Seed Packet Trials at Ellis Bird Farm
by|May 2, 2014|in,
Location: Ellis Bird Farm Lacombe, AB
Initiation date: May 22, 2004
Growing conditions: all mixes were planted into clean, 21” clay planters
Growing medium: Pro-Mix BX
Seeding: random samples were selected from the seed mix, planted directly on to a firmed seed bed within the planter and then covered lightly with the growing medium
Growing conditions: planters were located outdoors in full sun, kept moist until germination occurred then regularly watered as required
In 2004, the Red Deer River Naturalists funded a small study of the seeds contained in some readily available seed packets at popular stores and nurseries. We recorded the species claimed to be in the packets, planted the seeds according to the package instructions, and identified the plants which grew. The growing pots were separated from other pots and were located away from other gardens.
Our observations for one summer are tabulated below.
No attempt was made to keep windblown, or other seeds, out of the pots.
We admit that this is not a fully controlled scientific study, but that was not our objective. We simply wanted to see what the average gardener might expect from the planting of seeds from the packets we chose.
The packets are identified only with letters. We cannot release the names of the companies that package or market the seeds.
In general we found that the labels on the packets:
Repeating the test in 2005 produced almost identical results.