Seed viability over time

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?
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wrote:

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.

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Paul M. Cook wrote:

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?
Tony
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