Seed expiry dates

General tips / questions on seeding & planting

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toffeeman
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Seed expiry dates

Postby toffeeman » Mon Mar 22, 2010 7:50 pm

I have just found several packets of seed in the shed, mostly veg, mostly chewed by mice,the oldest expires 2006. Should I chuck the lot or are there particular seeds that are good for years? I have chucked anything where the seal was not intact.
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Re: Seed expiry dates

Postby oldherbaceous » Mon Mar 22, 2010 8:07 pm

Evening Toffeeman, they would be in the bin if they were mine, i hate disappointments, but i do know there will be others that will say the opposite. :)
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Re: Seed expiry dates

Postby tiamaria1 » Mon Mar 22, 2010 8:10 pm

Hi Toffeeman
I'm with OH. You could try them but I don't think it would be worth it. :mrgreen:
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Re: Seed expiry dates

Postby WestHamRon » Mon Mar 22, 2010 8:27 pm

toffeeman wrote:I have just found several packets of seed in the shed, mostly veg, mostly chewed by mice,the oldest expires 2006. Should I chuck the lot or are there particular seeds that are good for years? I have chucked anything where the seal was not intact.

If they're still sealed, what do you have to lose by trying? :wink:
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Re: Seed expiry dates

Postby alan refail » Tue Mar 23, 2010 6:27 am

Morning Ron

You don't say what seeds they are. Viability varies from veg to veg. Normally I would say give 'em a try, but leaving seeds, sealed or not, loose in a shed is not an ideal way to keep them. I would only give them a try as extras, not rely on them as your crop.
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toffeeman
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Re: Seed expiry dates

Postby toffeeman » Thu Mar 25, 2010 12:08 am

all sorts - tomatoes, herbs, broccolli. I'm not relying on these as I've bought new seed for this year. Just too tight to throw them away. It was a general question in respect of the validity of old seed really.

Thanks for all the comments.......
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Re: Seed expiry dates

Postby Johnboy » Thu Mar 25, 2010 2:32 pm

Hi Toffeeman,
Even those in sealed foil packets if stored incorrectly will lose vigourous germination so to me it is not worth even trying them. Bin them.

To Westham Ron,
By sowing old seeds you are wasting time, compost, valuable growing space and most of all your effort, all on a maybe! Simple not worth it!
JB.
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toffeeman
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Re: Seed expiry dates

Postby toffeeman » Sun Mar 28, 2010 9:06 pm

I think I will ditch them as I have more than enough valid seed than I know what to do with. Thanks for all the replies
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Re: Seed expiry dates

Postby Suzie » Wed Mar 31, 2010 10:09 am

I'm in the ditch 'em camp.

Whilst I realise I could be throwing away viable seeds, it's disappointing when seeds don't germinate and I'd feel that I have wasted my time and I'd only have myself to blame :roll:
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Johnboy
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Re: Seed expiry dates

Postby Johnboy » Wed Mar 31, 2010 10:57 pm

In previous years my advice has been to do a trial germination but that seems to be a step in the wrong direction also.
With old seeds they may germinate but they lack the vigour in the growth process. I feel that the reason is because although the embryo may still be live the inbuilt food supply has deteriorated and the growing embryo gets starved of what is essentially mothers milk!
I trial germinated some old cabbage seeds last year and whilst they did germinate they simply didn't perform as they should so I bought some new seed and within a month of planting the new seeds were ahead and different in growth pattern and I kept both lots going but the old seed never got to a point where they were worth planting out so were scrapped. It had been an absolute waste of time, money, space and effort.
I know that we will hear from people who have managed to do this and that with old seed but they have been the ones who have been very lucky. It simply isn't a worthwhile exercise.
JB.
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Re: Seed expiry dates

Postby Suzie » Thu Apr 01, 2010 8:02 am

That's an interesting view JB about whilst the seeds may germinate there may not be enough to keep it going. Wouldn't the compost take over providing the required umphf to get it growing? I'd not take the chance though
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Re: Seed expiry dates

Postby Johnboy » Thu Apr 01, 2010 9:25 am

Hi Suzie,
The damage is done when the plant is trying to make roots before they are in a position to take up nutrient and because these do not form properly or are too slow at forming herein lies the problem.
JB.
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