After several seasons of gardening, you may find yourself with old seeds that may not know the quality of. It could have been poor storage conditions or seeds that were passed to you by a friend. Sometimes these seeds lose their vigor and their germination rate decreases significantly. If that is the case, here are a few tips on what you can do with your old seeds

1. Test the Germination Rate
Place several (10-20) seeds on a moist paper towel in an unsealed bag. Check after 5 days to see how many of the seeds have germinated. If only one or two seeds have sprouted, chances are the rest of the seeds will not be very good to grow and you may want to consider options 4 and 5.

2. Grow a Semi-Wild Garden
If you have an underutilized area, sow these seeds to see what comes up. As long as the seeds are viable, they will produce leaves/fruit that are the same quality as if grown from a fresh seed. Better yet, once the seeds germinate, plant them in your regular garden for the season.

3. Grow Microgreens
Depending on quantity of seeds and germination rate, you may want to use the old seeds to grow microgreens. Just be sure to add more seeds the lower the germination rate.

4. Compost Them
For seeds that have a very low germination rate, put them in your compost bin to add some organic matter instead of throwing them in the garbage.

5. Make Art
This can be a great kids activity. Use either the natural colour of the seeds or paint seeds to make colourful displays and designs.

seed art

Do you have other creative ideas for how to use your old seed? Share it with us. We’d love hearing from you. [Got a Tip?] If you have a tip to share with your fellow urban farmers, let us know at tips@youngurbanfarmers.comWant More Tips? Browse our Tips Archive for more.