If you're at all like me, you have a huge stash of garden seeds.

Vegetable seeds. Flower seeds. Herb seeds.

Seeds everywhere. Well ... maybe not everywhere, but I do have a bunch of bins chock full of seeds. A heck of a lot of seeds actually.

It's mostly because I'm cheap and try to grow all my vegetables from seed each year. But that's not the only reason. Yes, it's a whole lot cheaper to grow your garden from seed than buying plants, but you can also find and grow a larger variety of (as well as grow more obscure) plants. And, I just think there is something incredibly gratifying about growing a plant from teeny tiny little seed.

So, I think keeping seeds is a very good thing.

But, alas, seeds don't last forever. The germination rate of most seeds diminishes with time and different types of seeds can last longer than others. So, it's important to know which of those seed packs you've been hoarding will sprout and grow. Unless you have a set up like an official seed bank, more than likely you've got some seeds in your stash that are beyond their prime ... or worse.

I'm sure I do. I'm absolutely horrible about getting rid of old seeds. I probably have seeds that are 10 or 15 years old here that I haven't had the heart to get rid of ... but that's all going to change this year.

As I'm going through my seed bins this week getting ready to place my annual seed order, I'm consolidating and purging. I'll be testing the germination rate of some, but others that are REALLY old are going directly to the compost bin. After all, there is no point in keeping old seeds if they won't grow! (repeat with me .... "There is no point in keeping old seeds if they won't grow!" and again ... "There is no point in keeping old seeds if they won't grow!")

So, to make things easier as I go through my seed stash, I've set up a handy dandy seed viability chart. This free, downloadable and printable seed chart outlines the general lifespan of different types of vegetable seeds (assuming they are kept in relatively good conditions). It's a good reference for your seed storage and for knowing approximately how long different kinds of seeds last.

Seed Viability Chart - How long do seeds last?

Click the image above or here to download a free, printable PDF version of my Seed Viability Chart!

Jan 13 2014

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January 13, 2014

"There is no point in keeping old seeds if they won't grow!"


January 13, 2014


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