I have about 10 packets of bean and pea seed that are two-four years old. Under proper conditions, bean seeds remain viable for about three years. I am clearly pushing the envelope especially since my seeds were not always stored under proper conditions.
I have also just received the first of this season’s seed orders– 27 packets. There’s another order outstanding. I will plant some seeds (not all!) from each of these new packets, plus some seeds from my pile of old but not too old packets. And maybe some bean seeds from these 10 packets– we shall see.
What I will not do is plant seeds that will not germinate. And so, I am conducting a test.
The World Wide Web tells me that I can use paper towels and baggies to conduct my test. I prefer to use these crappy old petri dishes. In the days to come, I’ll report the results of my test.
Meanwhile– take a look at the canister! Ain’t it pretty where I shined it?
For the copper collector or scientific instrument collector, this is a unique, hard-to-find laboratory item used in a biology setting the first part of the century. The interior rack will hold a dozen petri dishes; these dishes grew cultures and were required to be sterile before using. They were placed in the rack, then a tight fitting lid was put in place; then the canister was placed in a steam hot environment to make sterile the petri dishes so they could be used for growing cultures. It also makes a stunning Art Deco flower arrangement container.
I have three of these, although because one wasn’t stored under the proper conditions, the dishes themselves are all broken, but the copper canister is intact.