How to Know If Your Seeds Are Viable for Planting

April 17, 2015

In Overheard, we're sharing all of the best tidbits we couldn't help picking up onfrom smart tips on the Hotline to funny quotes heard around the water cooler and moreso we can all be in the know.


A Food52er on Facebook needed help figuring out if their pepper seeds would grow, so we turned to the Hotline to try and get an answer for them. Whether your garden fits in a windowsill or a raised bed, Trena Heinrich has a helpful tip for starting seeds:

Take a paper towel and run it under water then ring it out. Place 3 to 4 seeds in the paper towel and place in a warm spot in your house. I usually use the top of the clothes dryer because it's used so often, but you could use a heating pad set on very low. Within a couple of days they should sprout if the seeds are still viable. Happy gardening!

For more of our community's brilliance, head to the Hotline—or ask a question of your own!

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See what other Food52 readers are saying.

  • themasalaworkshop
  • Lindsay-Jean Hard
    Lindsay-Jean Hard
I like esoteric facts about vegetables. Author of the IACP Award-nominated cookbook, Cooking with Scraps.


themasalaworkshop April 21, 2015
Can you use these sprouted seeds for planting?
Lindsay-Jean H. April 22, 2015
Yes you can!