Do garden seeds get old?

The simple answer is that planting old seeds is possible and OK. Using old seeds will not cause any harm.

Do garden seeds get old?

The simple answer is that planting old seeds is possible and OK. Using old seeds will not cause any harm. Flowers or fruits that come from expired seeds will be of the same quality as if they were grown from fresh seeds. Using seeds from old vegetable seed packs will produce vegetables that are as nutritious as those in the current season's seeds.

While some may wonder whether or not it is safe to plant seeds that have passed their expiration dates, we know that planting expired seeds will not affect the outcome of the final plant grown from that seed. So will expired seeds grow? Yes. Plants grown from expired seed packs will grow to produce healthy and fruitful crops, just like their counterparts. With this in mind, one can allow yourself to wonder, when do old seeds expire? More importantly, why do we need seed expiration dates?.

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. The truth is that seeds don't expire. Lose viability if improperly stored. While most seed companies will tell you to replace seeds every 2-3 years, those seeds will hold for decades and will germinate when planted if kept in a cool, dark, and dry location.

The germination rate may decrease, but keep planting those seeds until you run out. I have successfully planted seeds in my collection with the “1998” date stamp time and time again. 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. There are some big seed companies that sell seeds that date back to the 19th century, so it won't be difficult to find something since the early 1950s.

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. Mechanically scarifying seeds can be as simple as lightly sanding the micropile (edge) with a piece of sandpaper (taking care not to go too far), or cutting a notch in the seed cover with a utility knife. In many cases, these seeds are stored for safekeeping, slowly accumulating with what many gardeners refer to as a “seed stash.”. I have decided to get rid of the seeds after three years, since it is a lot of work to prepare and plant them and then have a bad result and have to replant several weeks later with other seeds.

Garland said that for germination rates of around forty percent (in other words, if only four of your 10 seeds germinate), you simply add more seeds when planting. First, it will be necessary to clean the seeds, minimizing possible mold spores and pathogens that may be on the surface of the seed. “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.”. .


Laurie Dundlow
Laurie Dundlow

Incurable travel enthusiast. Subtly charming pop culture buff. General food aficionado. Incurable music trailblazer. Typical music trailblazer.