Seed Test Procedure
Answered by: Ginny Cotterill
Question from: John
Posted on: October 20, 2010

I grow alot of seeds that I receive from various mail order companies. How can I determine a rate of germination?

In order to test the germination rate of a seed, a quantity of seed (minimum 20-100 seeds) should be counted out and placed in a seeding flat containing a soil-less medium. Some seeds will require scarification prior to seeding. Create a label that indicates the seed variety, the sowing date and the quantity of seeds used. Cover the seeds lightly with vermiculite. Some seeds require light exposure for germination and will not require the vermiculite. Tamp gently, water in, and place in the seedbed with bottom heat of 21 degrees Celsius. Seeds that require stratification can be placed in the fridge at this point for the required time, and then placed in the seed bed. Monitor the seeds daily, keeping them moist. When the seeds germinate, mark the date on the label. Grow the seedlings on. Over the course of time, in general one month for most common seeds, the seeds should have completed germination. Count out the seedlings and generate the percentage of germination according to your original seed count. For example, if 15 out of 20 seeds germinated, your rate of germination is 75%.

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