Testing seeds | Seed Starting | Urban Gardening, Terrace gardening and Hydroponics

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Testing seeds
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Satish
New Delhi
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March 10, 2011 - 5:58 pm
Member Since: November 9, 2010
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Would it not be great if we could differentiate seeds that are likely to germinate from those that are 'dead' and will definitely not germinate? I believe that some people use the so called 'water test'. This involves immersing the seeds in luke warm water and let them be for a few hours. Seeds that continue to float even after a soak of twelve hours are discarded, while those that have sunk to the bottom are used for sowing. I do not know if this has any factual or scientific basis and just have not had the guts to try it out myself ! I am just hoping that someone else has more knowledge about this subject. If the said seperation of dead seeds from the live ones is really possible even with a little margin of error, it would save a lot of labour and money for amateurs like me and last but not the least it would keep our moral high too !

Satish

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Darkstorm
Bombay
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March 12, 2011 - 8:47 pm
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i guess once you bring water like that in contact with (many kinds of) seeds at least, you've started the germination process so to speak - so i don't know how useful that method would be if you planned on storing the seeds & not sowing them immediately - unless you carry out that test on a few seeds from a certain batch, & on the basis of how many passed the test & how many didn't, you make an estimate about the whole pack [assuming this method is effective that is.. never tried it out]

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Satish
New Delhi
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March 12, 2011 - 9:16 pm
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Hi Darkstorm:

Sorry for not being very clear about what I was suggesting. I did not mean for anyone to do the 'floatation test' on seeds meant to be stored. What I meant was to be able to seperate the 'duds' from the 'live' seeds just before sowing to avoid heartbreaks and disappointments. I hope I have been able to get across to you now. Sorry, anyway.

Satish

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geekgardener
Bangalore, India
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March 12, 2011 - 11:39 pm
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Hello Satish,

Nice topic. 🙂

I think there are several ways. First and the easiest way is to take a good look at the seed. One can identify a good vigorous seed from the weak duds. Say for example, you are sowing Bean. It is quite easy to choose the sturdy looking big seed. On the other hand for seeds like pepper, tomato, float test seems to work (most of the time). Even with pepper seeds, you can choose the seed based on its size and by careful observation you can see if the seed is hollow inside or not. Some seeds just have the cover and nothing inside. Ofcourse this is easily done with float test but if you want to store the seeds.

Tissue paper method:

Take a moist tissue paper and place the seeds in it. Roll the tissue paper and keep it inside a polythene bag. In check every other day and about 3-4 days you will see germination happening. You can calculate the germination percentage based on how many sprouted. You can also take the sprouted one and gently place it in the pot and it will take off.

 

Last week, I did a float test and kept the floaters aside and saved the ones that sunk. Later, not having the heart to throw those seeds I sowed them in a pot. 4 days later, Voila they are all up.

 

Yes all these tests not only save time but does our moral high!

GG

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Satish
New Delhi
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April 22, 2011 - 8:17 pm
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Hi folks:

I am mentioning an 'incident' here which I believe is of interest to
all of us. On April 19, I had suggested to nextgeek to contact a
Hyderabad based company Signet Crop Sciences for his requirement of
vegetable seeds. On April 20 I sent an e-mail to the same company
informing them of the unsatisfactory performance of their green chilly
seeds that I had purchased at the Krishi Vigyan Mela at the IARI in New
Delhi. To my utter surprise I received a courier communication from the
company not only thanking me for the feedback regarding their seeds but
even enclosing a rather large quantity of seeds of two varieties of
paper. This is a really laudable reaction to a customer's feedback and I
thought publicly recognising it would encourage others to emulate this
great example of "fair trade practices"!

Regards.

Satish

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nextgeek
india
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April 22, 2011 - 10:41 pm
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Thanks satish

I go t the reply from them today around 5pm and they said for the location of mine.I have replied to them and waiting for the adress.Definetly i will buy seeds from them.

I had planned for the chillies this summer but i will grow some other plants too.can you tell me how many types of seeds are their.I mean only for chillies or  should i ask them that i needed.

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Satish
New Delhi
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April 23, 2011 - 4:46 pm
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geekgardener said:

Hello Satish,

 

Last week, I did a float test and kept the floaters aside and saved the ones that sunk. Later, not having the heart to throw those seeds I sowed them in a pot. 4 days later, Voila they are all up.

 

Yes all these tests not only save time but does our moral high!

GG


Hi GG:

 

If I am not wrong does the float test carried out by you not in fact prove the invalidity of this method of testing seeds? If you had relied on the test you would have ended up wasting a lot of good seeds. Does this mean there is no reliable way to test seeds except a visual judgement to a certain extent?

Regards.

Satish

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