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Old October 30, 2017   #1
sirtanon
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Default Some excellent results from some pretty old seed

I posted on another thread that I planted quite a few different older seeds to start my veggie crop for fall/winter 2017.. One variety, Walter, is roughly 40 years old - definitely the oldest seed I have - but even the 'youngest' seed I started was at least 9 years old, and most was 11+ years old.

Even so, I've had some amazingly good results so far.



#1, 8, 9, 19,20 - Basil (Superbo) - 9 years old. Shocking to me, since the seeds are so small. Actually the first seeds to sprout in the tray, and did so after only 3 days.

#2 - Basil (Lime) - 11 years old. Again, surprised seeds this small are still viable after this long

#10, 11, 21 - Italian Parsley - 11 years old. Took longer to sprout than the basil.

#12, 13, 22, 23 - Arugula (Rocket) - 12+ years old, and were actually brought back to the USA from Australia. I'm pretty sure these got 100% germination, or very close to it.

#3, 4, 5 - Tomato (Golden Jubilee) - 11 years old

#6,7 - Tomato (Super Marmande) - 12 years old

#24, 25 - Tomato (Oregon Spring) - 12 years old

#26 - 31 - Tomato (Pink Pear, piriform) - 12 years old. Saved from garden from wife's friend in Australia, and brought back to the USA. 100% germination.

#32, 33, 34 - Tomato (Dopey F2) - 11 years old

#35, 36 - Tomato (Sleazy-A F2) - 11 years old

Sadly, the 9-year-old Rosella Purple (vial 2458) seeds have all failed to germinate so far.

.. Needless to say, I planted a LOT of extra seeds, and more varieties than I needed for the space I have, expecting that, because of their age, most of the seeds would not sprout.. and now I have a lot more plants sprouted than I know what to do with.

Such a predicament to be in, huh?

Unfortunately, it does not appear the pepper seeds fared so well. I have had 0% germination on 4 varieties so far. Then again, I kind of expected this, since pepper seeds tend to lose viability much faster. Nevertheless, I have the tray on a heat mat and I'm still holding out for a few stragglers.
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Old October 30, 2017   #2
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Good luck with Walter,. I've just read the other post you did about it and found a lot of useful information.
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Old October 30, 2017   #3
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So nice to see that tray of little sprouts! I'm glad you mentioned the basil and parsley - I have accumulated many older partial herb packets (I never throw anything away) and was wondering what the chances were of them germinating.

Keep trying with that Walter, and let's hope for a miracle!
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Old October 30, 2017   #4
carolyn137
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I agree with Dee,don't give up on Walter.

And here's a method that might help, see post 11 I think,but some other posts in that thread are good as well.

http://www.tomatoville.com/showthrea...e+seeds+Peters

From the above link you can see that I've waited for germination for several months, sometimes you win,sometimes you don't. And sometimes it takes so long that to get seedlings to put out won't make fruits before Frosts appear,at least where I live.

It's all about nitrate ion being needed for germination as I think I explained, well maybe I didn't, so here's why the blue stuff added or other ferts that are high in nitrate concentration.

Hope that helps,

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Old October 30, 2017   #5
KarenO
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If you have seed to spare of Walter, I'll have a go at waking them up. Alternately, Have a look at the role of oxygen in seed germination, particularly old seed or seed with hard coats can benefit from the use of hydrogen peroxide and the free oxygen released when it degrades.
worth a try if you have lots of seeds as trying the same technique repeatedly hasn't worked so far.
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http://tomatoville.com/showthread.php?t=43931

Last edited by KarenO; October 30, 2017 at 06:36 PM.
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Old October 30, 2017   #6
sirtanon
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Quote:
Originally Posted by carolyn137 View Post
I agree with Dee,don't give up on Walter.

And here's a method that might help, see post 11 I think,but some other posts in that thread are good as well.

http://www.tomatoville.com/showthrea...e+seeds+Peters

From the above link you can see that I've waited for germination for several months, sometimes you win,sometimes you don't. And sometimes it takes so long that to get seedlings to put out won't make fruits before Frosts appear,at least where I live.

