Packaged seeds are an excellent way to get started with gardening. They’re affordable, and they come in a variety of varieties that will grow just about anywhere.
I’m sure you have all seen those little packets of seeds that are sold at the grocery store, but how long do they last? And what should you do with them if they’re past their expiration date?
The answer to these questions is a little more complicated than just an expiration date.
It’s important to know that most seeds have an expiration date on the package. This can be anywhere from 6 months to 5 years after you purchase them. The seed packets will often come with information on when to plant and how many days until harvest, meaning there’s no need for any kind of timer or countdown as long as you follow this simple advice.
If your packet doesn’t have planting instructions included in it, then research online for the specific type of seed that you’ve purchased before planting so that you know exactly when to start counting!
How long can you store them before they go bad?
The answer to this question is not straightforward because there are many factors that can affect seed storage life such as the type of seed packaging, the climate in which they were stored, and how often the package was opened during its lifespan.
One of the most important factors in determining how long you can store packaged seeds is whether or not they have been treated with any kind of chemical preservative, like fungicide or insecticide. Seeds that have been treated will usually be less expensive than untreated varieties, but there is no set expiration date for them- just use caution!
The other major factor in determining how long packaged seeds will last is temperature, the warmer the storage environment, the quicker it goes bad. If stored at room temperature or colder environment then seeds can last longer as you probably could have guessed.
The right answer depends on several factors, you will need to look closely at the type of seed you have, how it was packaged and stored before knowing if they went bad or not.
What are packaged seeds and what do they contain
Seeds are little packets of plant potential. They contain the genetic blueprint for a new life, and if planted in soil and nurtured by water and sunlight, they can grow into a tree or flower or other living thing.
However, seeds that come packaged from the store don’t contain any dirt at all – they’re sterilized for your protection! You’ll need to add some potting mix before planting them in order to make sure they have everything they need to grow.
Packaged seeds can contain many things and be made of different materials. The packaging may have instructions on how to grow the plant or it might not. There are so many types of seed packets that it is hard to know which one you are getting so you need to find specific instructions for the type of seed you got.
Why should I buy fresh seeds instead of packaged ones
Well, for starters, they’re cheaper! You can save up to $3 per package just by buying your own seeds. Secondly, if there is a particular type of seed that you like or want but don’t see in the store- go online and find it. There are tons of sites where you can order whatever kind of seed you need. Thirdly, fresh produce has more nutrients than what’s found in most commercial plants because it hasn’t been processed (yes this includes organic).
Another of the many reasons to buy fresh seeds is when you purchase packaged seeds, you have no idea if the seeds were grown in a greenhouse or where they came from. You don’t know how long ago they were harvested and there’s always a chance that they could be genetically modified or not organic.
Commercial seeds are bred for two things: big yields and uniformity. They grow well in large-scale, industrial farming operations where crops are grown in rows or fields as opposed to gardens where space is limited and crops need varieties that work well together.
Is it true that some seed packets have a use by date on the back
Seed packets are typically labeled with instructions for how to plant and grow the seeds, but you may be surprised to see a date on some of them. Yes, it’s true! Some seed packets have a use by date stamped on the back. It’s important to note that this is not an expiration date; instead, it indicates when the seed manufacturer guarantees optimal germination rates. This dates ranges anywhere from 3-5 years from purchase depending on the type of seed being used.
Do I need to refrigerate my seeds after opening the package
Some people say that it’s best to keep your seeds in their original packaging and store them in a cool, dry spot until planting time. Other people believe that keeping the seeds in a sealed container on ice is better for seed longevity.
The popular rule is you should refrigerate your seeds if they are an “edible” type seed that will be used for cooking purposes (i.e., basil). You should also refrigerate your seeds if they will not be planted within two weeks after opening the package because these seeds could dry out and die before planting time arrives again! You don’t need to worry about refrigerating them.
Some packages will have in their labeling what to do with the seeds, it’s better to follow the instructions the manufacturer has given to you.
How do you store seeds properly so they don’t go bad
The first step is understanding how seeds work. Seeds need three things to survive: air, water, and heat (or cold). Once they have these elements they can be stored almost indefinitely as long as they stay dry.
There are many containers available on the market designed specifically for seed storage; however, if you don’t have any handy or want something more old fashioned then old jars with a sealed lid will do the job.
As mentioned above, another option many people recommend is to freeze them. Again, it is better to do what the label says.
What are some signs that show if a seed has gone bad or not
If you have stored your seed and are not really sure if they have gone bad or not. Or probably you bought some packaged seeds in the store but they are funny looking, then it is worth considering if the seeds have gone bad.
As common rules to know if your seeds have gone bad you can follow these four steps steps:
- Check the date on the packet of seeds
- Take note of any specific instructions for planting
- Look for any signs of mold or fungus growing on the surface (indicating moisture inside)
- If after following these steps there is no sign of life, then it may be time to throw them away and buy new ones.
The question of how long are packaged seeds good for is one that has many different answers depending on the type of seed, your storage methods, and what you plan to use the seeds for.
Seeds can last anywhere from 3-5 years if stored in a cool dry place. But there are some types of seeds that will only last up to 2-3 years before they need to be replaced.
Other factors like your region’s climate can also affect how long you should store certain types of seed packets.
So, as our final answer is for you to check the expiration date the packaged has. If they are old seeds you saved carefully then you must evaluate if they have gone bad or not. In general, it is difficult to determine how long your seeds will be good for but we hope you do not have any problems with them.