Well I threw out my whole pack of lemon cucumber seeds. Duds the lot of
them. What finally germinated was quite pathetic. Which makes me wonder;
how long do seeds remain viable from year to year? I just ordered 120
seeds from a grower but I'll probably not use 10 of them. How many years
can I expect them to last?
It certainly varies depending on the what plant the seed comes from -
some will germinate after an incredible amount of time - over 1000
years. That said, my 4 year old Little Leaf cuke seeds did not
germinate this spring.
It varies a lot. Some seeds have a reputation for not remaining viable
for very long at all (spinach), most, if properly stored, will stay
viable for about three years. But some experiments done in England
showed that properly stored seeds kept at zero or below remained viable
for years. An often recommended way to save seed is to put them in
their original packet in a Mason jar, with a tablespoon full of nonfat
dried milk in the bottom of the jar (desiccant), and store in the
prosaic "cool, dry place". If you have room in a deep freeze for that
jar, they may go a number of years - worth a try?
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