Posted on 01 January 2010 by

How Long Do Garden Seeds Last?

seedsBy Vanessa Richins

Many gardeners choose to store garden seeds–especially from vegetables–at the end of the growing season, but the seeds will not last forever.

The natural shelf life of garden seeds depends on the kind of plant.

Store seeds in a cool, dry location so they will last longer than their natural shelf life.

They can be placed in a sealed jar in the refrigerator with a moisture absorbent like rice, silica packets or powdered milk.

One Year

Seeds that can be stored successfully for one year include parsnips, spinach and sweet corn. Annual flower seeds can last from one to three years.

Two Years

Beans, beets, parsley, peas, peppers and Swiss chard have a natural shelf life of two years. Leeks and onions can last two to three years. Perennial flower seeds are good for two to four years.

Three Years

A shelf life of three years can be expected for carrots, cucumbers, lettuce, melons, Oriental greens, rutabagas, and tomatoes. Broccoli, Brussels sprouts, cabbage, cauliflower, collard, kale and kohlrabi will last three to five years. Squash seeds can be planted for three to four years.

Four Years

Radish and turnip seeds can last up to four years.


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