If you have leftover seeds from last year or seeds that you collected in the fall, now is a good time to test the seeds for viability.
I prefer to test the seeds through my standard seed starting process.
- I use the 36 per tray plastic cells in a 1020 tray.
- I put this tray in a heavy-duty plastic tray.
- I use my preferred potting mix as a base – BX Pro-Mix with some Osmocote.
- Make sure the mix is well watered before you add the seeds.
- I put 3 or 4 seeds on top of the mix.
- I top the seeds with a light layer of vermiculite.
- I spray the vermiculite with water.
- I label each cell with the date, seed name and number of seeds. I use vinyl blinds that I have taken down. These are easy to cut and label with a pencil.
- I also put in about 1/8 inch of water in the bottom of the tray in case the mix needs to absorb some water.
- I cover the tray with a plastic clear top.
- I lower my shop lights to within 1/2 inch of the plastic top.
- I keep the lights on 24/7 to keep it all warm.
- You can also use a warming mat to improve seed germination.