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Gardener shares hack for ‘testing’ old seeds to see if they’ll sprout or not: ‘They always last longer than I think’

“Up til now I operated on the ‘plant old seeds as per the instructions on the back and see what happens’ method.”

Old seeds testing to see if they'll sprout or not

Photo Credit: @blossomandbranchfarm / Instagram

An Instagram Reel from Growing with Nature (@blossomandbranchfarm) shows how to test old seeds to see if they’ll sprout. 

The scoop

In the video, the gardening expert wets a paper towel, squeezes out the excess water before she lays about ten seeds in the towel, and then folds it up in beeswax-coated fabric. But you can also use a Stasher bag or anything that will prevent the towel from drying out.

“Fold it up and put it somewhere warm,” the Instagrammer says. She recommends the top of the refrigerator. 

“After a few days, unwrap and check how many germinated,” she adds, noting that this will give you an idea of what percent of the seeds will germinate. 

“If none germinated,” she goes on to explain, “toss the seeds.” But if a few of them sprouted, “that’s totally fine, you can still grow them.” The Instagrammer adds that you can just plant more than you would normally to compensate for the percentage that don’t germinate. 

She also offers another useful tip: “The best place to store your seeds in a cool, dry place like your fridge or freezer.”

How it’s helping

Seeds can be a fun and inexpensive way to grow your own food, flowers, and more. But you don’t want to toss out seeds unnecessarily. This hack helps you make sure your seeds are viable without having to get your fingers dirty in the soil if the seeds aren’t ever going to sprout.

What people are saying

One Instagrammer says the video was super helpful. 

“Up til now I operated on the ‘plant old seeds as per the instructions on the back and see what happens’ method,” they write

Another user says it’s a great way to test them out and offers this advice: “I’ve found they always last longer than I think they will.” 

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