Factors affecting grain crop seed germination

Page last updated: Tuesday, 28 November 2023 - 2:20pm

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Do your own seed germination test

After retaining and storing your crop seed, it is important to know the germination percentage and make sure you have a high proportion of viable seed. While testing seed at a recognised laboratory such as DDLS Seed Testing and Certification may be more accurate, it is easy to do it yourself.

  1. Collect 100 (or 50) seeds from each lot to be planted.
  2. Lay four sheets of paper towel on top of each other and moisten (do not drench).
  3. Place 100 seeds on the paper towels about 10mm apart.
  4. Roll up, sandwiching the seeds between the moist paper towels.
  5. Soak a hand towel in water and ring out, then wrap it around the rolled-up paper towel and loosely secure with the rubber bands.
  6. Place in a plastic bag, seal and place in a warm place (such as the kitchen bench near a window),and leave for 5-7 days.
  7. Unwrap and count the number of seeds that have not germinated.
  8. Do your calculation as follows: Germination % = [(number of seeds tested – number of seeds that did not germinate) (multiply by two if you started with 50 seeds).
  9. Ideally, repeat with a number of samples.

Contact information

Helen Spafford
+61 (0)8 9166 4074