Will 20-Year-Old Seeds Grow? – Let’s Find Out!Danica Rojero
If you have a garden, you have probably heard of the 20-year rule. This means that you can plant a seed and it will grow as long as you keep it watered, fed, and seeds may even survive a nuclear holocaust.
The rule is based on the observation that plants absorb water and nutrients over time and store them in their seeds, which make them ripe for germination when they are ready.
However, the shelf life of seeds depends on the species. Some seeds will keep for decades, while others last a few years.
Picking up a catalogue of seeds at the local nursery sometimes feels like we’re trying to play Grand Theft Auto. There’s an overwhelming amount of choices, ranging from large-seeded varieties that can take up to a year to grow to tiny hard seedlings that sprout the same day they’re planted.
Proper seed storage
All seeds are very fragile and can be easily damaged if stored improperly.
Proper seed storage is as important, if not more important, than storing seeds the right way. Our seeds should be kept sealed so that they can maintain their germination rate and not go bad. Seeds that are improperly stored can quickly go bad and are at risk of germination, making it harder to grow your plants and crops.
When storing seeds in an airtight container, ensure that the top, lid, and sides are all airtight. This will ensure the seeds are not exposed to any light, creating a more favourable environment for germination.
If the container is a glass jar, make sure to store the seeds within it using a piece of paper or a cotton ball to prevent the glass from leaving marks on the seeds.
Other packaging options include plastic containers with airtight lids, resealable plastic bags, moisture-proof bags, and vacuum sealers. Good storage conditions include a cool location, low humidity, low oxygen, and protection from pests.
Seeds should be stored in airtight containers in a cool and dry place. They should be kept in the dark to prevent light from degrading the seed’s viability.
Cold storage is the right way to store seeds. A cool and dry place is the key to their longevity. Make sure your seeds are dry and stored in a cool environment.
Acidity is a good anti-bacterial and anti-fungal agent for seed storage. A refrigerator is a fantastic place to store seeds.
Seed Life Chart: A life chart for seeds
The Seed Life Chart is a graphical representation of the care, nurturing, and climate for seed as it grows.
The seed life chart shows the growth of a seed and the life of vegetation. The chart is composed of a bar graph that indicates the time and the life expectancy of a plant.
It can last anywhere from two years to several hundred years, depending on what kind you choose. Seeds will last for a number of years, depending on how they are stored and how old they are.
Seeds, like humans, have an expiration date. Many seeds will last for years in your home. But for the best chance of success, plant your seeds as soon as you can.
You can test the freshness of seeds by soaking them in water overnight. If they float, that means they are still fresh, however, if they sink, then they are considered to be old.
The colour of the seeds is an indication. Seeds will turn a dark brown colour as they age. Seeds that are dark brown in colour are probably too old to plant.
How to know if seeds are too old?
If a seed is old, it may not grow because the seed coat may be hard, dry or cracked. You can also check whether a seed is too old by taking a close look at it.
Try these steps to check whether a seed might be too old for planting:
- Open a seed packet and look at the seeds.
- Observe their size, shape, color and markings. Healthy, fresh seeds should appear plump, firm and gray.
- The seed coat, the hard outer shell, of a seed should be smooth and shiny. If it is dull, dry or cracked, the seed may be too old.
- Finally, smell the seeds. Fresh seeds have little or no odor. If the seeds have a musty, moldy, or rotten smell, they are probably too old.
Seed viability depends on the crop species and the storage conditions. The maximum storage time for most crops is around 5 years. The age of the seed can be determined by a germination test.
Ever heard of Seed Testing?
“Seed testing” is a process used to determine the genetic makeup of a plant that is to be used for breeding. When a crop is grown, it is often genetically modified.
This is important because, as we know, different strains and varieties of plants have certain properties and characteristics.
For example, a particular variety of rice that is grown in Mexico may have a higher level of beta-carotene and is better for eating.
When you plant seeds and grow them to maturity, the plant produced may not have the same traits that the original growing plant had. This would be like trying to grow a peach tree by planting a peach seed.
Seed testing is the process of testing seeds for purity or germination. This kind of testing entails evaluating a sample of seeds to ensure that they meet certain quality standards and are free of any contaminants.
The seeds you plant initially are important, so it is important to test the viability of your seeds before planting them. If you find that your seed isn’t good quality, you can throw it out or look for a replacement.
Planting a seed entails time, sweat, and hard work. You don’t want your efforts wasted on a batch of bad seeds.
Make it a habit of testing seeds first before planting them, not to mind if it’s new or old.