Some where dated 2007 and some were dated 2008. They were stored in their originaly packages - most of those packages were opened, some were not. They have been hanging around with no special attention.
The packages that were opened - I had planted seeds from them during the year the package was dated - so none of opened packages were full.
I store my seed packs in a zip lock or a jar with a lid. This lets them avoid getting dried out by the heat or A/C in the house. Some people keep theirs in the refrigerator in an airtight container because some seeds benefit from the cold treatment that mimics the winter. Most will stay viable for years if you control moisture and heat.
Gymgirl - I sowed them in shallow rows, and covered them with a lightweight row cover. Hubby has been watering them three times a day to be sure they don't dry out. I checked them again this weekend and they look strong and healthy.
Linda, I know people who store seeds that way. Just keep them cool and out of direct sunlight as the plastic will get hot and sweat... Oh, and make sure your seeds are dry dry dry before placing in said plastic bottle...
My house gets dry when I'm using heat or a/c so I store the packages in wide mouth jars and coffee cans, with lids. I have lots of seeds so I try to organize them. Peppers, herbs and flowers. Tomatoes. Squash, cukes, melons. Legumes. Cole crops.
The Homestead tomato seeds that my mother had before she passed away, had the date of 1987. I just transplanted them into 2 6-packs. She did not store them in any special way, just at room temperature.
HoneybeeNC wrote:On March 20th I sowed some 2009 seeds of melons and herbs. One package of Sweet Marjoram was even a 2008. I'm happy to say the seeds are sprouting.
So don't be afraid to sow "old seed"
Incidentally, I store the seeds in their original packages in a cardboard box on the counter. Nothing special - just make sure they stay dry.
1-2 years is not old for melons, cucumbers, gourds and squash or most other seeds. They will stay viable for several years even in less than perfect conditions. Planted some that were 6 years old once. They sprouted and grew like it was their first year. I believe that cucumberaes are one of those types of seeds that have better germination in the second and third years.
Seeds are designed to stay in the soil for a few years until the conditions are right to sprout. That is why whenever you till in the Spring things are sprouting all over. They had been waiting for light, water and air to get them going. Soil conditions can vary widely from cold to hot, wet to dry with tons of microbes. If seeds can survive this, then a container in the house is fine.
Holding seed over for the next year doesn't make a bit of difference. Do this all the time with no problem.
My old seeds were in various storage areas that my DH moved around, unbeknownst to me...maybe he was afraid I might find them Well his nightmare has come true, as I asked him where he put them, and then found other places where they were as well...as you see, I am not so organized and sometimes he takes over and puts things where I don't know where they are...
Well, all that has changed, well about the seeds anyway. It took a while to organize them and I will be re-organizing them again as well. First into categories...WS - hardy annuals, tender annuals, perennials, biennials, seeds that need stratification...etc., and then alphabetically in their categories, according mainly for sowing dates... As you can surmise, I have been collecting quite a bit of seeds over the past few years, as every year I think I will get started on them and then something happens...I have had several operations which for a while, has even prevented me from living in our home. Now all that has changed, and am now working in the garden, trying to get the weeds out, and add soil amendments to our wonderful hard, clay soil. And getting all the seeds going. Well, I found out...it is impossible for me to start all og them this year...but I have started a garden calendar with proposed sowing dates, found from many different websites...that were very helpful. I never realized how complicated this "hobby" would be. And then, of course, DG as well.
Evelyn - it's nice to hear that you are back on your feet and into your garden. My hubby "tidies-up" too! Unfortunately, he doesn't remember where he puts things, so I end up buying more of what we already have. The only time things come to light, is when we move.
Wow, I've got some old seed that I'm going to plant now. With my son in college I can cut my garden size by about a half and don't need to use so much seed. He's a tall and hungry guy. I have heard that parsnip loses its ability to germinate very quickly. Anyone with experience with year old parsnip seed?
When I started some new seeds a week ago, I also started some basil and chive seeds from 2007. I'm surprised to see a few of those old seeds actually have sprouted. They were not stored well, just in a box in the house.
I also put a few heirloom Kentucky Wonder bean seeds from a 2007 pack in a damp paper towel to check for germination. It has taken a few days but so far 11 out of 14 have sprouted. I now plan to start the rest of the pack in a few days, still a little early to set out beans here.
I think from 2010 I had one or two Homestead that made it. Still pretty good for old seed. I had not yet learned how to dry the tomato seeds properly. I will have to practice again this year, but I do have enough seeds for a while, anyway.
I did germinate some old sweet pea seeds planted in November. Some were from 2003, and I think some from 2006. I did not think they would come up so I did not make detailed labels with sowing dates and dates on pkg...20/20 hindsight! ^_^