Below you will see a few tips to select seeds
Many of us have unearthed seed packets from the past season and wondered whether the seeds would still grow anything? Seed viability depends on the plant species and the seeds storage conditions under ideal condition. Dry and dark with a temperature at about 40 degrees Fahrenheit some seed will germinate well for five or more Years. Other seeds’ germination rate will drop off after only year or 2 years.
Seeds aged past three limits will have lower germination rate and plants that do sprout will grow with less vigor.
One Year: Onions
Two Years: Corn, Peppers,
Three Years: Beans, Peas
Four Years: Beets, Pumpkins, Squash, Tomatoes, Watermelons
Five Years: Broccoli, Cabbage, Cucumbers, Lettuce, Cantaloupes, Radishes, Spinach
If your seed were stored near or beyond their expected shelf life or in less than ideal condition you can gauge their viability by doing a simple test. Write the name of the variety on a paper towel with an indelible marker and then moisten the towel with water. Count out at least 20 old seed of that variety onto the towel, roll up the towel and place it in a plastic bag. Put the bag in a 70 degree location. Check daily for germination. After some seed have germinated and a week has passed without additional gernimation, compare the number of sprouted seed with the number you started with it. If the germination rate is 70 to 90 percent you could use the seeds and simply sow them more thickly. If germination is less than that, planting those seed in your garden will most likely yield much less than if you had planted fresh seeds.