Why was my seed not viable?
I saved some seeds from last year and they didn't grow a thing, hoping for some help.
I saved Alma Potschke aster seeds, which are supposed to viable and true to seed. The aster pods got completely fluffy with a nice brown seed. In fact, I harvested in late fall and then also actually went out into the garden during the snows of Dec or Jan and harvested some really ripe pods off the plants. These were hung upside down in a paper bag so they could dry. After several days the seeds were removed from the pods.
Nothing grew! The seed pods were ripe with a brown stem and fluffy head, they stayed on the plant more than long enough to mature, and they were wintersown.
The only thing I can think is that some early October frosts ruined the seeds? We had a cold October with some snow dustings and frosts. Then November was WARM. Could the cold of October have damaged something in the flower that is part of the ripening processes? I know we lost our peaches this year because a late frost damaged the stolens/styli (I think) in the bud necessary for pollination, even though the buds themselves looked great. Can similar things happen to ripening seeds?
I traded these seeds with somebody, and feel very terrible that they weren't viable. I'd like to know this year what to do so I can send her a boxful of seeds!