The Q&A Archives: Germinating Corn

Question: Does the age of a seed matter? I have some from 1989.

Answer: Seed loses viablilty as it ages, but if properly stored, seed can last for years. If you've kept your seed in an air tight container, in a cool, dark location, there's a good chance that some of it will sprout. Try this simple germination test: place 10 seeds between the folds of a damp paper towel and place in a plastic baggie. Check the seeds in 10-14 days. Count how many have sprouted and that will give you the approximate percentage of germination. Then you can plant accordingly - if only five germinate, you'll know you need to plant 2 instead of one to get a plant. Good luck!

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