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Dr. Deno's books are now in the public domain

Calgary, Canada

I have forgotten to bookmark the URL
,but I accessed them through
That site gives the proper usda site for the Deno databases.

Northwest, MO(Zone 5a)

Is there any way you can provide the url address. I can't seem to find the site.

Menifee, CA(Zone 9a)

I think this is it:

Calgary, Canada

Thanks, I never learned how to do that and should learn.

Menifee, CA(Zone 9a)

It is one of the very very few things i have learned LOL usually i am inept and get the kids to help me

Calgary, Canada

Thank you to your kids!

Windsor, CT(Zone 6a)

As far as I know, you can still get a paperback copy:

Seed Germination Theory and Practice:

This book is self published and self distributed. The book is priced at $20 postpaid anywhere in the world. The First Supplement @ $15, and The Second Supplement @ $15 are also available postpaid. Send all orders to:

Norman C. Deno, 139 Lenor Drive, State College, PA 16801 USA

Calgary, Canada

Apparently he is not publishing anymore nor selling them.
But it is a PDF file that you can download if you want to spend the time.

Windsor, CT(Zone 6a)

Gee, maybe I should have clicked/read the link? ;)

That's too bad- some research is best done on the couch. (Though I suppose now you can do it with any one of those e-readers, but it's not the same.)

Galesburg, IL

Print it out and bind it!

Calgary, Canada

Paper copies are good in that you can add your own notes
and put stickies in for your favorite references.

Windsor, CT(Zone 6a)

And you don't have to fire up the 'pooter to get a quick answer! (Not a fast process in my house.)

I have the first publication, but it'd be nice to have all three. I may copy the supplements to a disc or one of those stick-drive thingys & take it to a print shop. I just can't see myself printing & punching 200+ pages. (And it'd probably finish off my poor old printer!)

Thanks for posting this, BTW~

Jamaica Plain, MA(Zone 6a)

Yes, Thanks CL. I meant to post the link, but hadn't yet.
The site is sometimes hard to access, but you'll get through eventually. Unfortunately, as I was on page 37 of printing it, my 15-20 year old trusty laserjet got stuck and started screeching at me, which it's never done before. As I couldn't fix it, I'm waiting to get a new one.
nedweenie, the book is definitely not being printed, as Dr. Deno sent my money back, saying that he's 89 years old and so not publishing it anymore.

(Zone 7a)

How about a sticky at the top of this forum (or just below Kelly's database?) with the URLs going directly to Deno's works?

From -

These links to Dr Deno's "Seed Germination: Theory and Practice" and the two supplemental books are free downloads at the USDA National Agriculture Library online site. I know this book is out of print and nearly impossible to find. I hope this information is useful.

Title: Seed germination, theory and practice.

Title: First supplement to the second edition of Seed germination theory and practice.

Title: Second supplement to Seed germination theory and practice.

The web sight might sometimes be down for maintenance, if so check back later.
MMcD: web site is working now, tested on Monday, 10-25-2010

I agree - this is wonderful - Deno has been an enormous help to me in past years. I wish, however, that he could have kept this project going - he seemed to have more great ideas on the back burner :)


Calgary, Canada

Thanks! Karen.

Nutley, NJ(Zone 6b)


This is very good news. On December 28, 2010 I talked to Dr. Deno via telephone about his seed germination books and their availability. He still had some paper copies available but he was not going to print any more copies once his current stock was gone. Dr. Deno doesn’t use Email, so I sent him a letter on December 29, 2010 with a check for the books. In the letter I suggested that if he was not going to continue publication of his books, he consider placing his books in the public domain because if he failed to do so, his books would be under copyright lockdown for many years under US copyright law. I also suggested that he place the original text documents in the public domain and not scanned pages which introduce the possibility of transcription errors.

Google Books only makes Dr. Deno’s books available in the “Snippet view” or “No preview available” modes and his works are not in at all.

