Q: Are last year’s seeds for our vegetable garden still viable or should they be thrown out?
A: If the seeds have been kept cool and in darkness, they may well be viable this spring. Here’s a test that will tell the tale:
Put five seeds from a questionable packet in the center of a damp paper towel. Roll the towel around the seeds and put it in a resealable plastic bag. Place the bag in a warm place (on top of your refrigerator, in an upper kitchen cabinet, on the water heater, etc.).
In five to ten days unroll the towel and check on the seeds. If they are still healthy, the seed will have sprouted in the towel. If you handle them carefully, they can be planted outdoors along with the rest of your untested seed.