By Jos Van Hage
Saturday, January 07, 2012 03:45 AM
New Year, new seeds.
We may have just started winter, and 2012, but the gardening season is already well on its way.
The first shipments of seeds are already arriving in the garden centre. Every fall the seed companies take back the seeds that didn't sell for that season and then in January we get new seeds for the new season.
Some seed companies put a date stamp on the package that states the year the seeds are packaged for. Ideally you want to purchase seeds that are packaged for the current growing season (packaged for 2012) as these seeds should have the highest germination rate.
If you have leftover seeds from last year do not throw them out as they are probably still good. If seeds are stored properly they should still be viable, although they may not have as high a percentage of germination. Seeds should be stored in a dry, cool area. You can place the seed packets in a glass jar with a lid on it. To keep any moisture out of the jar add a packet of desiccant such as the silica that comes in shoe boxes when you purchase a new pair of shoes to the jar.
If you save seeds from one year to the next you may want to check the germination rate before planting the packet. Count out a number of seeds and place them between moist paper towels. Keep the towels moist and place them in a warm area of the home. Check them after a few days for germination. If most of them have germinated then you know that they are good to plant in the garden. If the seeds are very tiny you may want to plant a few in some moistened soil to check the germination.
I always enjoy going through the seed displays to see what is new.
We carry several different lines of seed companies that provide seeds from all over the world. The selection of different seed varieties far outnumbers the selection of bedding plants that become available in the spring, so, if you are looking for something different that the neighbours may not have, then check out the seed displays early, as some of the rarer seeds may sell out as the season goes on.
Jos Van Hage owns and operates two Art Knapp Garden Centres in Prince George
· Highway 16 west at Kimball Road
· Highway 97 north at Northwood Pulpmill Road
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