How long do seeds in a packet last?

yumtomatoes(10a/FLA)August 4, 2011

I keep my seeds refrigerated. I don't know if that is a good idea or not. Is it? I have the A/C running year round and the temp indoors is about 77 degrees so I could keep them in the house.

How long do seeds generally last in the packet?

Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
colokid(5)

On July 28 I planted about 10 seeds in each of two cups. Today I see at least two sprouts in each. Seed is Rutgers by green valley 59 cents each. Date is packed for 1992. These are regular paper package that were kept where ever and when ever here in dry Colorado. Might have been in garage at over 100 degrees and surly have been 20 below or so some time in their life. I think that dry is the most important thing,
YMMV. KennyP

    Bookmark   August 4, 2011 at 12:45PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
missingtheobvious(Blue Ridge 7a)

In a humid climate, it wouldn't hurt to open the seed packet as soon as you get it, then put the seeds in a small ziplock.

I have seen 2x2" or 2x3" ziplocks for sale at a local antique shop (not quite sure why), from Southern Exposure Seed Exchange (catalog and online), and also from American Science & Surplus (catalog and online; lots of great, weird stuff).

Several seed vendors I've purchased from ship their seeds in ziplocks (sometimes with a printed label, sometimes inside a paper envelope).

    Bookmark   August 4, 2011 at 1:39PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
zzackey(8b GA)

Walmart sells the little plastic ziplocks cheap in the craft aisle. Seeds last alot longer refrigerated. They ususally only last a few years at room temps.

    Bookmark   August 4, 2011 at 2:09PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
digdirt2(6b-7a No.Cent. AR HZ8 Sun-35)

If you are talking about tomato seeds (many discussions here about this the search will pull up) cool dry storage is easily good for 5-10 years. Even longer has been posted by many in the past up to and including 25 years. The Seed Saving forum has a good FAQ about how to best store seeds.

Personally I have fridge stored seeds (in paper) that are still highly viable past 10 years - used some '94 and '96 dated ones this year.

Many professional seed savers prefer paper envelopes over plastic since plastic can trap moisture inside.

Dave

    Bookmark   August 4, 2011 at 2:31PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
yumtomatoes(10a/FLA)

thanks for the link, dave!

    Bookmark   August 4, 2011 at 2:37PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
suncitylinda

I have a lot of commercial tom seed that is 10+ years old still going pretty strong. I dont refriderate, but not much humidity where I live. INfact I recently seeded for Fall crop and I placed 4-6 seeds per as most of it was pretty old. As near as I can tell, ALL the old seed came up, some of the newer seed, not so much.....go figure. LInda

    Bookmark   August 4, 2011 at 6:03PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
nygardener(z6 New York)

I store mine in sealed plastic bags or watertight boxes together with some silica gel packets, which keep them dry and absorb humidity.

    Bookmark   August 4, 2011 at 9:52PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
yumtomatoes(10a/FLA)

the silica packets are a good idea, thanks!

    Bookmark   August 4, 2011 at 10:05PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
nygardener(z6 New York)

I think the silica packets are probably good for a growing season. If you're going to keep seed longer, I'd replace them once or twice a year.

    Bookmark   August 5, 2011 at 4:11PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
nygardener(z6 New York)

Correction: I'd replace the ones you have in with your seeds regularly. You can probably keep spare silica packets in a tightly sealed container for 2 or 3 years.

    Bookmark   August 5, 2011 at 4:13PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
dancinglemons(7B VA)

I also like the silica packets for my seeds. I get them from vitamin jar each new jar (the vitamins don't need them). I keep my seed in zipbags inside lock-n-lock container in dresser drawer. Tomato seeds planted this year 5 years old did very well about 95% germination. I occasionally will vacuum pack seeds.

DL

    Bookmark   August 6, 2011 at 3:37AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
tn_gardening

Another tip when using older seeds is to plant extra seeds to account for low germination rates.

I've made this mistake when planting pepper seeds that were 5+ years old. My 2nd go-round I planted about 10 seeds and got the 5 or so plants that I wanted. Seeds are cheap, so i think i will go this route every year.

    Bookmark   August 6, 2011 at 8:35AM
Sign Up to comment
More Discussions
Should I grow white tomatoes?
I have Great White seeds and already sprouted some....
shijitake
Are my tomato plants salvageable?
I have over fertilized my seedlings. Just wondering...
realmanpwns
Repotting tomato seedlings - use regular potting mix or orchid mix?
Hi All - I am going to repot some tomato seedlings...
jennieboyer
Plant Out Plans For--2015 Season
Who is getting ready for the big event : i.e, PLANT...
Seysonn_ 7b-WA/HZ1
What is wrong with this leaf?
This Pink Brandywine has one bottom leaf that is dry...
dragon49
Sponsored Products
Medallion Blues Rug 8'9" x 11'9" - BLUE
$3,459.00 | Horchow
Newton Collection 20 3/4" High Outdoor Post Light
Lamps Plus
Birch Floral Rug
$49.99 | zulily
New Genuine Hand Knotted Geometric 3' X 11' Cardinal Veg Dyed Oriental Rug H5169
BH Sun Inc
Tobago Rug
Grandin Road
Design House Milano Single Handle Pull Out Kitchen Faucet - 529610
$133.99 | Hayneedle
Star Thistle Rug 10' x 14' - IVORY
$8,199.00 | Horchow
Womb Style Chair & Ottoman-Red - 100% Italian Leather
IFN Modern
© 2015 Houzz Inc. Houzz® The new way to design your home™