How long will tomato seeds keep?

ReedBaizeMay 16, 2012

I've been gardening a long time but, until very recently, I've always bought my plants. Now I've gotten into the habit of growing from seed and love it. If I were to order my tomato seeds for planting this winter (inside on a mat and under a light) now, would they still be viable in November/December?

Where and how should I store them?

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Oh of course, I have tomato seeds that are ten years old, and while over time, the germination rate drops, you can still have seedlings from old seed. I've heard of people getting seeds to sprout that were twenty years old. In his case, only 1 out of every 5 seeds sprouted, but it worked. Keeping seeds for a year or two is fine.

Here is a link that might be useful: My Garden

    Bookmark   May 16, 2012 at 2:42PM
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Yeah, a couple of years would be nothing. Over 5 and you start getting some minor problems. Over 10 and its pure luck.

    Bookmark   May 16, 2012 at 3:45PM
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digdirt2(6b-7a No.Cent. AR HZ8 Sun-35)

There are recorded instances of 50 year old seed being germinated under ideal conditions, germination of 15-20 year old seed when frozen is fairly common, and whenever this question comes up on the Tomato forum and the Seed Saving forum here there are many reports of 5 year old seed or more being used. Of course proper storage - cool and dry - will determine longevity.

Personally I frequently use 5-8 year old tomato and other common vegetable seeds.


    Bookmark   May 16, 2012 at 4:34PM
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Thank you guys so much!!

    Bookmark   May 16, 2012 at 4:56PM
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