The Q&A Archives: Seed Life

Question: I have seeds from Burpee from last year (1998), mostly vegetable (tomatoe, cukes, peas, beans) that were left over. Are they still okay, or should I get new ones for this season?

Answer: If your seeds were properly stored in an airtight container in a cool, dark location, they should be just fine and you can expect good germination. If they were exposed to light, humidity, or heat, they may not be viable, or the germination may be greatly reduced. Try pre-sprouting a few of the seeds to check their viability. Place several between the folds of dampened papertowels and seal in a plastic bag. If they sprout within a week or 10 days, the rest of the seeds should sprout, too. If not, you should probably replace them with fresh seeds.

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