Expired Grass Seed Any Good?

The other day when I was at my local hardware store, they were already
starting to put out the grass seed, fertilizer, garden hoses, flower and
vegetable seeds, and other spring items. So anyway, when glancing
through the aisle, I happened to see a couple of bags of grass seed with
the stores RED ( discount item ) price ticket on it. The regular price
tickets are White, and the discount tickets are Red.
I was shocked at the price of $5 dollars, because this grass seed was
selling at their store last year for like $16.99 for a 3 pound bag. I
asked the guy working there if $5 dollars was the correct price, and he
said it was, because they were discontinuing that brand, and were only
going to sell "Scotts" seed and fertilizer from now on.
Anyway, the grass seed is called "GreenView Fairway Formula Grass Seed",
and the bag states that "it's been used on golf courses for over 50
They only had 3 bags left, and they were all 3 pound bags. Each bag was
a DIFFERENT blend as well. The had 1 bag of "Kentucky Bluegrass", 1 bag
of "Sunny Blend", and 1 bag of "Fall Seed Mixture".
Now here is the interesting part, when I looked on the back of the bag,
to see if there was any kind of expiration date, there was one on the
back label of all 3 bags:
The "Kentucky Bluegrass" said "sell by March 2010".
The "Fall Seed Mixture" said "sell by January 2009".
And the "Sunny Blend" said "sell by December 2009".
So does grass seed really go bad after its expiration date? Besides the
"Kentucky Bluegrass", which expires MArch 2010, would it be a waste of
money buying the other 2?
Like I said, this grass seed was selling at the store for something like
$16.99 last year, and now its only $5 bucks, because they are only going
to carry "Scotts" seed and fertilizer now.
Also, does anyone know anything about this brand, "GreenView Fairway
Formula", or has anyone tried it and used it before? If so, is it any
I have never tried the "GreenView" brand before, and always used either
"Scotts" or "Pennington" grass seed and/or fertilizer.
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There are several schools of thought about that.
There are those that believe that commercial grass seed is treated with pre-emergence inhibitors the concentration of which might depend on when (during the year) the actual seeds were harvested. There are two factors that are looked at when it comes to grass seeds and germination: The actual rate of germination, and the percentage or total yield. Some put more importance on the germination rate, and they observe that older seeds tend to germinate faster - presumably because the pre-emergent treatment has worn off or degraded.
The storage conditions of the seed will play a huge factor in shelf life and viability. Seeds that are exposed to a few hours of high heat (sitting in the sun in the back of a truck) such that the seed temperature reaches 130 -140 F will be enough to cause significant reduction in yield regardless the age of the seeds.
It's universally quoted that there is a germination reduction of such and such percent with every year on the shelf, and such stats are generally correct because of the uncertainty of the storage conditions of any given sample.
Keeping seeds dry and refrigerated will at least double the shelf life, and keeping them frozen will extend the life by a factor or 4 or 5. If the seeds have been stored at ambient temperature (ie no special cooling) the entire time they've been in storage, then putting them through a freeze cycle for a few days prior to planting will increase germination rate and possibly yield.
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Lawn Guy
MICHELLE H. wrote the following:
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