Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Will Old Zucchini Seeds Germinate?

A question one of my readers asked, after seeing some of the old seeds I was planting, was if old Zucchini seeds will germinate.  I can now say YES! …and NO.  The Squash ‘Slender Gem’ from 2005 and Zucchini ‘Round Bush’, also from 2005 did not germinate—none ever even broke the surface.  But the Zucchini ‘Revenue’ from 2005 all germinated and have grown to healthy plants in their 4” pots.   My suggestion if you’re wondering about planting seeds 3 years or older is to plant them in 4” pots rather than directly into the garden, in case they don’t germinate.  But also make sure you leave some space in the garden for the plants in case they do germinate.

Seed germination has not been a big issue with this years crops since most of the seedlings came up by the third week of May.  It was the last week of May and the first week of June that has had the most impact on all of the plants.  I lost the ‘Orange Delight’ melon which just did not thrive in the unseasonably cold and damp.  And the melons ‘Hales Best’ and ‘Jenny Lind’ are just hanging on.  I may just plant a fresh crop now that the weather is warming up.

Equally holding on are the tomatoes, peppers, eggplant and okra.  They’re still in the 6-packs with too little root development to transplant to 4” pots.  With a three week minimum rooting period in the 4” pots before transplanting into the gardens, it will likely be mid-July before any of them get transplanted into the gardens. 

Looks like September harvests will be very big this year…

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