Oops - have I done permanent damage?

If you've found the information on the seed packet to be sadly lacking, this is the place to find out more, or add your comments!

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Primrose
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Oops - have I done permanent damage?

Postby Primrose » Fri Jun 26, 2020 4:41 pm

Just realised that the lidded metal tin box in which I've been storing all my surplus free Kitchen Garden seed packets in recent months has been stored on a garage window ledge which gets full sunlight for a period of the day.
When I picked up the box today to remove a seed packet the tin was really quite hot.

Will I have inadvertently cooked all these unused seeds to death?
Kicking myself for being so careless and not thinking more carefully about the storage tin's location. :(
Last edited by Primrose on Fri Jun 26, 2020 6:46 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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vivienz
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Re: Oops - have I done oermanent damage?

Postby vivienz » Fri Jun 26, 2020 6:07 pm

Possibly. I may have done the same thing by leaving quite a few packets in the greenhouse. Max temps 48C? I may as well toast them in a pan then use them as a salad topping.
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retropants
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Re: Oops - have I done oermanent damage?

Postby retropants » Fri Jun 26, 2020 6:25 pm

Guilty here too! Just forgetful, but it happens!
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Re: Oops - have I done permanent damage?

Postby Primrose » Fri Jun 26, 2020 7:03 pm

But has anybody sown seeds from packets kept in these conditions and actually found any have germinated otherwise I might just as well throw all the packets away now.
Perhaps I should just open a few packets and sow a few seeds in various cells and see if any germinate, marking everything up well. Seems a bit of a chore though.
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Re: Oops - have I done permanent damage?

Postby Westi » Fri Jun 26, 2020 9:24 pm

You could do the germination test of a few on damp paper towel or a sacrifice tray? I keep my seeds in the shed, just in wee labeled bags inside a proper strong supermarket bag, not a plastic one & I haven't had any real bad issues. It does get hot in there as no open windows, but not as hot as a tin box! I would guesstimate success rate is around 80%. Deffo fails, but way less than the furry or slimy visitors to the plot give me!
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Re: Oops - have I done permanent damage?

Postby sally wright » Sat Jun 27, 2020 4:22 pm

Dear Primrose,
that was a serious oops moment wasn't it. I would say on the whole that a new set of seeds is in order - sorry.

One way of trying to find out just how hot those seeds got is to empty out the tin, put a max/min thermometer in it and put it back where you had it for about a week. I would then guess that anything over 30C would cause problems with seeds that have hot dormancy issues (carrots, lettuces and pansies etc). Temperatures over 40C and the best place would probably be the bin*. You may get lucky and some seeds will still germinate because they were insulated by the outer packets but why put yourself through the stress of waiting and the waste of compost and space for nothing.

*These seeds can still be useful for helping you to sow thinly by mixing them into the fresh seeds. The indoor ones; well you can sow them along with what you have bought anew and if you end up with too many then there is always the plant stall at the local fete.

Get yourself onto the mailing lists for the seed companies and keep an eye out for the £1 per seed packet offers. They are well worth the money. I have just got over £150 worth of seeds for only £50 from T & M this month. I know DT Brown and Fothergills have these sales as well. There may be other good offers to be had. Amazon has some good prices but do try to choose the British or European sellers; I have had some really dodgy stuff from the far East.

If the powers that be can organise it, can we have a sticky for a seed offers list somewhere? They are often only on for a few days and if we blink we may miss them. Something that allows the subject to stay at the top of the listings so we can always find it.

Regards Sally Wright.
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Re: Oops - have I done permanent damage?

Postby Primrose » Sat Jun 27, 2020 4:31 pm

Sally, Thanks as always for your very helpful advice, especially that of mixing them with fresh seeds to enable them to be sown more thinly. Brilliant idea, especially for tiny seeds which are very hard to space out when sowing.

It's not a mistake I'll make again. I think too long a period in lockdown has frazzled my brain as well as my stored seeds. What's really annoyed me is that I've walked past that lidded tin box on the sunny garage shelf so many times in recent weeks and the penny just didn't drop until I picked up the tin and felt how warm it was.
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Re: Oops - have I done permanent damage?

Postby sally wright » Sat Jun 27, 2020 5:32 pm

We are all subject to brain F**ts Primrose; the trick is to identify the smell and locate the cause....

Regards Sally Wright
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