How to Know the Viability of Your Seeds

“I have some seeds, but how do I know if it’s viable for me to plant?”

Sometimes farmers ask this question just after a bad experience of planting ungerminated seeds.

How to Make The Right Decisions When Buying Seeds

The Answer is Simple.

The truth is most seeds last for several years. However, others have a relatively short life. But when stored correctly in a cool, dry place, seed’s shelf life can be extended. Though, there is no certainty they will still be productive next planting season.

There are two (2) easy tests you can carry out to know if there is life left in seeds.


Water Test: Take your seeds and put them in a container of water. Let them sit for about 15 minutes. Then if the seeds sink, they are still viable; if they float, they most likely will not sprout. This method, in our opinion, may not be the best way to check your seeds.

However, to have the best results, carry out a germination test.


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Germination Test: Take some of your seeds, preferably 10, and place them in a row on top of a damp paper towel. Fold over the paper towel and place in a zip-up plastic bag and seal it. This helps to keep the sheet moist and protected. Then put in a sunny location, like a high shelf or on top of the refrigerator, and check the seeds often, around once a day to see if they have begun to germinate. Carefully mist the sheet. If it needs more water, be careful not to apply too much water.

Seeds germination should begin to in several days up to a couple of weeks, depending on the seed type. A rule of thumb is to wait for about ten days. Giving your seeds the best chance, requires you research the best germination time of your seeds. If you placed ten seeds on the paper towel, this would be pretty easy to calculate. If less than five seeds sprouted, your seed packet may not have much success when it comes to planting. If more than five grew, then you can be sure the seeds have some level of vigor!

Remember, the seeds are different (chia seeds, pumpkin seeds, plant seeds, sunflower, flax seeds, tree seeds, sesame seeds, maize, rice, flower seeds). Thus, results may vary. With success, you can help your little seed/seedlings sprout into the magnificent, thriving plants they were meant to be how to know if my seeds are viable.

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