Do Seeds Expire? - Knowledgebase Question

Southington, CT
Question by DCATRONE
June 5, 2000
I HAVE HAD SOME SEEDS SINCE 1997 AND THEY HAVE NEVER BEEN OPENED ARE THEY STILL GOOD TO USE?


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Answer from NGA
June 5, 2000

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The answer to your question depends on what type of seeds they are and how they have been stored. Many seeds will remain viable for several years if stored well. The best place to keep them is in a cool dry location, such as inside an airtight jar in the refrigerator. You can test your seeds for viability by folding some in a damp paper towel, wrapping that in plastic and setting it in a warm, bright location out of direct sun. Check regularly for germination and use this sample as an indication of the percentage you could expect to germinate in the garden. Germination will of course decrease with age and with poorer storage conditions.

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