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Testing Seed Viability Using Simple Germination Tests
By: Abram J. Bicksler, Ph.D
Editor: Abram serves as the Coordinator of Sustainability Research and as an Instructor with the International Sustainable Development Studies Institute in Chiang Mai. He also assists the ECHO Asia Impact Center as a technical advisor.
Introduction and Background
Saving your own seeds is a cost-effective way to access crop seed for future planting and to help maintain the planet's plant biodiversity. Whether you plant your own saved seeds, give them away to friends and neighbors, or distribute them through your organization, knowing the viability of your seeds is important. As a follow-up to the article in the January 2011 EC HO Asia Notes, Issue 8, titled "Building your own seed germination chamber for testing seed viability" ( www.echonet.org/repository#1003:d:Build Your Own Seed Germination C abinet), this article will explore the details of several low-cost methods for testing seed viability.