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Propagation: Coating on seeds

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Forum: PropagationReplies: 2, Views: 33
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cornwall, ON
(Zone 4b)

March 25, 2013
9:56 AM

Post #9461317

Okay everybody I have maybe a stupid question but here goes. My Father passed away in 2002. He had ordered all his garden seed that spring but never got a chance to use them. My mother gave them to me and I have kept them all these years in a dry spot but never used any. I came across them and when I opened the tomato seeds- they have a pink coating (coloring) on them. I am pretty sure this is a good sign. They are hybrids. would this coating keep them a viable seed all these years and what of the beans, cukes etc? Would they be any good or should I just toss them? If there is a possibility they are still good, I will waste the time and seed starter soil on them. If not then- sayonara- or will wait for heat and try outside. Thanks for any help. Sandra


Everett, WA
(Zone 8a)

March 25, 2013
11:45 AM

Post #9461462

Hmm, 11 years.

I know that I would try some - dry storage gives them a better chance. Certainly I'd try any seeds that are unusual or expensive, like tomato seeds. But I like to fiddle.

Do you really need 80% germination?

You could save on the amount of seed-start-mix by sprouting on coffee filters or paper towels. Only sow the ones that sprout. This also leverages the idea of pre-soaking any seed to make it sprout faster and more reliably (even small ones without a tough coat). Lots of people do that on a paper towel inside a plastic baggie, but I have a stack of nesting glass b owls that I use.

Label the coffee filter before wetting it! Or mark a small piece of white plastic with a pencil and drop that in the bowl. If it's shaped like a small stake, you can re-use it to label the row of cells.

>> beans, cukes etc?

Here is one list of "seed viability". However, I notice online that people keep posting that they got "pretty good germination" with crop seeds 10 or 20 years old, even stored under terrible conditions.

cornwall, ON
(Zone 4b)

March 26, 2013
8:39 AM

Post #9462473

Thanks Rick I think you are right. I'll try them this summer outside but I would imagine most are toast now.

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