Farm & Garden

How To: Test Germinate Your Seeds After a Seed Swap

February 29 2012 - 2:58 PM

Germinating Seeds Seed SwapToday's unbelievably warm temperatures make it easier to imagine actually planting the seeds you'll pick up at pre-spring seed swaps, including the March 4 swap hosted by The Peterson Garden Project, or the upcoming Chicago Foodies Seed Swap at the Good Food Festival.

Seeds are like promises. Inside each tiny capsule is the possibility of an entire season's worth of good eating. But not every seed sprouts, which can be disappointing if you were really hoping for a new vegetable or a garden full of bright flowers.

After a seed swap, test germinate your seeds before planting to make sure that they're not past their prime. After just a week or two, you'll have an idea of whether the plants have potential to grow in your garden, and if not, you will have saved yourself all the work of planting and watering the seeds.

For a simple, one-minute primer on test germinating seeds, watch this video from Lisa Hilgenberg of Chicago Botanic Garden:

Seed Germination test from Cassandra West on Vimeo.

–Kate Bernot