Discounted "Old" Seeds

harryshoe zone6 eastern PennsylvaniaAugust 20, 2014

I noticed leftover Tomato seeds at a local nursery which were deeply discounted. There were packets of Black Krim and Mortgage Lifter among others. The date said November 2014.

I can't remember if Tomato seeds remain viable beyond one year. I'd be OK if I got 20% germination for my small garden.

Is it worth the risk to buy for a February '15 planting?

Thanks

Harry

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digdirt2(6b-7a No.Cent. AR HZ8 Sun-35)

Grab them. Those aren't old at all.

Assuming half-way decent storage, tomato seeds are viable for many years. I germinated some this past spring dated 2001 and others have posted here about seeds much older than that. Germination rates decline gradually but they are still quite high.

Dave

    Bookmark   August 20, 2014 at 10:29AM
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carogator

I planted two year old seed (Jet Star). Had 98o/o germination. Great tomatoes.

    Bookmark   August 20, 2014 at 10:31AM
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harryshoe zone6 eastern Pennsylvania

Thanks.

I will pick some up the next time I am cleaned up enough for exposure to the general public.

I haven't started from seed in many years. But, the selection of plants at local nurseries was weak last spring. I'm looking forward to growing something a bit more unusual.

    Bookmark   August 20, 2014 at 1:11PM
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reginald_25(5)

I noticed leftover Tomato seeds at a local nursery which were deeply discounted. There were packets of Black Krim and Mortgage Lifter among others. The date said November 2014.
Given that date of post was 20 Aug, 2014, the seeds would seem to me, if anything, to be a bit immature at this point in time.
Reggie

    Bookmark   August 20, 2014 at 1:42PM
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digdirt2(6b-7a No.Cent. AR HZ8 Sun-35)

Good point Reggie. I just assumed he meant November 2013. But you are right, they might not have even been born yet.. :)

Dave

This post was edited by digdirt on Wed, Aug 20, 14 at 19:42

    Bookmark   August 20, 2014 at 4:36PM
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2ajsmama

2013 harvested seeds with sell by date of Nov 2013 (1 year after fermenting and packing?)

I don't know why, but it seems all the seed packets (for all veggies) have late fall dates on them even when it's something you would plant in the spring, harvest spring to fall. But agree those aren't old - grab them, as long as they're not Burpee ;-)

    Bookmark   August 20, 2014 at 7:41PM
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seysonn(8a WA/HZ 1)

Tomato seeds can stay viable for decades, if kept in proper conditions of temperature and humidity. Even they come out of human and birds digestion system as viable.

    Bookmark   August 20, 2014 at 7:59PM
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sheltieche

It will make a big difference where those seeds are in the store- if it near bright window or temps were kept high etc viability might be a bust. But if all you going to loose couple $$ might as well try if you interested in those varieties. I could go for some mass seeds, like herbs or radishes bought on discount and freely sow them outside but with my tomatoes I want what I want and best seeds I can get. Source is important and reliability. I do not have much of real estate so my plants are valuable.

    Bookmark   August 21, 2014 at 10:20AM
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harryshoe zone6 eastern Pennsylvania

I was able to get a packet each of Mortgage Lifter, Black Krim and Brandywine for $1 each. All three packets are printed "packed for 2014, sell by November 2014".

I put them into a small jar which is stored in the refrigerator.

I'll be starting the seeds on a windowsill in late winter. Probably a dozen plants. Any suggestions for the seed starting?

Thanks

Harry

    Bookmark   August 21, 2014 at 11:05AM
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ediej1209(5 N Central OH)

For actual seed starting I like old egg cartons (washed and rinsed, of course!). I get seed-starting soilless mix and get it soaking wet with warm water then scoop it out of the water and squeeze it to the consistancy of a wet sponge, then put it into the egg carton and kind of smooth it into each egg cup. I put one seed in each cup and cover it with a bit of the mix and close the lid. Then I put the carton on top of the refrigerator if it's just one, or on top of the water heater if I'm doing several at one time. I let it go for about 3 days and start checking. When I have 2 or 3 seedlings pop through is when I move it under lights and let the rest of them come up as they will. After the first set of true leaves, using a plastic spoon as my "shovel", I transplant to 16 oz cups with holes poked into the bottoms using a soilless potting mix. That's what works for me, others may have suggestions that work better for you.
Edie

    Bookmark   August 21, 2014 at 11:30AM
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sheltieche

there was a recent thread on seed starting here. I know some people do but fridge can be way too humid. There is no need for it in my experience specially if you will be using it for next year. Closet with stable room temp works just as fine.

    Bookmark   August 21, 2014 at 1:07PM
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