Floating vs Non-Floating Seeds

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Floating vs non-floating seeds is a misleading concept on YouTube videos. Just because someone who does not have a real job says it is true on YouTube, doesn't make it true.Floating vs non-floating seeds is a misleading concept on YouTube videos. Just because someone who does not have a real job says it is true on YouTube, doesn't make it true.

This page talks about floating vs non-floating seeds to determine if the seeds are good or not.

Floating VS Non Floating Seeds

Recently I had a customer contact me and ask me about the seed floating test. Basically if you put the seeds in water and they float after 15 minutes, then they are not any good.

I have actually had customers who received the seeds they ordered from us, performed this test, and when the seeds floated, they demanded a refund. I delete these and move on.

I have been gardening for 40 years and have never heard of this before so I went to YouTube and sure enough, there were several videos on the subject.

First of all, the videos were new and the ones that I saw, were made in England. The idea is you put the seeds in water and if they float, then they are no good. They did not, however, take the floating seeds out of the water, and plant them just to see if they grew.

This leads me to identify this process as false and misleading. You cannot believe everything you read on the web, especially, what you see on YouTube. People get money for posting on YouTube. There are lots of people posting stuff about gardening that simply is not true.

I noticed that I have been gardening longer than these people have been alive.

There is only one way to determine if a seed is good or not. That is to plant and care for it correctly. We have put together a list of germination tips that I find works best for us. Any time someone tells me that a seed is not growing, I pull a pack off the shelf and plant it. Every time, we have achieved the germination rate we advertise. You can see our germination tips here.

One guy goes on to say that "Any seed seller will put the date the seeds are good for on the packet."  This is a sales gimmick, in my opinion. We do not put the date on the seeds because seeds do not have an expiration date. If stored correctly, they will last for years. That is why some survival seeds companies advertise that their seeds have a 25 year shelf life. I do not believe this.

What seeds have is a germination rate. Each year, seed sellers will pull a sample and plant them. Depending on how many come up versus the number planted, gives the germination rate. We need to keep in mind that this is done in a perfect environment. This is done with the idea temperature, moisture and other factors. Your results will vary.

While there are many gardening videos on YouTube, watch them with the knowledge that you may know more than the person doing the video. Keep in mind, that sometimes they sanitize their videos to make it look like they are only having success. We do not do that here at David's Garden Seeds®. We show and tell the good, the bad and the ugly.

Happy Gardening!


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All of the variety information on the David's Garden Seeds® website, including the days to maturity, color and size are based on data from tests done at specific locations. Many factors, including geographic location, daytime and nighttime temperatures, the availability of plant nutrients, many unknown climate factors and insects/pest interact to determine a variety's performance. For information on which varieties will perform best in your area, we recommend that you contact your local county extension agent or a Master Gardener.

David's Garden Seeds® Mission Statement

Here at David’s Garden Seeds®, gardening is our passion. We provide top quality, non-GMO seeds so families can learn about gardening and love it.  In turn, we hope they will pass this passion down to their children and grandchildren, teaching them to grow  delicious food, fresh herbs and beautiful flowers.