It's all about nitrate ion being needed for germination as I think I explained, well maybe I didn't, so here's why the blue stuff added or other ferts that are high in nitrate concentration.

Hope that helps,

Carolyn
I'm definitely not giving up on them. I assumed they would take a while to germinate, and I'm doing what I can to give them a fighting chance:

1 - I'm using a sterile mix - Coco coir, peat, vermiculite, perlite, a tiny bit of sand.

2 - I have the seeds in a container that has a tight-fitting lid, to keep moisture in.

3 - The container sits up on a shelf and has a seed-starting heat-mat providing constant heat. I have the mat wrapped loosely around the container so the heat is universal, as opposed to being all along the bottom. This also allows me to adjust the heat so it doesn't get TOO hot.

4 - When I was sowing all of my seeds, the Walter seeds got a pre-soak in a small container of warm water with some Miracle Gro mixed in. I want to say they sat in this for about 3 hours. Had I been thinking, I would have gone much longer than 3 hours.

-- Interestingly enough, ALL of the seeds sank to the bottom almost immediately.. I want to say maybe 15 seconds or so after I put them in the water. This, to me, says that they may still be viable. I've had plenty of other occasions where all the seeds of other varieties floated, no matter what I did, or how long they were in the water.

5 - Every so often, I pop the lid off and spray the top of the soil with a dilute MG mix. I should try spraying in some hydrogen peroxide some time soon as well.


Quote:
Originally Posted by KarenO View Post
If you have seed to spare of Walter, I'll have a go at waking them up.
KarenO
http://tomatoville.com/showthread.php?t=43931
Karen - Shoot me a message with your address and I'll send you some. My only condition is that, if you are able to wake some up, and grow at least one plant out, you save some seeds and send them to me, so I can forward them back to the gentleman who sent me the Walter seeds originally. This was his request to me, and I'd like to honor it. I'll probably also keep a seed or two to start some of my own, if I am unable to sprout any of the old seed myself.
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Old October 30, 2017   #7
KarenO
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sirtanon View Post
I'm definitely not giving up on them. I assumed they would take a while to germinate, and I'm doing what I can to give them a fighting chance:

1 - I'm using a sterile mix - Coco coir, peat, vermiculite, perlite, a tiny bit of sand.

2 - I have the seeds in a container that has a tight-fitting lid, to keep moisture in.

3 - The container sits up on a shelf and has a seed-starting heat-mat providing constant heat. I have the mat wrapped loosely around the container so the heat is universal, as opposed to being all along the bottom. This also allows me to adjust the heat so it doesn't get TOO hot.

4 - When I was sowing all of my seeds, the Walter seeds got a pre-soak in a small container of warm water with some Miracle Gro mixed in. I want to say they sat in this for about 3 hours. Had I been thinking, I would have gone much longer than 3 hours.

-- Interestingly enough, ALL of the seeds sank to the bottom almost immediately.. I want to say maybe 15 seconds or so after I put them in the water. This, to me, says that they may still be viable. I've had plenty of other occasions where all the seeds of other varieties floated, no matter what I did, or how long they were in the water.

5 - Every so often, I pop the lid off and spray the top of the soil with a dilute MG mix. I should try spraying in some hydrogen peroxide some time soon as well.




Karen - Shoot me a message with your address and I'll send you some. My only condition is that, if you are able to wake some up, and grow at least one plant out, you save some seeds and send them to me, so I can forward them back to the gentleman who sent me the Walter seeds originally. This was his request to me, and I'd like to honor it. I'll probably also keep a seed or two to start some of my own, if I am unable to sprout any of the old seed myself.
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Old October 30, 2017   #8
KarenO
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Goes without saying I would send seed back if by chance one should grow.
I would wait until spring so that if one does grow it could be grown out under normal conditions
KarenO

Last edited by KarenO; October 30, 2017 at 10:00 PM.
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