Peas.... seed packed for 2004?

OK, it's February, the "Tall Telephone" peas have to make their first "trial" planting outside this month. (North end of Puget Sound, whatever zone that is)...... terribly, terribly wet, but got to go very soon........ Question is, if I use some older seed, and it DOES germinate, will the plants be any less healthy or productive than if I splurge and buy newly packed Ed Hume seed?
Old Chief Lynn
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No: Germination will be your major problem. English pea seed is not noted for long term viability althogh if properly stored, you may get by with two year old seed.
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Pre-germinate them on wet paper towels and plant the ones that begin to grow. You may find that the germination rate has declined a bit but they should do fine. If you are going to plant them straight from the package put em a little closer than you normally would to compensate.
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Peas should be good for 3 years or so, assuming they haven't been stored under hideous conditions:
http://www.ext.colostate.edu/pubs/garden/07221.html
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Cowpeas start pretty well inside of the Jiffy Peat Pellet green house trays. Marigolds do as well. The package says 7 to 10 days for germination on the Cowpeas, however they all germinated in 3 days and by the 7th day they all beared two leaves and stood 2 inches out of the peat pellets. Tested 5 of them and all five are currently 2 inches high or taller.
Hope that helps.
Jim Carlock Post replies to the newsgroup.
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