In order to ensure the quality of our seeds, each batch is tested in our laboratory before it is released for sale. The seed is alive and life processes take place inside the seed (even though to a significantly reduced extent). The storage life of the seeds depends on many different factors such as the seed maturation and storage conditions. The durability of the seed also varies considerably depending on the species. Our batches are reviewed at regular intervals in order to determine a possible decrease in germination during the storage. The germination which is indicated on the packaging refers to the time of delivery. When properly stored, the germination can last up to two or three years depending on the variety. After successful completion of the tests, the seeds end up in the warehouse where they are stored cool temperatures until they are filled into packages.
The germination test is effected in accordance with the international standards of ISTA (International Seed Testing Association). Depending on the species, the individual batches are tested at varying temperatures or in different substrates.
On the one hand, the exam is carried on fluted filter paper. For this purpose, the seed is inserted in a specially folded blotting paper, moistened and positioned in a temperature-controlled germinating cabinet. After a predefined time, a certain number of seeds need to have germinated in order to certify a good germination capacity.
On the other hand, the seed is also tested directly on soil and sand. A combination of the two substrates is therefore created and the seed is directly inserted. The soil dissolves germination inhibitors that adhere to many seeds.
The seeds vigour tests.
Even if the germination capacity frequently still exists, the germinability or seed vigour may decrease during storage. For this purpose, our seed is subjected to a seed vigour test in addition to the germination test. In this case, the seed is – depending on the variety – covered with a defined surface layer (brick chippings and soil mixture or soil-sand mixture). If the germ buds achieve good test results under these difficult conditions, the seeds can be released for sale.
This test method was developed by our German colleague, the Bingenheimer Saatgut AG. Taking into account the “Maiskaltkeimtest in Ziegelsplitt" (“cold germination test of corn in brick chippings") of ISTA, this test was adjusted to various vegetable species in Bingenheim.
The demands placed on the external quality of the seed have increased within the past few years. We satisfy these demands by means of elevated internal quality standards which exceed the legal germination values.