Last year, when my first bittergourd vine started dying off, I got worried that I had not saved seeds for a new vine, because I didn’t know that the fruit would be a hit on the dining table. I was lucky to be able to scavenge some seeds from the ground below the vine, but they were probably not of the best quality. Well, beggars can’t be choosers, right? I grew one vine from that lot of seeds and kept a couple of seeds as backup.
My luck held in the following months when a bird deposited a new seed that grew into a healthy plant, and I managed to save good seeds from an over-ripe fruit from that new plant. However, I wondered about the seeds that I’d saved from last year. So, since I’ve been in a seed-sowing frenzy lately, I added them to the mix. It would be interesting to see if 9-month old seeds would still be viable.
They were, but the plants that sprouted didn’t look as healthy as those from fresher seeds. The main thing I noticed was that the seed leaves were smaller and thinner than those from a fresh seed.
The good thing is, even though the sprouts didn’t look so robust, they did continue to grow as normal plants as they got older.
I guess fresh seeds will give you stronger seedlings, but when all’s said and done, the plants will grow as best they can!