How Long Do Seeds Last?

Ever wondered how long seeds last?

Well the short answer is: It depends! This week we tested the germination of 9 year old Watermelon seed, keep reading for the results!

There are a few factors that will decide how long your seeds remain viable for:

  • The way you store your seeds.
  • The variety of vegetable or flower seed you are storing.
  • The age of your seeds.

As a seed company, the most important thing for us is that our seeds germinate for you. That’s why the germination rate of our seed is tested before sale, by us, or our reliable suppliers. 

This week we tested the germination of Watermelon: Sugar Baby seeds. These seeds were harvested in 2013. The results might surprise you, 84% of the seeds tested germinated, and the vast majority of these seedlings were very strong.

How To Do A Seed Germination Test

Performing a germination test is as simple as taking 100 seeds from a batch of seed, planting them, and counting how many germinate. In this case, 84 of 100 germinated, giving us a germination percentage of 84%, pretty good for 9 year old seeds!

Watermelon: Sugar Baby germination test.

To make sure your seeds last as long as possible, store them in a place that:

  • Has a consistent, somewhat cool temperature.
  • Has low humidity (dry).
  • Is dark.
  • Is not in a place where any animal can reach!

A press in the coldest room in the house would be a good option. Keeping them cool and dry will stop them starting to germinate prematurely.

  • Don’t keep them in the greenhouse or shed where you might be sowing them, as they will be subjected to high temperatures and humidity. 
  • Make sure they are not kept in a place where there is a chance they will get wet.

The viability of your seeds will go down over time, but storing them well will prolong the inevitable. Some varieties lose their viability quicker than others. For example, the germination rate of seeds from the Allium family (Onions, Leeks etc.) will reduce faster than most, even if stored well. Parsnip seed can also lose viability quicker too, so if you have any of these varieties lying around, it would be best to plant them and use them up.

We hope this helps. If you're interested in some 9 year old organic watermelon seed, you'll find them here. Thanks for reading.

How Long Do Seeds Last?

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