Answer: Although it may vary slightly from variety to variety, an average germination rate for tomatoes is 85 to 90%. This is of course for fresh seed. Older seed not properly stored could have a much lower rate. To check seeds for germination, place a piece of paper towel in the bottom of a flat-bottomed container, and dampen the towel with warm water. Spread the seeds sparsely in a single layer on the towel. Cover the container and keep it in a warm dark place for several days, checking daily to see that the towel remains moist. In a few days the seeds will begin to germinate and you will be able to determine a germination percentage for that variety.
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