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seed viability

Posted by aurore Zone 4/5 NY (My Page) on
Tue, Mar 31, 09 at 17:00

This was sent to me. Thought some might be interested.

Chances are... last year's seeds (or those even much older) will still germinate just fine. There are very few seeds that must be bought new each year.

Since some people are thinking about gardening and some request others "old" seeds each year, I thought I'd offer this information on how long vegetable and flower seeds are generally "good for" when kept dry and out of major temperature and light extremes. Here are viability lists for both vegetable and flower seeds. I hope the information can help someone.

================= Vegetable Seed Shelf Life ======================

1-yr
leek
onion
parsnip

2-yr
corn
okra
parsley

3-yr
asparagus
bean
carrot
pea

4-yr
beet
Brussels sprouts
mustard
pepper
pumpkin
tomato

5-yr
broccoli
cabbage
cauliflower
celery
Chinese cabbage
collard
cucumber
eggplant
endive
kale
kohlrabi
lettuce
muskmelon
radish
rutabaga
spinach
squash
turnip
watermelon

These are approximate times for cool, dry home storage conditions. Beet, carrot, lettuce, squash, turnip, and watermelon seeds remain viable for an average of 5 or 6 years but under ideal conditions may exceed 10 years. Cucumber and endive seed viability can last 10 years or more.

============== FLOWER SEED SHELF LIFE =======================

1-yr
delphinium

2-yr
aster
phlox
sweet pea

3-yr
African daisy
cosmos
Dusty Miller
marigold
pansy
petunia
scabiosa
Shasta daisy
snapdragon
verbena

4-yr
sweet alyssum

5-yr
calendula
carnation
chrysanthemum
hollyhock
nasturtium
stock
zinnia

Source: http://faculty.matcmadison.edu/mchristoffel/plants/seeds/viability.htm


Follow-Up Postings:

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RE: seed viability

Aurore,

thank you for this info. I was thinking the other day if some of my seeds still have a chance. Of course it also depends on the way they were stored. Still good to know.

~Natalie


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RE: seed viability

see link for interesting info concerning delphinium seed germination.

Here is a link that might be useful: delphinium seed germ info


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