Survival Seeds: Test Your Post-apocalyptic Gardening Knowledge

Staff

4 Min Quiz

What makes a seed a "survival seed"?

Survival seeds are non-hybrid, open-pollinated varieties that are dried to tolerate long-term storage.

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Why don't hybrid seeds qualify as survival seeds?

Hybrid seeds are used for a single planting only because plants grown from these cross-bred seeds can be unreliable.

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There are many ways to pollinate an open-pollinated plant. Which of the following is NOT how open-pollinated plants are pollinated?

Open-pollinated plants are pollinated in natural ways, such as by bees and wind, rather than via human intervention.

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True or false: Open-pollinated plants are more genetically diverse than hybrids.

True. Open-pollinated plants are more genetically diverse because the tranfer of pollen between individual plants happens without restrictions.

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Are heirloom seeds the same as survival seeds?

Yes, heirloom seeds are non-hybrid, open-pollinated varieties -- they're just old strains.

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Which types of seeds should be in your doomsday survival kit?

Including fruit, grain, legume and vegetable seeds in your survival kit ensures you'll grow all the nutrients you need, including protein.

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True or false: Other than for planting, survival seeds might be used for currency or bartering in a post-apaocalyptic scenario.

True. Because of their high demand during a food crisis, it's easy to see how seeds could be used as currency.

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Where was the world's first global seed bank built?

The world's first global seed bank, Svalbard Global Seed Vault, was built in Norway.

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What factors determine successful long-term seed storage?

A seed's moisture content, quality and species will determine its shelf-life, as will the humidity and temperature conditions where it's stored.

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What type of seeds should be stored long term?

Seeds labeled as "orthodox" are best for long-term storage because they can be dried better than other types of seeds.

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At what temperature does the U.S. seed bank at Fort Collins store seeds?

The National Center for Genetic Resources Preservation stores seeds at zero degrees Fahrenheit (minus 17.8 degrees Celsius).

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Which of the following storage conditions is NOT recommended for storing your own survival seeds at home?

While you might consider drying your seeds in the sunlight, always store your seeds in the dark.

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Why is it important to dry your seeds before storing them?

The drier the seeds, the lower the risk of damage from insects, fungus and seed-borne disease pathogens.

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Reducing seed moisture content by what percentage will double the lifespan of the seed?

For every 1 percent of moisture you remove from a seed, you double the lifespan of the seed.

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Which of these is a sign that your seeds have aged too long?

All of these are characteristics of seeds that are too old to produce good yields, if any at all.

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Survival seeds should be easy to grow. Which of the following is considered an easy-to-grow fruit or vegetable?

Beans, oats, potatoes, tomatoes and zucchini are all considered to be easy-growing plants.

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One of these popular vegetables is resistant to frost. Which one?

Peas are frost resistant, which means they can withstand freezing temperatures while on the vine.

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Why is planting cover crops important?

Cover crops keep soil healthy and are also a natural way to keep insects and other pests away.

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What characteristics are important in survival seeds?

While the size of the yield is important, all of the characteristics on this list make up a quality survival seed.

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Which of the following is the most tolerant of weather and temperature changes?

Radishes are not only an easy vegetable to grow, they're one of the most tolerant to varied climates.

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