Viable Seed Age

Pepper seeds in particular. I harvest my own seeds from grocery store peppe rs and the ones I grow. Are the seeds from 2011 still going to be viable in January when I start my plants? I will have some from this years crop but I think I may have waited too long and will not have all the varieties. Thanks MJ
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Depends on how they are stored - and the only real way to know is to try them. If you have excess seed from the 2011 batch you could run a germination test - if not, either buy seeds or just give them a try when the time comes.
Tomato seeds have very long viability - I've gotten 90% out of 10 year old packets stored less than ideally. I dislike peppers of all sorts, so I don't grow them, so I have no idea how long their seeds might last.
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On Wednesday, September 11, 2013 9:15:38 AM UTC-4, Ecnerwal wrote:

I store all my seeds (after drying) in plastic vials with lids on a dark shelf. Think medicine bottles. MJ
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On 9/11/2013 9:00 AM, snipped-for-privacy@gmail.com wrote:

Easy to google up a lot of this stuff:
http://awaytogarden.com/estimating-viability-how-long-do-seeds-last
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On Wednesday, September 11, 2013 10:17:16 AM UTC-4, Frank wrote:

e in January when I start my plants? I will have some from this years crop but I think I may have waited too long and will not have all the varieties.

Thanks for the link but I would rather learn from folks that have had expe rience of their own. I am also not using "commercial" seeds. MJ
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On 9/11/2013 10:39 AM, snipped-for-privacy@gmail.com wrote:

I don't have a lot of experience but always figured tomatoes and peppers were good for at least 2 years. Last year, I collected seeds from a local heirloom tomato and every seed I planted grew and I figure the rest will be good until next year.
I don't know about commercial peppers but I'd be concerned with hybrids that won't breed true.
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snipped-for-privacy@gmail.com wrote:

You can find tables of expected viability by specie on the web. This is probably a maximum and doesn't take into account if all the seeds were ripe when you picked them or if your storage conditions were appropriate. Also the expected lifetime is not a sudden end, the proportion of germination will decline with age progressively. If you have a hundred seeds you have a better chance of getting 5 to grow after 3 years than if you have only have ten. In any event there isn't much you can do about it now.
As for this year's crop, in what way are you too late? Even a stunted late season fruit on a dying frost-struck plant that you wouldn't eat may yield viable seeds provided it reached maturity.
David
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On Wednesday, September 11, 2013 6:50:04 PM UTC-4, David Hare-Scott wrote:

Too late in that I wasn't paying close enough attention and that I think some of the plants I need seeds from are all done producing. MJ
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Pepper seeds in particular. I harvest my own seeds from grocery store peppers and the ones I grow. Are the seeds from 2011 still going to be viable in January when I start my plants? ***************************************
This will be the first season that I've tried growing capsicum (peppers) from seed saved last year so I don't yet know by 1st hand experience how viable saved capsicum seed may be. I did however check what my 2 seed saving books say.
The 1st book which is USian but which I don't like a lot is 'Seed to Seed' and it says 50% viabiliy at 3 years if stored correctly. The Australian book 'The Seed Savers Handbook' says they remain viable for 5 years if stored correctly.
Sounds like you should be OK if either or both of them are right.
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Farm1 wrote: ...

does either say anything about freezing as a possibility for pepper seeds? i would suspect not, but ...
one correspondent uses the refrigerator and reports acceptable germination rates for some peppers after almost 20 years.
i don't do my own pepper or tomato starts here... would rather keep worms i guess. :)
songbird
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On Wednesday, September 11, 2013 9:14:33 PM UTC-4, songbird wrote:

Thanks everyone, I have decided to do a little test of my own. I have enough vials to be able to keep both new and old seeds. So in January when I am board and itching I will start both and see what happens. MJ
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Most seeds can be stored at freezer temps long term, IF they are thoroughly dry (seed banks test a sample) and stored in a vapor-tight container. I know Seed Saver's Exchange uses heat sealable bags rather like the "seal-a-meal" ones, but heaver and with a foil layer. In just cool/dry conditions, peppers only last a few years for me, as opposed to 8 or 10 or more for brassicas and tomatoes.
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On Thursday, September 12, 2013 3:09:11 PM UTC-4, Gary Woods wrote:

They may be oxygen barrier bags that they use. We used those for Hops when we had the Brew Store. They work very well for long term stuff MJ
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I've just checeked and neither mention freezing as a storage option - just the cool dark place option.

I'm waiting for a little more heat to do either and i"m also going ot do physalis at the same time.
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Farm1 wrote:

ok, thanks.

our first frost warning is for tonight. brr! but the cooler weather means i'm getting outside again today.
songbird
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