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HELP!! Spilled Vinegar on Heirloom Seed Packets

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HELP!! Spilled Vinegar on Heirloom Seed Packets

Post  unit649 on 6/14/2013, 8:45 pm

I had all of my Heirloom Seed Packs on my kitchen table and a cruet of vinegar accidently spilled on most of them.  Some were not even opened yet.  No
I layed them all out to dry, but will this kill my seeds???


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Re: HELP!! Spilled Vinegar on Heirloom Seed Packets

Post  Triciasgarden on 6/14/2013, 11:22 pm

I have been trying to find an answer for you.  Hang in there.  There are usually not many posters on Friday night.

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Re: HELP!! Spilled Vinegar on Heirloom Seed Packets

Post  TxGramma on 6/15/2013, 2:00 am

No it won't kill them...it can help with germination. You may have to plant alot of germinating seeds :hungry:if they got "wet". But I'm no expert just passing on info that I found and what little I do know about vinegar and plants. Maybe someone with actual experience or more knowledge on the subject can help you out more.

Gardening With Vinegar - The following is the section that talks about seed germination..."Improve germination. Did you know that you can improve your germination success rate of seeds by using vinegar? This is especially useful for those seeds that are more difficult to germinate such as asparagus and okra, morning glories and moonflowers. Rub the seeds gently first between two pieces of coarse sandpaper. Then soak the seeds overnight in 500 ml of warm water, 125 ml of vinegar and a squirt of washing-up liquid. Plant the next day as normal. You can use the same method, but without the sandpaper for nasturtiums, parsley, beetroot, and parsnips."

Seeds in Vinegar Germinated - This one is interesting, it's a post about a lady that planted seeds from a pickled cherry pepper and she got lots of little healthy looking seedlings from it. 

And for a more "credible" link... from NCSU - Seed Scarification - "Scarification also can be forced, rather than waiting for nature to alter the seed coats. Commercial growers scarify seeds by soaking them in concentrated sulfuric acid. Seeds are placed in a glass container and covered with sulfuric acid. The seeds are gently stirred and allowed to soak for 10 minutes to several hours, depending on the species. Various reference books provide appropriate concentrations and durations of treatment. When the seed coat has been modified (thinned), the seeds are removed, washed, and sown. Sulfuric acid can, however, be very dangerous for an inexperienced individual and should be used with extreme caution! Vinegar is safer (but less effective treatment) and can be used for species that do not have an extremely hard seed coat; the technique is the same as with sulfuric acid."

Hope that helps.

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Re: HELP!! Spilled Vinegar on Heirloom Seed Packets

Post  Unmutual on 6/15/2013, 2:16 am

The only thing I found on vinegar and seeds was that peppers that have been pickled still have viable seeds.  I have no idea if this is correct, but nature is a wonderful thing(so is fermentation, and so is vinegar for that matter).  I'd be more worried about the moisture from the vinegar than the vinegar itself(again, I have nothing to base that assumption on outside of the greatness of vinegar in doing all sorts of jobs and the miracle that each seed embodies).

So it's time to play scientist:

*Dry the seeds out
*Soak 3 seeds per veggie in water for a few hours(just in case vinegar prevents germination for some strange reason...it should wash off eventually with watering, but soaking speeds it up)
*Follow any special instructions for the seed(scarification, stratification, soaking longer)
*Put ~3 seeds per plant in potting mix(or direct seed if it's the right time of year).
*Since these are heirlooms, save the seed from your best plant just in case the stored seed goes bad from the vinegar.

I don't suggest soaking all the seeds because that can cause fungal issues, unless you were planning on using all the seeds right away.

I've had a cat pee on some seeds(much nastier than vinegar) and they still sprouted.  Luckily it wasn't anything edible :p

Ah, I see Tx beat me to the punch and found more stuff!  Great!


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Re: HELP!! Spilled Vinegar on Heirloom Seed Packets

Post  unit649 on 6/15/2013, 7:19 am

Thank you all so much.  I had already planted for this season, so I did not plan on planting any of these now.  There are 4 0r 5 packs that got really soaked, but the others were just a little damp.  So I will try the experiment on those packs and see if they will sprout.  I can always plant them in a container.  I knew you guys would find or know the answers.

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