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Shelf Life of Seeds

January 12th, 2013

As I’ve been sorting through my seed stash, I’ve been pulling out seeds I know are no longer viable. While some seeds may last for a long time (like tomatoes), others start to lose their oomph very quickly. I have found that with onions it’s best to purchase new seeds every other year. In general, fresh seed will have better germination rates than older seed. Tomato seeds seem to be the exception, I have great germination with old tomato seed. Beets do better if they’re only one or two years old. Onions need to be fresh. Here’s a handy guide to download or pin. Here’s the large PDF download of this chart: Shelf Life of Seeds
Shelf life of seeds
If you’re new to gardening it’s especially important to start with fresh seed. You don’t want to start off on the wrong foot.

How do you store your seeds? shoebox? fridge? scattered around the house? in the garage?

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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.