Thursday, June 25, 2015

How Long Do Seeds Really Last?

 I took this corn seed that was not carefully stored. This was 2013 seed. I put  9 pieces. I should have done 10. 5 sprouted and 4 molded.  So If I had 1 more seed to not germinate I could have just said this was 50% But this way I would have to do math for 5 out of 9. LOL. 
I also have to consider the quality of corn this will produce. So I will plant these 5 and see if they will survive and produce quality corn.
 As it is already in Missouri, a bad year for corn at my place.I planted this area in April, one the 20 tall. plants that are stunted. 2-3 foot tall are growing. In may I replanted the back half with the rest of the 1/4 pound of this years seed. I will count the plants soon. But not a good amount. The front was planted with Amish popcorn, closer to June. There is a better rate of growth for them. But I do not know if it was bad seed. Grubs, moles or birds stole the seed. Or Juglone from the Walnut tree. This is all an experiment in growing in adverse conditions.
 The 1 plant is acting like a trap plant. It has maybe a corn borer. And Every day I take the eggs on the side of the leaf. Poke in the hole and every day it is replaced.
I will soon test out some old bean seeds from 2013. 
But I know if they were properly stored they would be viable. But these were left to hot and cold conditions. 

The cheat sheet below takes the average life expectancy of seeds from a variety of sources, including the cooperative extensions of Oregon State University, Colorado State University, Purdue University, and Virginia State University. Consider it more as a guideline, as the longevity of your seeds ultimately depends on the date on the packet and how carefully you’ve stored them since then.
Vegetables Shelf Life
Asparagus 3 years
Beans 3 years
Beets 3 years
Broccoli 3 years
Brussels sprouts 4 years
Cabbage 4 years
Carrots 3 years
Cauliflower 4 years
Celery 3 years
Chard 3 years
Chicory 4 years
Collards 4 years
Corn (sweet) 2 years
Cress 5 years
Cucumbers 5 years
Eggplant 4 years
Endive 5 years
Kale 4 years
Kohlrabi 3 years
Leeks 2 years
Lettuce 3 years
Muskmelons 5 years
Okra 2 years
Onions 1 year
Oriental greens 3 years
Parsnips 1 year
Peas 3 years
Peppers 2 years
Radishes 5 years
Rutabagas 4 years
Salsify 1 year
Spinach 3 years
Squash (summer and winter) 4 years
Tomatoes 5 years
Turnips 4 years
Watermelons 4 years

Herbs and Flowers Shelf Life
Basil 5 years
Chives 2 years
Cilantro 2 years
Fennel 3 years
Oregano 4 years
Parsley 2 years
Sage 4 years
Annual flowers 1 to 3 years
Perennial flowers 2 to 4 years


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