Google Books: “Norman Deno”

The good news is that Dr. Demo did donate the documents to the USDA on or about 2010-5-12 per the following URL:

Here is the information of interest Deno, N. C. 2010-05-12T12:26:25Z 2010-05-12T12:26:25Z 1993
dc.rights: This item has been deposited with the permission of the rights holders or are now in the public domain.

Google Books has better copies of these documents. Will Google Books recognize the USDA public domain declaration? I will send Google Books an Email to see if they will accept the USDA delectation. I am going to compare my copies with the ones from the USDA website; I believe mine are a latter printing. The USDA website PDF documents have OCR-to-Text so you will be able to cut and past if you need to use parts of the book in a DG post.

I now start all my Hibiscus seeds using the Demo Method. The only problem with the Demo Method is that it works too well and little Hibiscus seedlings quickly become big Hibiscus seedlings.

Thank you for a great find. I will repost this link on the Hibiscus forum.


This message was edited Oct 28, 2010 11:27 PM

Nutley, NJ(Zone 6b)

I just had an idea!

Let's send thank-you cards (something with flowers) to Dr. Demo for placing his books in the public domain. His mailing address is as follows.

Dr. Norman C. Deno
139 Lenor Drive
State College, PA 16801 USA

All DG Forums should be interested in this so please get the word out.


Elmira, NY(Zone 6a)

This was a very kind thing for Dr. Deno to do. I bought all his books years ago, and they have helped me immensely. His Outdoor Treatment for seeds is the bees.

Everett, WA(Zone 8a)

Here are more-direct links, for free downloads, which the USDA National Agriculture Library website called "persistent URLs".

Thank you, Dr. Deno!

Select "View/Open", be prepared to wait a while, then "File ... Save As"

Title: Seed germination, theory and practice.

Title: First supplement to the second edition of Seed germination theory and practice.

Title: Second supplement to Seed germination theory and practice.


(Zone 7a)

Everyone, thank you for the additional information and sensibilities of thanks and appreciation for Dr. Deno. I bought his first book years ago and it's been my germination bible, even if not intended for that originally.

I haven't done (or tried) this yet, but now that these books are digitalized, has anyone tried the search function to collect data like, for instance, making a list of which seeds do okay with fall sowing? I don't know what's possible along these lines yet, but lacking excel (which perhaps I can remedy with those google spreadsheets), wouldn't it be great if we could make lists for different germination criteria/methods of seeds this way?

Would anyone mind if I asked DG admin to give this thread a sticky?


Nutley, NJ(Zone 6b)


The three Books by Dr. Deno were scanned from paper copies and converted to PDF documents. Adobe Acrobat has a OCR (Optical Character Recognition) function which was used on the three books so they all text searchable using the text search capability in Acrobat or Acrobat Reader. Microsoft Desktop Search, which is built into Windows-Vista and Windows-7 and a free download for Windows-XP, can also search these PDF documents. I don’t see any technical reason why we could not data-mine Dr. Deno’s books to create Excel or Open Office spreadsheets. The one thing I would be carful of is that OCR is not always 100% correct so the extracted data would have to be reviewed and spellchecked.

A better solution would be to convince Dr. Demo to donate the original source documents to the USDA. That would eliminate any error associated with OCR scans. I have two out of the three very clean copies of Dr. Deno’s books from January 2010 and I have considered running them through my OCR software and comparing the resulting text with the USDA copies to identify errors using majority logic.

If you don’t have Excel try using Open Office. The latest version is quite good and I was pleasantly surprised when I opened a moderately complex Excel document using Open Office.


Nutley, NJ(Zone 6b)

I wanted to let other DG members know that I have post a modified Deno Method, on the Hibiscus Forum, which uses a layer of hydrated Parchment Paper (AKA Baking Paper) to prevent the root hairs from growing into the kitchen paper towels which are used to maintain hydration during germination. The addition of hydrated parchment paper exceeded my expectations with high germination rates and no root entanglement with the paper towels. For additional information see this link:

Dr. Deno’s Seed Germination Books are now in Public Domain


Thumbnail by Michael_Ronayne
Everett, WA(Zone 8a)

That's a great experiment!

