Can you use old seeds? Yes, but you should test them first. Some seeds last for years once the package is opened. Other seeds you should buy new every year. Learn more.
Also, check out our free online Seed Starting Guide for 10 articles on seed starting.
|If I end up on the next episode of Hoarders, now you know why….|
- Opened packages: Several packages were opened, and from experience I know they won’t grow well. While you can use old seeds, some seeds have a poor germination rate once the package is opened. Last year, I tried to save money by using up all the carrot seeds I had in storage in opened seed packages. It was a big mistake; only three carrots came up out of TWO entire beds I planted! I learned the hard way that carrot seeds do not store well once the packages are opened. Likewise, beet and turnip seeds never store well for me once the packages are opened. These will be thrown away.
- No peas, please. Some seeds are of plants I no longer grow. I had miserable lucky growing peas here at Seven Oaks, so I don’t try anymore. After two years of lovingly creating a trellis, inoculating the seeds, planting, water, tending…only to get about five peas out of the entire ordeal, I’m done with peas. I’ll buy a can at the grocery store. (Yes, I say that – aloud and to myself – about certain vegetables. Sometimes it IS easier and better to buy items at the store.)
- Old seeds. The rest of the seeds are more than a year old. I have packages dated 2010 and 2011. Even unopened packages this old can be risky.