Vegetable seed longevity - Knowledgebase Question

Scarsdale, NY
Question by stevsel
March 13, 1999
How long can I keep vegetable seeds before they will not produce plants anymore? If I don;t use all my seeds one year, will they still be usable the next?

Answer from NGA
March 13, 1999


Viability will naturally decrease from year to year until eventually you do need new seed. Most vegetable seeds will be viable for at least three years, assuming they have been stored well, and some longer than that. Some common shorter lived exceptions would be corn, parsnip, onion, and okra. To keep them, put them in a closed container in the refrigerator and be sure to label and date them.

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