Germination Tests In Action

Counting seed germination tests.

Right side of the tray -  a petri dish with moist sand.

100 melon seeds were seeded into this dish and then sat in our germination chamber for a few days. Now they’ve sprouted.

(Notice the masking tape on the dish with the product code for our seed store (SQ004), the lot for our seed records (MR21005), and the start date of the test (30/11). Identification is as important as gemination.)

Right hand – fingers for grasping sprouted seeds. (Note tweezers in hand just in case.)

Left Hand – tally counter clicking for each seedling removed from the germ test.

Left side of the tray, a pile of that morning’s counerd germination tests.

Not shown – a spreadsheet to keep track of it all.


We run a seed company (Tourne-Sol co-operative farm) so germ tests are pretty important before we sell a seed lot.

You don’t need tweezers, or a clicker, or petri dishes if you’re just testing last year’s seed before you place your seed order.

A moist napkin or coffee filter in a ziploc will do. Or some potting soil in a shallow tray.

And you don’t need to start with 100 seeds. You can do 10 or 20. And you don’t even have to count them. You can just look at it and say “Ahhh, that’s good enough” if it looks like a bunch of seeds have quickly sprouted. 

But you do get extra points if you count the seeds and calculate your germ %.

My next free online workshop is on Thursday December 16 at 2pm Eastern

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