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using purchased seed from last year - zone 2

using purchased seed from last year - zone 2

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  #1  
Old 02-22-05, 10:34 AM
dianemarg
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using purchased seed from last year - zone 2

Hi! I am a fairly new gardener in zone 2. I could really use some help from some of you more advanced gardeners. I purchased seed from McFayden the past few years. Last year I overdid it with what I purchased and didn't have the space to use all the seed. I kept the unused seed in the packages (some open, some not) in a drawer in the basement (cool, dark and dry). I am wondering if I can use the leftover seed from last year or if I should throw it out and start with new. We have a very short growing season (about 70 days) so I don't have time to replant things like carrots. Thanks so much for your input! Diane
 
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  #2  
Old 02-22-05, 03:57 PM
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Join Date: Nov 2001
Location: Taylors, SC
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The open packages may be moldy, take a look. If so, toss them. The sealed packages should be suitable. You may have a lessened germination rate, but should be successful. If time is short and success important, new seed may be the best choice.

Hope this helps.
 
  #3  
Old 02-23-05, 07:48 PM
dianemarg
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Thanks!

Thanks Chfite! The opened packages aren't moldy at all. The seed seems dry and firm. I think I'll give them a try but put them in my raised and covered garden bed (I can plant a little earlier if I get my soil prep done early)and see if they germinate. I won't wait too long and if they don't I'll plant new seed. Appreciate your help! Diane
 
  #4  
Old 03-18-05, 08:52 AM
brent8391
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Put a few of the seeds in a damp paper towel, and put it in a plastic bag. Put it in a warm spot for the length of time it normally takes for seed to sprout. If they don't sprout, or only a few do, the seed may be weak.

Some seed can't be saved from year to year. Parsnip and I believe parsley seed are two of them. Generally large seeds like beans can last many years, while tiny seeds like lettuce should be fresh each year (they'll sprout, but not as vigorously as fresh seed). I have kept some tomato seeds for three years, but they get pretty weak after that. I've been told overwintering them in the freezer can extend their viability.

Regards, Brent.
 
  #5  
Old 03-23-05, 12:43 PM
putzing
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Seed sprouting percentage goes down each year you have the seeds, as long as the seeds don't get moldy or cooked in the sun, or were stored next to a nuclear reactor. So, for example, the first year about 90-95% of the seeds will sprout. The 2nd, about 80% will sprout, the third, about 70% will sprout, etc. After about 5 years, it's not really worth it to plant the seed, but a few will still sprout, depending on the variety.
 
  #6  
Old 03-25-05, 07:53 PM
dianemarg
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Thanks!

Thanks to all of you for your help! I really appreciate your input and look forward to this coming gardening season. Happy Gardening!
 
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