Do tomato seeds expire? (2023)

Can you use out of date tomato seeds?

The simple answer is planting old seeds is possible and okay. No harm will come from using old seeds. The flowers or fruit that come from out-of-date seeds will be of the same quality as if they were grown from fresh seeds.

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How long can you keep tomato seeds for?

When handled this way and given cool, dry storage conditions, tomato seeds usually stay viable for 4 to 6 years, and sometimes longer.

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Will 20 year old tomato seeds grow?

Yes! If tomato seeds are appropriately fermented, dried, and stored, they can last up to 10 years with a germination rate of 50%. If used within 4-7 years, the germination rate will be even better. Heirloom tomato pioneer Carolyn Male has re-awakened 22-year-old tomato seeds.

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How can you tell if tomato seeds are good?

Take the seeds and place them in a container of water. Let the seeds sit for 15 minutes. If the seeds sink, they are still viable; if they float, discard, because they probably will not sprout.

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Are 10 year old seeds still good?

There is a good chance that those old seed packets will have a high percentage of seeds that will germinate just fine. Most seeds, though not all, will keep for at least three years while maintaining a decent percentage of germination. And even a group of very old seeds may have 10 or 20 percent that still sprouts.

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Will 5 year old seeds germinate?

Yes! Even seeds that are thousands of years old can germinate. But proper pre-treatment is essential, and the older the seed, the less energy it has left in storage. Seeds from annual plants aren't often designed to last many years, part of what makes the germination process so tricky.

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What is the best way to store tomato seeds?

Storing Tomato Seeds

Store them in a dry place at a cool, steady temperature. You could store envelopes in a tin or other sealed container, together with silica gel crystals to keep the air dry. Seeds can store for up to five years.

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Do seeds expire?

Most seeds last three to five years after purchase, but those dates can vary depending on the variety. Lettuce, peppers, parsnips and onions have a short lifespan and should be planted within a year or two. Corn and beans are among the best for long-term storage.

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What seeds last the longest?

Beans, like the Chocolate Runners, are among the longest storing seeds, often sprouting after a century in ideal storage conditions.

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Should you soak tomato seeds before planting?

ANSWER: Soaking your tomato seeds before planting, or letting them sprout on a damp paper towel, can help increase the rate of successful germination, resulting in more healthy plants that make it to your garden.

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How do you revive old tomato seeds?

Pre-soaking old tomato seeds can improve germination

I mentioned earlier that pre-soaking your seeds in water can help soften the seed casing. This should be overnight at the most, as you don't want to wet your seed too much that it rots.

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How long does it take for old tomato seeds to sprout?

Tomato seeds typically germinate in 5 to 10 days if given optimal conditions. You'll know seeds have germinated as soon as you see green plant emerging from the growing medium. That's a time to celebrate. The rate of germination for a particular packet of tomato seeds depends on the source and age of the seed.

Do tomato seeds expire? (2023)
Should you soak seeds overnight before planting?

Overnight is usually good. Many sources recommend 8-12 hours and no more than 24 hours. Again, too much soaking and the seeds will start to decompose. If you use very hot water, the soaking time will decrease.

How long do packaged seeds last?

Seeds in good condition and stored properly will last at least one year and, depending on the plant, may last two to five years.

Do tomato seeds float or sink?

The viable seeds will sink to the bottom while the pulp and unviable seeds will float. Carefully pour off the unviable seed and floating pulp. Then, add more water and repeat this step until only heavy, viable seeds remain. This process is known as water winnowing.

What can you do with expired seeds?

“Old seed is fine to plant in most cases by home gardeners,” said Bill McDorman, founder and president of the Seeds Trust Inc., in Cornville, Ariz. “You don't get a lower quality plant just because the seed is old.

How long can seeds stay dormant?

When kept in proper storage condition, many seeds can stay dormant for years beyond their recommended used by date. But there are a couple of factors that play into the viability of your seeds: Age — All seeds are viable for at least a year, with many others viable for definitely two years.

How do you store seeds for decades?

Mason jars and other glass containers are great options for seed storage so long as they are sealable. Ziplock bags, freezer bags and other plastic containers are also great options.

Can you use seeds after expiration date?

So, will expired seeds grow? Yes. Plants grown from expired seed packets will grow to produce healthy and fruitful harvests, just as their younger counterparts.

Can you eat expired seeds?

If they're “expired,” meaning the seeds are past the printed date, you certainly can eat them, assuming they show no spoilage signs.

How long are seeds good for after expiration?

Most vegetable seeds will last through their expiration date if kept cool, dry and away from sunlight. Baker Seed guarantees seeds for at least two years after purchase. Most seeds last three to five years after purchase, but those dates can vary depending on the variety.

How do you revive old tomato seeds?

Pre-soaking old tomato seeds can improve germination

I mentioned earlier that pre-soaking your seeds in water can help soften the seed casing. This should be overnight at the most, as you don't want to wet your seed too much that it rots.

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