If your seeds were kept in a cool, dry place, there is a good chance that they will still be viable, but expect a lower germination rate, exactly how low depends on the species. Corn seeds are best used the current year (after that, germination is greatly reduced), but tomato seeds can last more than four years if stored well. The answer is, yes, the seeds will eventually spoil and no longer germinate, but it can take quite some time. There is a good chance that those old seed packs have a high percentage of seeds that germinate well.
Most, but not all, seeds will be preserved for at least three years, maintaining a decent germination percentage. And even a group of very old seeds can have 10 or 20 percent that still sprout. Basically, you should allow about two months to pass from the time you start the seeds indoors to the day you plant them outdoors. That's one week for seeds to germinate, six weeks for strong, robust starts to grow, and one week for them to harden before planting.
The common advice is to start two months before your area's last average frost date; that's the date, on average, when temperatures will stay above freezing. Your local county extension service can provide you with the local date, and the dates are quite easy to find online. But “averages” don't mean much when cold air sweeps from Canada to say hello to your freshly planted tomatoes a week after “the book” says they shouldn't. And most of the plants we grow in our summer gardens are tomatoes, peppers, melons, beans, etc.
they are tropical and do not enjoy nighttime temperatures that drop below 50. So rushing the season can be a big mistake. I personally start preparing everything around the ides of March, and make sure that my seeds are all sown before April 1 to be planted in the ground around June 1 (as opposed to my “last average frost date” of May 15). I urge my fellow Northerners to also be climate cowards and start their seeds about 6 weeks before their last average frost date.
If you live in a cool climate and want early tomatoes, start two weeks early and be prepared to protect young plants with warm caps and bells for the first few weeks outdoors. Perhaps you will also use a cold-resistant variety for early harvest. I am about an acre and a half and have decided to plant pumpkins to sell as decorations around Halloween and Thanksgiving; also colored corn. When should I plant to harvest for Halloween and Thanksgiving? I've read about the '90 day' and '120 day' varieties, but June or August seems a little late, as we usually plant our garden crops sometime in April.
Any advice you can give would be appreciated. Ornamental corn is easy; it holds up very well after it reaches the dry stage of the stem, so you can start growing as soon as the soil is nice and warm. And you should start all at the same time, because the more plants you grow, the more corn pollen there will be in the air at the time of the tassel and the more ears of corn you will get. Those ears will also be fuller.
Suppose you want to grow a 90-day pumpkin variety to sell for Halloween. People start buying their carved pumpkins around October 1 and have practically finished purchasing them about a week before Halloween. So let's allow one week for the seeds to germinate, six weeks to reach transplant size, and about 13 weeks for those “90 days to maturity” — that is, a total of about 20 weeks from the day you start the seeds to the day your first harvestable pumpkins are ripe. Pumpkins are a form of winter squash and also store quite well; so let's plan to start harvesting the crop in mid-September.
Oh, and if an early frost threatens, pick up all your full-size pumpkins and take them inside. As with tomatoes, green fruits ripen very well at room temperature. Ask Mike A Question Mike's YBYG Archives Find YBYG Show You'll be notified once a new article is published. Most vegetable seeds will last until their expiration date if they are kept fresh, dry and out of sunlight.
Baker Seed guarantees seeds for at least two years after purchase. Most seeds last three to five years after purchase, but those dates may vary by variety. Depending on the type of plant, some seeds can continue to grow even years after you order them. Most vegetable seeds will remain viable for several years if stored in a cool, dry place.
If properly stored, cabbage, broccoli, cucumber, pumpkin, watermelon, eggplant and radish seeds will remain viable for 5 years. Bean, carrot, pea, pepper, tomato, cauliflower and pumpkin seeds can be stored for 3 to 4 years. Sweet corn and onion seeds remain viable only for 1 to 2 years. If possible, store the seeds in a sealed plastic bag that contains a desiccant package (those small packs that often come in over-the-counter medicines), which will keep the seeds dry.
Like other seeds, how long grass seeds remain viable depends on the variety of seeds and how well they are stored, Kauth says. Viable seeds should germinate in approximately six to 10 days, but you should check the time period indicated on each seed package. To calculate the germination percentage of your seeds, divide the number of germinated seeds by the total number of seeds in the test and multiply it by 100. However, keep in mind that seeds collected from hybrid plants may not be realized from the seeds produced.
If you want to try several varieties of vegetables or flowers in a small garden without a lot of leftover seeds, consider sharing seed packs or trading with your neighbors or friends. However, if the seed is important to you and you want to try to grow it anyway, start the seeds indoors for best results. “In addition, many seed packages include a “" sowing date "”, which does not represent the freshness of the seeds, but rather the validity resulting from a germination test previously performed prior to packaging.”. All seeds will be most effectively stored in cold and dry conditions, so you need to be careful about seeds that are stored in opposite, warm and humid conditions.
All purchased seeds will have undergone a germination test to determine the average percentage of viable seeds in the package. If you store seeds from vegetables and fruits that you grow yourself, store them the same way you store seed packs in dry, cool conditions. Flowers or fruits that come from expired seeds will be of the same quality as if they were grown from fresh seeds. You can still save the seeds, and those seeds will continue to sprout into seedlings, but mature plants will likely demonstrate different characteristics than the plants from which you took the seeds.
Different seeds will take a different amount of time to germinate, but Garland said the seeds will take between five and 10 days to germinate. Depending on the type of seeds, the environmental conditions, and the manner in which the seeds have been stored, the germination rate of older seed packages can be greatly affected. Seeds expire, but expiration dates are rough guidelines; experts say it depends on the type of seeds and how they were stored. .