Out of date seeds

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thornton1969
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Out of date seeds

Postby thornton1969 » Sat Jan 12, 2019 2:16 pm

Hi

Quick question: is it worth keeping out of date seeds? I've just been going through everything I have and it includes both flower/veg/herb seeds from 2007 to 2014.

Thanks

Alison
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Re: Out of date seeds

Postby oldherbaceous » Sat Jan 12, 2019 7:08 pm

Good evening Alison, and a very warm welcome to the forum.....
Regarding the seeds, well, there are a few answers really. If the seeds have been stored somewhere cool, they are more likely to be viable, than ones that have been stored in hot conditions. Then some flower and veg seed stay viable for a lot longer than others anyway. I think someone may have put a list on the forum a while back, that said how long different seeds stayed viable for.....maybe someone could put a link to it if they can remember when it was....
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Re: Out of date seeds

Postby Geoff » Sat Jan 12, 2019 7:23 pm

There's a challenge!

viewtopic.php?f=4&t=13299&hilit=viable#p129720 might tempt you but be warned viewtopic.php?f=4&t=8187&p=77977&hilit=viable#p78034

Most seeds really aren't that expensive compared to what they produce and the disruptive effect of failures can be depressing, Johnboy in his wisdom suggests even if you test germinate them you might get plants that lack vigour so on balance fresh is probably best.
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Re: Out of date seeds

Postby Pa Snip » Sun Jan 13, 2019 9:02 am

Welcome aboard Alison

Our conclusion is that saving outdated seeds is just not worth the effort. Have experienced too many failures for the sake of a quid or two,
Parsnips are a prime example, since buying quality new seed each year we get better germination and success.
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Re: Out of date seeds

Postby tigerburnie » Sun Jan 13, 2019 10:19 am

I keep seed for a couple of years and no longer, as Pa said, you need new Parsnip every year. Remember they keep a seed bank at Kew, but they do have specialist equipment.
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Re: Out of date seeds

Postby Diane » Sun Jan 13, 2019 11:53 am

I now keep my seeds in a table top beer fridge that I got off Freecycle.
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Re: Out of date seeds

Postby Primrose » Sun Jan 13, 2019 12:48 pm

I,ve been guilty in the past of storing many packets of seeds almost back to the Stone Age, especially seeds for vegetables or flowers that I don,t grow every year but I usually store my seed packets in lidded polythene boxes in a cool garage and to be honest I,ve often had reasonable germination results except for parsnips. Even these I,ve successfully grown from two year old seed - just sowed them a little more thickly.

I,ve found that tomatoes, Chillie and peppers seems to last for ages but this year I'll be sowing four year old peppers so will start sowing this weekend instead of waiting udtil mid Feb to give them a longer germination time frame to fail!

I,d suggest filling a set of sowing cells with compost and sow a few seeds of each variety you want to sow from old packets indoors now.
It,a far too early to start sowing outdoors or even for most seeds indoors but in a warm invironment you may get a better advance idea of what will germinate at normal sowing time. Just don't t forget to label each cell with the type of seeds you,ve sown. You won,t remember unless your memory is better than mine !!
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thornton1969
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Re: Out of date seeds

Postby thornton1969 » Sun Jan 13, 2019 1:56 pm

Good afternoon all

Thank you for the warm welcome and the replies, I think I will go with the consensus and get rid of the old ones. I really don't want to try and fail this year - like you say, it's just a few quid.

Thanks

Alison
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Re: Out of date seeds

Postby Stephen » Wed Apr 10, 2019 9:15 pm

I sorted through all the packets from the shed. Decided that everything older than last year's stock should go.
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Re: Out of date seeds

Postby alan refail » Thu Apr 11, 2019 2:55 pm

Image
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Re: Out of date seeds

Postby Westi » Thu Apr 11, 2019 8:14 pm

Hi Alan!

I wish I had seen this sooner, just bought some more melon seeds as mine out of date by about 3yrs. Could have saved some money! Never mind, live & learn as they say & I doubt I will never master the watermelon ever, but do like a challenge & now I know I have 5yrs more to keep trying from the new packet - of 6 whole seeds! :)
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Re: Out of date seeds

Postby Johnboy » Mon Apr 15, 2019 10:41 pm

I note the table that Alan has kindly provided but what must be understood is that the four named mentioned outlets are from seed houses and university horticultural establishments who store their seeds strictly to the recognised temperature of 5C now I wonder how many Gardeners and allotmenteers store their seeds under such circumstanses. I have found over the years that although an embryo may have a long life the vibrancy leaves the seed and old seeds produce poor produce. A seed comprises an embryo and a very specialised pack lunch inside a capsule. Although you may get the embryo to germinate but because the packed lunch has gone way past its use by date and not available to the plant. That packed lunch is like the colustrum the nursing mothers produce first which gives the baby its good start in life. When the embryo doesn't get the correct amount of feeding it may manage gather enough to put out a root or two but they would still be being fed by the packed lunch and without that the plant lacks vibrancy and will struggle until you pick it and what a poor specimen you will have struggled to raise. The answer is that old seeds are bad news from start to a miserable finish.
I ask you who in their right mind would deliberately grow something inferior.
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alan refail
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Re: Out of date seeds

Postby alan refail » Wed Apr 17, 2019 4:55 pm

For what it's worth, I sowed some nine year old beetroot in modules last Saturday and they have germinated by this morning, less than five days. Mind you I have kept them well and was quite prepared to get new and resow if necessary.
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Cred air o bob deg a glywi, a thi a gei rywfaint bach o wir (hen ddihareb Gymraeg)
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Re: Out of date seeds

Postby LisaW » Thu Jun 06, 2019 1:13 pm

Johnboy - my other half grew some pumpkins last year from seeds that were several years out of date. The plants and pumpkins were huge and vigorous, so if they were the 'poor specimens' I hate to think what good ones would have been like.
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