Germinating 28-year-old Tomato Seeds

Perhaps some day I’ll learn to say “pass” on challenges?

In a recent seed exchange at The Tomato Depot, I snagged a dozen Perfekta seeds which were part of the amazing Spud Collection (Bill Malin).  These seeds were produced in 1985; I’ve never tried germinating anything that old!

So I’ve basically followed the directions posted at the forum.  Some people recommend scarifying old and/or hard seeds, so I nicked 6 of these seeds, opposite the hilum, with a razor blade. Then I soaked seeds for 26 hrs. in a solution of rainwater, Black Tea, about 1/8 teaspoon liquid fish emulsion, and a pinch of dehydrated sea kelp meal (Sea Magic).  This was kept at 78-80° F.

I just finished planting these (hopefully) rehydrated seeds in a medium of Sunshine Redi-Earth Professional Growing Mix in freshly cleaned and sterilized pots, again using rainwater.  I’ll keep these covered and at around 75-78° until germination.  I don’t expect to see any signs of life until at least January 12th.  But who knows?

Perfekta germination 1-03-2012 B Perfekta germination 1-03-2012 D Perfekta germination 1-03-2012 E