Seed viability

Asked April 13, 2020, 4:40 PM EDT

How long are commercial seeds in a never-opened packet in a zip lock plastic bag in a cool temperature home viable? Thank you

Montgomery County Maryland

1 Response

The answer depends greatly on the type of seed; some can maintain a fairly high germination rate years later, while others are much more perishable. Some seed type viability estimates can be found in online lists; this is one example for some edible crops: https://hortnews.extension.iastate.edu/1995/3-3-1995/seedv.html. You can also do a test before sowing a full amount, as described in the links above and below.
https://richmond.ces.ncsu.edu/wp-content/uploads/2015/01/SeedViabilityTest.pdf?fwd=no

Miri