I really love buying seeds.
Therefore when I went to my messy shoebox of seeds (I really need to have a better organization system), I realized that some seeds had “expired” 2 years ago. Expired !? What does that mean? Will these particular seeds grow ugly, bad tasting plants? No, no, obviously not.
Though it’s tempting in the face of such flops to hang up your garden gloves, take heart: It may not be your fault. That seed likely gone through many hands before it reached yours, with any number of elements impacting its viability and vigor along the method.
Similar to the plants in your garden, seeds need the proper amount of light, wetness, oxygen and the best temperature to germinate. To preserve the viability and vigor of seed, it is important to ensure they are stored in the most suitable conditions. Ideal seed storage needs really low humidity and temperature around 40-50 ˚F and 25-35% relatively humidity.
The only concern with “expired” seeds is that they may have trouble sprouting and could not germinate in any way. So … that being said, in your pouch of ended seeds you have a couple of things– seeds that will or will not germinate. The sole way to figure out what type you are holding is to examine it!
Testing the viability is truly extremely simple and fast. I really wish I had learned about this earlier. This would have, possibly, saved me from tossing out a great deal of seeds.
Many seeds will definitely endure 2-3 years but the majority of brands will certainly place an expiration date on the seeds that is one year from when they are packaged. They probably carry this out to protect their brand name and make sure that their germination percentages remain high.
Absolutely nothing is sadder than a seed which does not sprout. Here are some easy steps for you to check on your seeds’ viability:
-Step 1: Collect the seeds that you want to test.
-Step 2: Using a dampened paper towel, organize 6 seeds, with lots of space between them, on the towel and roll it up. (I fold my towel asunder prior to I place the seeds on it.).
-Step 3: Place each of your paper towels in a separate ziploc bag and label it.
-Step 4: Pick up all of your bags and placed them in a dark warm place. (I keep mine in the cabinet above my fridge.).
-Step 5: Check your seeds 3 days after you put them up. You’ll discover that a great deal of the seeds have sprouted. I plant these right in the ground. If they’re sprouted, you can expect them as viable. If any one of the towels are drying, add a little more water.
-Step 6: For those seeds that had not sprouted on day 3, check them once again on day 5 or 6. In case your seeds are actually viable they are probably sprouted. If they aren’t viable, they most likely haven’t sprouted. You can easily give the ones that haven’t germinated a few more days just to make sure. Supposing that the paper towels have started to dry, wet them a little again. Toss out the seeds that don’t sprout.