The Q&A Archives: Keeping Seeds From Year To Year

Question: How long can you keep seeds before they go bad -- if I would by a package of 35 seeds and only use 15 of them, could I use 10 the next year and 5 the year after that and so on...?

Answer: Some seeds such as corn need to be used promptly while others such as tomatoes can last for several years under good storage conditions. Home storage conditions vary widely, but you need to keep them cool and dry. You can put them in a closed jar or storage bag and keep that in the refrigerator. Be sure to label the seeds and mark the date! The quality will deteriorate from year to year as the seeds age and the germination rate will go down accordingly. Eventually it is low enough to warrant replacing the seeds.

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