lengths of time, and unless it was pepper, parsnip, parsley, onion, or corn seeds, you'd expect nearly full germination after two years with most seeds. 80% is actually a bit low (although they did store their seeds sub-optimally, the way I do.)

Comment by anna Mon Jan 17 12:03:38 2011

One very unique homestead, $1,500 per acre, the opportunity of a lifetime