Press Bulletin No. 3.
April i, 1901.
Florida Experiment Station.
HORTICULTURE fND BOTfNY.
Seed of whatever kind, should be purchased only of
reliable parties and it must be placed to the credit of our
seedsmen that the seed sent .out is in by far the largest
percentage of instances of good quality in every respect.
The reliability of the seedsman is at stake if he sells seed
which is not true to name, but it occasionally happens
that the seed purchased is of poor germinating quality.
The seed is sown by the trucker and probably just at the
time he needs plants he finds himself without a good
stand. For this reason it is always wise policy for the
grower to satisfy himself regarding the percentage of
seed which germinate. All seed should be purchased
some time before.required for planting and if the power
of germination be poor, more can be purchased in time
for sowing, thus avoiding unnecessary and perhaps costly
delay. FFrthermore, if a certain percenthgd -of'the seeded
are found to be capable of germination, this will serve as
a guide to the amount which should be planted. If only
a certain percentage will give good strong plants, then
the required number can be secured by planting an addi-
tional amount of seed, over and above the usual amount.
The seed may be tested by sowing a definite number
in the seed bed, but the better plan is to use a seed-
The material required for a simple efficient one con-
sists of an ordinary dinner plate, two pieces of clean,
white cloth of medium thickness and a piece of a window
glass having a diameter slightly greater than that of the
When required for use, the cloths are dipped in water
and wrung out, one of them is placed on the plate, a hun-
dred seeds are counted out and dropped upon this, then
the other cloth is spread over the seeds and this is covered
by the glass. The tester should then be set in a room,
the temperature of which is about 75 or 8o degrees F.
The time required for germination varies considera-
bly; for instance, lettuce seed generally germinates in
from two to five days, while parsnip seed often takes two
weeks or more, though the germination of seeds of the
latter class may be hastened by placing them in warm
water, (100-110 degrees F) for twenty-four hours.
The seeds in the tester should be examined from time
to time and those which have germinated should be re-
moved and counted, thus the percentage germination may
be ascertained. More than one hundred seeds may of course
be used, but this is a convenient number. The percentage
which germinates may be used as a guide to the amount
of seed to plant as already indicated.
The cloths should be boiled in water for a few min-
utes before using a second time in order to destroy any
fungous spores which may have fallen on them.
H. HAROLD HUME.