For all you lawn experts out there:
Just noticed a bag of Scotts grass seed that I guess I had in my garage
for two winters now, that I had forgotten about.
Under the house garage, but still getys pretty cold in
there; live outside of Boston.
Think the seed would still be good if I used it this spring ?
Irrespective of the above, how long do seeds stay rerasonably potent ?
Better if stored cold, cool, or warm ?
The germination rate drops significantly when seed sit around for multiple
seasons. No reason not to use it, but I'd at least double the application
rate, and if you don't see germination within a reasonable time, go buy
Seed are best stored cool and dry.
Seeds are living thing that include a limited food
supply. So you should be able to figure it out
with a few quirks. For grass seed and the short
term storage, cool is best, medium low humidity,
Quirkiness is that seed stored for a year may have
a higher germination rate than fresh seeds. Also
some seeds must endure a period of deep cold
before they germinate. Usually after that first
year, germination may reduce by 10-15 % per year.
So, you really don't want to store seed longer
than 5 years. If you have such seed, plant it
anyway, just use a high rate of application.
For the average person, plant the seed the year
that you buy it. That applies to all lawn and
Where seeds don't readily germinate immediately, usually its because they
need one or more periods of cold storage--this is generally known as
"stratification".....and something we seemingly experiment constantly here,
what with bags of dated seeds in all the freezers, the attendant record
Suggest google if anyone's havin a further interest in this phonemena.
Seeds+stratification would likely produce numerous hits on the topic.
If you are really concerned, take a small roasting pan, fill with planting
medium / topsoil / , sow seed, water and place in sunny window. see how
well ist germinates and srouts. You will make yourself a fne oiece f sod
for patching something in your grass.
Otherwise just use it outside, at the double rate othr responders here
You could test it to get an idea of the germination rate.
Moisten a paper towel; put some seed on one half and fold it over; put
the folded towel in a sealed plastic bag, like a sandwich bag, in a
fairly warm place (on top of the refrigerator is good). In a couple of
weeks, or three, open it up and see how many of the seeds have sprouted.
If it is very few, I would buy new seed.
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