How old are the seeds you just bought?

donna13350

Attractive To Bees
Joined
Nov 1, 2022
Messages
38
Reaction score
117
Points
53
Location
Upstate NY, zone 5
This was a real eye opener for me...Siskiyou Seeds just put this video up on youtube....
there is a part where he explains how seed sellers can lawfully label 6 year old seeds "packed for 2023"...
this explains why sometimes germination rates on my purchased seeds drop off quickly after I hold them for a year or two, while the seeds that I save have better germination rates.
Maybe everyone else knew this but me...I always thought that seeds labeled for 2023 were grown the prior year, two at most.
 

digitS'

Garden Master
Joined
Dec 13, 2007
Messages
23,975
Reaction score
22,340
Points
457
Location
border, ID/WA(!)
I don't have an answer for that question, Donna13350.

However, I find it interesting and a little affirming to see you referencing a seed company just a few miles from where I grew up in Southwestern Oregon :). And, there you are on the other side of the continent! A little something else to add: Siskiyou Seeds is only another few miles to Cape Blanco, the furthest western land of the contiguous United States.

I can say that I have not accepted the idea that the seed marked for sale this year is necessary from any fairly recent year. The company may have done some testing and have superior storage facilities - and that could be a real positive. There is also no reason to believe that the location of the company selling is near the location where the seed was grown. That is something lots of gardeners assume. The best case is that the seed company has a test garden.

Steve
one other BTW is that Siskiyou is pronounced by the locals as if it was spelled Sis Queue, like "all your sisters standing in a line" :)
 

HoleySmokes

Chillin' In The Garden
Joined
Dec 3, 2022
Messages
11
Reaction score
33
Points
38
Location
East TN
I always assumed they were grown the previous year so that is news to me also. I have bought a package of seeds before that not a single seed germinated and then went back and bought another pack out of the same store and display that done very well so that may very explain that.

I keep all of my seeds in the freezer. I air dry them for a week first. I have Rattlesnake beans that are at least 12-13 years old that came from my neighbors garden that still sprout better than store bought seeds. I am not exaggerating. Spinach or lettuce seeds may not last that long but I don't save those seeds so can comment on those.

Store bought seeds can also benefit from freezing if they are any good to start with which I keep in my freezer too. The main problem with the big box stores is that they might store them in the heat or direct sunlight. That may be the reason the date is there so they know to discard the packages after that selling year. After the end of the year the seeds go in the dumpster.

I don't see any reason to be concerned over older seeds if they are kept properly but the date on the package is a little misleading.
 

seedcorn

Garden Master
Joined
Jun 21, 2008
Messages
9,513
Reaction score
9,479
Points
397
Location
NE IN
All seed from a quality company have been germ tested. What they don’t tell you is cold germ or vigor.
IF they had to grow all the seed the year before selling it and had to grow seed in their geographic area, seed would multiply in price, your selection would be much less and in some varieties, purity would be suspect.
Major seed companies, follow all the rules and sell quality. Private sellers may or may not. There your best guide is “buyer beware”.
 

AMKuska

Garden Addicted
Joined
Jan 25, 2014
Messages
1,748
Reaction score
3,749
Points
287
Location
Washington
Overall, the majority of my seeds have germinated really well. I recall terrible germination rates for Moon and Stars watermelon that I bought, but other than that most seeds do sprout eventually.
 

digitS'

Garden Master
Joined
Dec 13, 2007
Messages
23,975
Reaction score
22,340
Points
457
Location
border, ID/WA(!)
What they don’t tell you is cold germ or vigor.
IF they had to grow all the seed the year before selling it and had to grow seed in their geographic area, seed would multiply in price, your selection would be much less and in some varieties, purity would be suspect.
And "eventually" may be a problem, @AMKuska .

That's the vigor and from my own saved seed I realized that. No, I don't have very good seed storage and the result may be delayed germination. This delay and seedling weakness occurs before a total fail. It eventually may not work out well when the seed from various sources are all in the same "egg basket" - or, with my technique, in the same cookie box 😋. I will end up with the early starters outpacing the late starters while they are both competing, fractions of inches apart, for the same light, moisture, etc.

Geographical seed origin cannot a tremendous personal concern because all gardening is local. Even if I have seed from a location only 100 miles distant, their elevation is 1,000 feet different, their location in mountain rain shadows is different, their soil different, ground water different, weather different.

Steve
 

seedcorn

Garden Master
Joined
Jun 21, 2008
Messages
9,513
Reaction score
9,479
Points
397
Location
NE IN
Location where seed is grown does not change genetics.

Quality seed companies do not blend seed. If vigor is less one batch, you will never notice it until blended with a vigorous lot. IF you have an uneven germ, usually blended seed.
 

donna13350

Attractive To Bees
Joined
Nov 1, 2022
Messages
38
Reaction score
117
Points
53
Location
Upstate NY, zone 5
I don't have an answer for that question, Donna13350.

However, I find it interesting and a little affirming to see you referencing a seed company just a few miles from where I grew up in Southwestern Oregon :). And, there you are on the other side of the continent!



:)
I ordered my elecampane from them years ago, and I'm still on their mailing list. I enjoy their videos and blogs.
 

Branching Out

Deeply Rooted
Joined
Dec 2, 2022
Messages
227
Reaction score
843
Points
105
Location
Southwestern B.C.
You know how they say that pelleted seed should be used within a year of purchase? I bought pelleted Lisianthus seed in the autumn of 2021, and when I opened the last packet a few days ago the substance they used to coat the seed had completely disintegrated. I dumped out the glassine seed envelope on to a white saucer, and in among the yellow powder I was able to identify the flower seeds so all was not lost--- but I will be avoiding buying pelleted seed as much as it possible. It does not last, and pelleted seeds cannot be frozen either. So many seed companies are selling pelleted carrot or even lettuce seed now, and I suspect that a lot of folks will have unusable (or difficult to use) seed on their hands after about a year.
 
Top