17 August 2015

Old Seeds? Try this Trick to see if they are still Good

Seeds get old, packets get torn, sometimes we forget to jot down the date we harvest them if we seed save. Old seeds don't need to be tossed away though. You can try this simple trick to see if they are still viable and worth planting.

You will need:
10 seeds
Paper towel

Step 1. Wet the paper towel and wring it out until it is damp. Spread it out.

Step 2. Space the seeds evenly along the paper towel.

Step 3. Roll the paper towel up so the seeds are completely covered - they need to stay damp.

Step 4. Put the paper towel somewhere warm (I usually sit it on a sunny windowsill).

Step 5. After two days check to see how many, if any seeds have germinated.

Here's how you can determine the viability:

1 seed germinated = 10% germination rate
5 seeds germinated = 50% germination rate
10 seeds germinated = 100% germination rate

I personally only use the seeds if I get a 50% or more germination rate. You can choose the rate that suits your planting space and harvest needs.

Follow on Bloglovin


  1. Sounds like a great idea. I have seeds that are out of date that I could try this with.

    Thank you Cath.


    1. Give it a try Tania, you really only have 5 minutes of time to lose and it saves a lot of heartache if you plant seeds and they don't come up - I always get so disappointed :) I've found though that if the seeds have been kept dry they are usually good for a few years after the use by/best before date on the packet. We have a nice warm weekend coming up and Wayne will be at the AMRA train exhibition all weekend so I'll have plenty of time to get stuck into the garden, it is completely bare at the moment, not a thing in it and I'm desperate to start growing more food.


Thanks so much for taking the time to leave a comment...I just love hearing from you!

Just a couple of things:

Please don't use your comments to advertise your business or goods for sale, any such comments will be removed.

And please include your name, anonymous posts will not be published and will be recorded as spam.