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Fresh Seeds

August 20th, 2013

Earlier this summer when I planted my fall carrots I decided to to an experiment. I’ve noticed that fresh seeds often germinate faster and much better. Even though many seeds will technically store for many years, germination rates will often go down each year. When you’re planting fall crops, a week can make the difference between a good sized vegetable and a baby vegetable.
Carrot Seedlings 1
This first image is a row of carrots planted with fresh seed I purchased this season. The following photo is carrot seed that is two years old. Notice the difference in germination. The fresh seed germinated very quickly, after only 5 days. The older seed had spotty germination and some of it is just now germinating, two full weeks after the first photo.
Carrot Seedlings 2
I’m thinking from now on, I’ll focus on making sure I have fresh seed each season, at for fall crops when time really is of the essence. I’d rather spend a few dollars on a pack of fresh seed than wait two or three extra weeks for germination to occur. I’m already weeding through my seed stash culling the older seed, they’ll be sprinkled in flats this winter and grown as greens for the chickens. Some seed are fine with longer storage, like tomatoes, those I’ll continue to save.

Have noticed differing germination rates for fresh seed?

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This is a daily journal of my efforts to cultivate a more simple life, through local eating, gardening and so many other things. We used to live in a small suburban neighborhood Ohio but moved to 153 acres in Liberty, Maine in 2012.