Have you compared relative entaglement between parchment and coffee filters, or maybe newsprint?

Cheap in the Pacific NorthWet

Nutley, NJ(Zone 6b)


I have thought about using other paper layers to prevent root entanglement. First of all, I have no intention of replacing paper towels as the outer layer because they are food safe, are specifically engineered to absorb and hold water and hold together when wet. Root entanglement only became a problem after I realized that there were some advantages extending the time seedlings remained in the Deno Bag. Also some species of Hibiscus (i.e. tropical’s) are more prone to this problem than others.

I would reject news paper for several reasons:
* News paper is not rated as food safe.
* The chemicals and inks use in the printing process are unknown and vary.
* News paper would quickly disintegrate into pulp once wet.

Over a year ago, I did try a layer of coffee filters but the results were inconclusive. First I used filter paper for a kitchen coffee maker which was too small and I wasn’t keeping the seeds in the Deno Bag for extended periods of time, like I am now doing. What I need to do is rerun the tests using filters for large commercial coffee brewers. I also looked into using libratory grade filter paper but the prices are ridiculous.

I updated my post on the Hibiscus Forum with the final results for the Hibiscus seeds I am testing in the current batch. I also outlined an idea I have for using a Deno Bag to send seedlings through the mail, which admittedly needs more work. I am looking for a 6”x6” plastic framework which can be repurposed to support the paper layers during transport. I have the plastic parts to make a frame but it would not be a help to others. One possibility would be to cutup a polyethylene jewel case used to ship CD’s but even that may be to complicated.


Thumbnail by Michael_Ronayne
Everett, WA(Zone 8a)

>> I did try a layer of coffee filters but the results were inconclusive.

I understand. Agreed, anything purchased by labs would be impractically expensive unless you had grant money. They tend to be even denser and smoother than coffee filters, so i would expect even less root pentration.

Since they are smoother, i wonder if they hold the humidity as high as paper towels (which have lots of surface area.) But if the deno bag is sealed, I;'m sure RH would be 100% at all times.

>> News paper would quickly disintegrate into pulp once wet.

Good point. I already proved that to myself about tissue paper and toilet paper. Once I tried sprinkling fine vermiculite over the coffee filter, but all it did was make it harder to see light-colored seeds.

I used to worry about germinating seeds gettting enoguh oxygen if I coverd them over, but now I trust that oxygen can go through any kind of paper easily.

But do you have to let CO2 out if you keep seeds in a plastic bag for a long time?

>> using a Deno Bag to send seedlings through the mail,

Great idea! But if oxygen diffusion is needed, maybe the bag needs a small hole. Or can it migrate through ziplock plastic? Water can, VERY slowly, and that's more polar than O2.

From what I read, adult roots are happy inside wet plastic, but adults leaves and stems tend to rot. I wonder if they need to be drier, or have more oxygen, or both? Would sedling leaves resist rot longer?

>> One possibility would be to cutup a polyethylene jewel case used to ship CD’s but even that may be to complicated.

My own interest is in shipping dry seeds without paying $1.71 for a bubble mailer at First Class package rates, and without having them crushed by high-speed rollers. It should be easy to send 1-3 pkts of tiny seeds for 44 cents!

The idea of a CD or DVD mailer is appealing, but I think the trick for "business envelopes" will be a stiff envelope + padding around the edges to hold the rollers apart by 0.2" while the seeds sit in a gap in the padding. This gap should be near the center so the rollers are most likely to miss it or be supported above it.

(The total thickness must be significantly less than 1/4" or they will reject it.)

Someone suggested that UHaul sells thin foam for packing china. I figure I would make the envelope itself out of thin chipboard like cereal boxes or FedEx overnight envelopes or USPS Flat Rate Large Envelopes.


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