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How to Check Seed Quality at Home?

Shipra Singh
Shipra Singh
germinating seed
Germinating seeds

Most of the seeds stay viable for several years. Yet, it depends on the plant species. Some seeds become useless in a short time. Usually, when you store seeds in a dry, cool place, they stay viable for a longer time. However, this storage method still does not guarantee that your seeds will stay productive for the next season.  

Instead of playing the guessing game, why not check seed quality through the following 2 tests? 

1. Water test:

Take a bowl of water. Put your seeds in them. Observe what happens. Do the seeds sink or do they float on water? 

Wait for a few minutes.  

  • The seeds that sink are still viable for germination. 

  • The seeds that float are unfit and chances are high that they may not germinate.

2. Germination Test:

  • Take a moist paper towel. 

  • Place 10 seeds in a row on the towel. 

  • Fold the towel and put it in a zipper plastic bag. Seal it. 

  • Place this packet in a warm place, away from direct sunlight. 

  • Check seeds once a day. Also check dampness of towel. 

  • In case you observe the towel becoming dry, mist it lightly. 

Planting seeds in home garden

If your seeds are of good quality, they will germinate within two weeks or even several days, depending on type of seed. It’s good to wait for 10-15 days before you conclude anything about the seeds.  

After 15 days, check the germination rate of seeds. If less than 5 germinated, it is useless sowing these seeds, as your yield will be lesser. If more than 5 germinated, your seeds are viable and good for planting.  

If only 5 germinated, the choice is yours whether to use them or not; but this shows only 50% of the results.  

Ensure that the seeds you put to test are seasonal. If this is not the season to sow a particular plant, then seeds might be dormant and won’t germinate even if they are viable. 

Want some fresh organic seeds for your home garden? You can easily buy them online.  

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