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What you need:
  • Paper towels
  • Spray bottle
  • Sealable plastic bag
  • Permanent marker

It is sometimes very helpful to know the germination rate of seeds you recently purchased or have had in storage. This simple technique is used by commercial seed houses to check the viability of their seeds. You can easily do it yourself. Dampen a thick paper towel with warm water.
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Next, spread 10 seeds on the paper towel. Carefully fold up the paper towel.
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Place the dampened paper towel with the seeds in a plastic bag and seal it.
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Use a permanent marker to record the date the seeds were placed on the towel. Place this plastic bag in a warm room until germination occurs.
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Check this bag in one week and then again one week later. Most seeds will have germinated by then if they are viable. Using 10 seeds lets you easily calculate what percentage germinated. With that information, you know how thickly or thinly to sow your seeds to achieve the desired results.