Do Seed Packets Have An Expiration Date? - Knowledgebase Question

Name: Gina K.
Stoughton, MA
Question by gkwells
June 2, 2001
I'm afraid I've purchased too many seeds this year. The back of the packets state that they are "packed for 2001." Could I save these seeds for next year? Do the seeds have an "expiration date"? What are some guidelines concerning this? Would they be the same for vegetable seeds and flower seeds?


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Answer from NGA
June 2, 2001

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Yes, you can save seeds for the next year. Keep them in a dry, cool, dark place, or put them in the refrigerator in an airtight container (not the freezer). However, germination rates will probably be less. Each year, the rate will decrease somewhat. It's difficult to predict because it depends on the species and variety and the conditions the seeds are stored in. Some species will last quite a few years and others don't do as well. Next year, sow a little bit more heavily to make up for loss of viability. Hope this info helps!

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