Flower seed packets - Knowledgebase Question

Rochester, Ne
Avatar for djackwork
Question by djackwork
July 31, 2010
Hi, I just found 10 packets of flower seeds (Cosmos, Calendula, Sunflowers,Cockscomb, Muskmelon, mixed Herbs, Watermelon) with packets dated 1997. Are these still ok to plant or is there a life to these seed packets? Thanks!


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Answer from NGA
July 31, 2010
Heat, light and humidity are the enemies of seeds. As seeds age they do lose their potential to sprout, even if they have been stored in an airtight container in a cool, dark place so you may want to test their viability before sowing them. Just place several of each of the seeds onto a damp paper towel, fold it up and place it in a plastic bag. Set in on a kitchen counter and check the seeds for signs of life in 7-10 days. Count the number of each that have sprouted and you'll have an idea of the potential germination rate. For instance, if you place 4 of each of the seeds on the paper towel and only 1 of that type of seed germinates, you'll have a 25 percent germination rate from the rest of the seed package. In that case, you'll need to plant 4 seeds in a single hole to get one plant. Best wishes with your project!

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