The Q&A Archives: Seed Freshness

Question: I recently bought a lot of seed packets and I am wondering if they will stay fresh for next year's planting?
They are marked: packed for 1998 lot 5.

Answer: Most seeds will remain viable for another year and some for longer than that, if stored well. Some gardeners put them in a closed container (such as a jar or zipper-type plastic bag) and keep them in the refrigerator. This keeps the seeds at a cool, constant temperature as well as dry. Keep in mind when using older seed that you should expect somewhat reduced germination rates. Seed viability decreases over time, so ideally you would use fresh seed for the optimum results.

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