September 2, 2011 at 1:25 pm #255654
I have a fair bit. Some of it is out of date by about 4 years. Usually I’ll try it anyway. I’ve never kept records though about what has worked and what hasn’t. I know it’s going to vary depending on variety, conditions kept in etc. But does anyone have reasonable success using old seed?September 2, 2011 at 1:38 pm #507256
I emptied my seed cabinet to use for green manure. I only used the packets that were more than five years old, some were at least ten.
I wasn’t expecting much but it looked as though nearly everything came up!! Peas, beans, tomatoes – you name it.
I didn’t grow anything out, so I don’t know that they would have still cropped well but they looked healthy enough at about 8″ or so and once a plant is ‘out of the blocks’ they usually do OK.
Having said that – root vege seed is less long lived I think and parsnip viability is downright shortSeptember 2, 2011 at 1:45 pm #507257
Sometimes! I know that is not much help. Some seeds can last yonks (Beans for example) some only a season or two (Parsnip is not a great storer). Last April I found a shoebox full of dd Dads old seeds and couldn’t bear to throw them out. So I made a lasagna bed and mixed all the seeds up and scattered them on top of the LB and covered them with a fine layer of fine mulch and let nature do its course.
Most of the seeds where over 5 years past expiry and I got beetroot, broad beans, lettuce, parsnip (contrary to what I wrote before), and a whole lot of other things germinating. Now beans and tomatoes are popping up so its turned into a great green manure bed that I will create a quick hot compost on top of with all the winter green “waste” then spread it on some new beds I have created.
So I suggest use them in some way as it seems a pity not to at least give them a go.September 2, 2011 at 7:31 pm #507258
Well they both sound like good ideas! That way I wouldn’t be disappointed if I put all the work into a bed and nothing came up from the one variety. Surely something will grow. I have planted very old seed my MIL gave me many years before and about half grew. But there were only about 3 or 4 packets.
Think I will just throw caution to the wind and go for it!September 2, 2011 at 7:59 pm #507259
Ive never done well with old parsnpis, and any chilli family have short life, also onions.
I think tomato seed is indestructable !!September 2, 2011 at 11:16 pm #507260
I bought a heap of old seed from the neighbours intending to do a green manure,there were flower seeds as well as veg seeds.
I have sewn some of the veg seeds with great results.peas,turnips,mignon lettuce,and a few others.September 3, 2011 at 12:27 am #507261
Hi people, Those ideas would be good in the Veg Garden Helpful Hints thread if any one can be bothered. :tup:
Bobbs :hug: :hug: :hug:September 4, 2011 at 1:33 am #507262
oh this is good to know – I have some old corn, I’m going to use it! 😀September 5, 2011 at 12:09 pm #507263
my sister gave me some carob seeds she gathered around 30 years ago, i’ve planted and had success tho i’ve only have managed to keep two seedlings for two years (they are S.L.O.W growers), mostly cos the dogs or chooks got to the pots, i’m also planting out all of my seeds that have long expired dates on them and so far so good, working my way through the oldest first.March 12, 2012 at 2:05 pm #507264
In my limited experience, when I planted out-of-date seeds, I had a good success rate. Some were several years past the best-before date.
If you’ve got ’em, no harm in planting them really.
Give it a go 🙂March 12, 2012 at 9:07 pm #507265
Always worth a try, after the Blitz they found plants coming up in London where nothing had grown for hundreds of years, and just occasionally they manage to germinate seed from Egyptian tombs!
The use-bys generally indicate the expected time by which a 95% success rate becomes unlikely, doesnt mean you cant get 50% years later.
You must be logged in to reply to this topic.