The Q&A Archives: Seed Life Span

Question: I have several packages of seed that are half used from the summer of 1998 (I didn't have a garden last year). Can I use these seeds? Will they grow? The seeds vary from vegtables to wild flower to fruit.

Answer: Heat, light and humidity are enemies of seed. If you stored your leftover seeds in an airtight container kept in a cool, dark location, they should be viable. If storage was less than optimum, check the germination rate of your seeds by placing several of each between a moistened papertowel and sealing in a plastic bag. Check every few days to see how many have sprouted. If they sprout, the remainder of the seeds should be okay. If not, toss the seeds and begin with new ones.

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