Make seeds last longer

Garden Answers (UK) - - Gourmet Grower -

IT’S HARD TO PRE­DICT how long seeds will re­main vi­able. Look­ing at ‘sow by’ or ‘pack­aged on’ dates should quickly tell you how long you’ve had the seed or how long they were hang­ing on the gar­den cen­tre rack. Some seeds, such as toma­toes or cu­cum­bers, ger­mi­nate read­ily, even af­ter six or more years, pro­vided they’ve been stored well – al­beit with a grad­ual re­duc­tion in suc­cess. Oth­ers, such as parsnip, have a very short shelf life and are best bought fresh each year. If in doubt, it’s worth giv­ing old seed a go. Test a few on damp kitchen towel kept warm and you’ll of­ten be pleas­antly sur­prised by how many ger­mi­nate. To store your seeds from year to year, keep them some­where cool, dry and dark; a well-ven­ti­lated spot in the coolest room of the house works well. If you want to keep them for as long as pos­si­ble, store in the fridge but take care to al­low the seeds to come up to room tem­per­a­ture for a cou­ple of days be­fore sow­ing.

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