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Bean Seed Trials

June 28th, 2016

I found some old seed for the same variety of beans that I purchased fresh seed for this year. Instead of throwing it away, I decided to plant it along with the new seed to see how the old seed compared to the new.
bean seed trials
As you can see from this photo, the old seed didn’t germinate as quickly and not as well. It’s a great illustration of the importance of starting with fresh seed and not trying to use up old seed in the garden. This is especially important if your garden is small, there’s no reason to waste space by trying to use up old seed.

Have you noticed reduced germination rates with older seed in specific varieties?

7 Comments to “Bean Seed Trials”
  1. MC on June 28, 2016 at 7:25 am

    Alliums, of course, and chives
    Certain beans, like French string beans

    Suzy, I left a comment the other day that seems to have been eaten by the net, but I, too, spent part of my childhood in Colombia, in Bogotá.

    Reply to MC's comment

    • Susy on June 28, 2016 at 9:36 am

      I’ll have to see if I can find the comment, so many spam comments come in that sometimes real ones get lost in the mix.

      Reply to Susy's comment

  2. MC on June 28, 2016 at 8:43 am

    On another note, this year I found some really old packets of tomato seeds among a relative’s belongings, and I thought, what the heck! I seeded a few peat pots very heavily, and a few actually germinated! Silvery Fir, Soldacki Pole, and Blondkopfen cherry. They are about four feet tall out in the garden. Th eseeds were 10-16 years old.

    Reply to MC's comment

  3. Misti on June 28, 2016 at 9:07 am

    Our seed stash is getting older so I am trying to just plant out whatever remains of something and a lot of the time, yes, it does not germinate. My goal over the next few planting seasons (fall, winter, spring) is to just use whatever we have in stock and replace the next year.

    Reply to Misti's comment

  4. Jodiana on June 29, 2016 at 8:26 am

    I am terrible for trying to use old seed. I found seed from ’11 in by seed case. I didn’t even try to plant that but I did plant the seed from ’14. I really need to clean out the old and start new next year. My garden spaces aren’t that big to be wasting space for seed that is useless.

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  5. Nebraska Dave on June 29, 2016 at 8:45 am

    Susy, being on the down hill side of life I have a special thing for old stuff. I can’t help but try to start old seeds in the seed starting station. Some do well and other …. not so much. Out of two packs of Moon Flowers, probably 50 seeds, dated for 2015 planting year, only two germinated. Unfortunately, I didn’t know that Moon Flowers were a vining plant and didn’t really have a place to put them. The sunflowers were a little better but out of two seed packs only four germinated.

    I frequent blogs and garden vlogs all over the world. All across England and other European countries seed germination has been a problem this year. No one is sure if it’s the seeds or the weather patterns for this year that has caused such issues with germination.

    Have a great seed germination day.

    Reply to Nebraska Dave's comment

  6. Jennifer Fisk on June 29, 2016 at 10:09 am

    I planted some older bean seed and nothing came up.

    Reply to Jennifer Fisk's comment

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This is a daily journal of my efforts to cultivate a more simple life, through local eating, gardening and so many other things. We used to live in a small suburban neighborhood Ohio but moved to 153 acres in Liberty, Maine in 2012.

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