It's going to be Spring in a couple of months. It is time to think about starting some veggie and Moringa seedlings inside. It is very important to buy good seed stock. If your seed stock is not fresh and viable, you will get few plants from all your work.
Buying good quality Moringa seed is difficult. Most of it comes from foreign countries such as India. If the seed is purchased in the US, it probably still is seed from a foreign country. Most American growers do not have enough trees to sell their own seeds. They use their own seed to start new trees for their expanding groves.
Moringa Seeds. Legality, and Custom Problems
#1: Try to buy the seed from an American company, so that you don't have to worry about customs taking your purchase. This happens often when buying from overseas sellers. The seed sent from overseas is supposed to be inspected in that country by their Agriculture agencies. The seed is then given a certificate, a Phyto-sanitary Certificate, by the country of origin, stating it is free of bugs and plant disease, making it legal to export. That often is not the case for the seed that is sold on sites like Ebay. When it then goes through the postal system without a certificate, it is often flagged, and held by the US import agencies. That is why some of the Moringa seed is so cheap because it is not being sent legally. They will state in the product detail that your seeds may be taken by customs and they do not take responsibility for that risk. You will lose your money.
Even seed sold in the US can be held depending on the state's agriculture restrictions. California and Oregon are two states with very restrictive rules. You will notice in plant catalogs that certain seeds and plants cannot be shipped to these two states and several others. So research first the agriculture rules in your growing area and state.
Read Customer Input at Amazon and other sites
If possible, research customer reviews for the seed seller and the products he sells. You will read in many cases, that the seeds never produced any plants. The problem with customer responses is often the buyer made mistakes in germinating the seeds. The seeds were fine but the buyer didn't germinate them properly. So germination problems can be seed quality or lack of proper germination steps.
In some cases the seeds will look beautiful but produce nothing. I have gotten some bad seed through in past years. I know of sellers who have bought thousands of dollars of seed, only to find it poor quality. They buy the seed in huge quantities (large barrels) so that they could make a decent profit on it. They often lose more money than they make. Sellers often test germinate the seed lot before they sell them. A percent of the seed batch is taken out and tested to see the percentage of seeds that sprout. Visually bad seeds are removed as well. Sellers who wish to stay in business do not sell seeds that do not test germinate well. It is just a loss or they may perform a second germination test. Test germinating a batch does not guarantee every seed is good. That is impossible. Test germination gives you an overall assessment for the viability of a particular seed batch. A majority of companies sell the seeds without testing it first, often selling seed that they know is old.
Seed Germination results are dependent on proper germination steps!
Poor germination can be blamed on the buyer. Many buyers do not follow proper germination steps or bother to read the directions. This is a problem since each kind of seed requires certain steps to grow properly. Each kind of seed needs to be planted at a certain depth, given either light or darkness during the germination stage, and other environmental requirements. If you germinate too early in Spring, you won't get good results. If you germinate before there is enough warmth, they fail. Even if you follow the directions perfectly, sometimes the seeds don't germinate. Seeds are often difficult. That is why so many people fail when starting from seeds. Some seeds are more difficult than others to germinate.
Moringa seeds are difficult to get started. Moringa seeds contain a high amount of protein, so they are prone to mold. They are loved by birds and other creatures as food. I knew one man who planted several thousand, only to have them eaten by birds before they ever had a chance to sprout. Store Moringa seeds in a air tight container so they don't mold. Do not keep them in the refrigerator but in a cool and dry area of the house. It depends on the freshness of the seeds how long they last. I would plant the seeds within 90 days of receiving them if possible. You have no idea how old the seed is to begin with unless stated on the seed packet.
#1: Moringa Oliefera seeds should be black or dark brown, hard and firm. The seeds are wrapped in a paper like cover that surrounds each seed. If the seed is cream colored, mushy, soft, the seed is old and bad. They should look like this. If you press the seed, it should feel firm between your fingers.
I do not sell Moringa products as of Sept, 2016. I am working on a project that demands an unbiased viewpoint.
If you want to buy from my favorite herb, vitamins, and supplement companies. visit my store here
Kate Freer, the Herbladyisin