The Q&A Archives: When Do Vegetable Seeds Become Unuseable

Question: I am having a great deal of difficulty finding Snow Pea, Edible Pods seeds. I would like to buy some fresh ones but can't find a vendor locally. I found some seeds marked Grown in USA Packed for 1995 Lot 1. I am relucatant to plant them because of the date. on the package. We had great luck with those we planted back then. When should seed be used and how long are they good for? Is there a seed shelf lif? Can you provide me the name of someone in the local area who sells them? And can I order them from you directly?

Thank You (757)787-7321

Answer: Burpee offers the Sugar Snow and Snowbird peas as well as Oregon Sugar Pod II in this year's catalog. This are all edible podded snow peas. Seed viability depends on the type of seed and on the storage conditions, with best results being a cool dry place such as inside a closed container in the refrigerator. Over time, however, germination rates will eventually drop to unacceptable levels. Six years is overly long for peas, a year or maybe two would be more typical.

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