The Q&A Archives: Wet Seeds

Question: Hi,
I have purchased many packets of seeds for spring planting, including vegetables, herbs and flowers. I was storing the seed packets on a table in my basement when I had a flood in my kitchen and the water ran down and the packets all got wet. Are the seeds ruined? Should I start them earlier indoors than planned, or does it matter as long as they are now dry?

Answer: The answer to your question is pretty iffy - If the seeds got wet enough to swell, they should have been planted immediately. If only the packaging got wet, they're probably okay for short-term storage, but should be planted as soon as possible. If they got thoroughly wet and then thoroughly dry, they're probably spoiled. You can check the viability of your seeds by taking about 10 of them and placing them between two damp paper towels and putting them in a plastic bag. Check the seeds after about a week to see if they've germinated. If they've sprouted, they're okay. If not, they need to be replaced.

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