Old seeds?

I found some lettuce, carrot and tomato seeds the are close to 13 years old. will they Grow? I have heard storys of seeds that are hundreds of years old that grow but I am not sure. they are unopened packeges og seeds so I don't think Moitsture has affected them Chuckie Zone 5
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Highly unlikely that they will grow. The few seeds found that grew after hundreds of years came from peat bogs and were hard-shelled (as I remember from the articles). Most other seeds are viable only the next spring. Viability drops rapidly after that.

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Only one way to find out! Plant them!
alice
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Not all seeds are equal in their life expectancy.
Lettuce and carrot -- probably dead.
Tomato -- pretty good chance of nonzero germination (but significantly less than 100%)
But, there's a small but nonzero chance that I'm wrong.
Put some seeds on a damp paper towel and keep in a warm spot (room temperature, not really warm). Be sure to keep the paper towel damp (not really wet). If nothing happens in two weeks, they're dead. If you let the paper towel dry out, start over.
alice wrote:

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The "classic" test is to place 10 seeds in a rolled up damp paper towel setting in a glass with 1/4" inch of water on the bottom. After 4-14 days (depending on the plant) examine the seeds and calculate your approximate germination rate.
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If I take seeds from a annual when it seeds and plant those the next will they grow? Chuckie
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Did you lose any sleep trying to think up that question, Cheesy Chuckie?
Maybe if you pray really hard, Jesus will give you the answer to that stupid question too, you dummy.

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I agree. I've had very low germination with lettuce seed from the previous year. dps's paper towel germination test is the way to go!
Suzy in Wis., zone 5

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Seed viability declines over time -- faster for some than others. The way to find out if any are still viable is to plant them.
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wrote:

Yep. I recently found a sealed package of Poppy seeds that were packed in 1989. I planted the whole package in a outside container this season, and out of perhaps 500 seeds, have had about 10 (ten) actually germinate and begin growing. You need to plant the entire package, because doing a germination test is useless after a certain percentage - ten out of 500 is what, 0.02% ?? Too low for zero...
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