Monitor the container every day for a week. Count the number of seeds that have germinated. If only 5 of the 10 germinate, you have a 50 percent germination rate. You really need an 80 or 90 percent or more germination rate. With a low germination percentage, either toss the seed and get fresh seed, or double or triple the seeding rate in the garden. For large seeds like beans and peas, soak the seeds overnight in a pan of water before doing the germination test. The best practice, however, is to buy fresh vegetable seed each year, either through the seed catalogs or at local retail locations. Generally, seed that is only a year old will probably be good if
making sure that the seeds have good contact with the surface. Put the lid on the container and place it on a shelf out of direct sunlight, but not in the dark, and at least at room temperature.
C. ALBERT MATTHEWS
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