Vegetables and Fruit forum: are old seed still good?

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springfield MO area (Zone 6a)
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Frillylily
Feb 10, 2014 12:44 PM CST
I have some squash seeds that are dated 2009 I found in my drawer while cleaning out some papers. Do you think they are still good? Cucumber seeds dated 2010.
Cilantro seeds probably 2011.
birdhouse gourds from 2010.
wild columbine 2011
white zinnias from 2008
Cosmos from 2010.

Can I still use these or should I toss them?
Name: Dave Whitinger
Jacksonville, Texas (Zone 8b)
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dave
Feb 10, 2014 1:04 PM CST

Garden.org Admin

Many seeds hold their germination rate very well over many years. What you can do is test the germination by sowing a few of each variety into a little container of soil and see how many germinate. That'll tell you which ones are worth keeping.

I've germinated tomato seeds that were over 10 years old.
Name: Rita
North Shore, Long Island, NY
Zone 6B
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Newyorkrita
Feb 10, 2014 1:08 PM CST
I would plant them all. I plant outdated seeds all the time and a goodly portion come up. I bet those squash and cucumber especially pop right up.
springfield MO area (Zone 6a)
I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Plant Identifier
Frillylily
Feb 10, 2014 1:14 PM CST
ok great! I will definitely give it a go then !
thanks!
Name: Glen Ingram
Macleay Is, Qld, Australia (Zone 12a)
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Gleni
Feb 12, 2014 8:05 AM CST
I once found a rotted paper seed packet, illegible parts of which were still sticking to the foil packet enclosing seed. I planted them and that is how I got my thyme bushes. Heavens knows how old it was.
[Last edited by Gleni - Feb 12, 2014 8:32 AM (+)]
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