you order more squash seeds this spring or use the rest
of the package from last spring? The answer may be "Yes"
or "No" depending on several factors including the type
of seeds and how they were stored.
seeds should be stored in a dry, cool and dark
location. These conditions will help prevent spoilage
and premature germination. Seeds kept under proper
conditions, remain viable for varying periods of time.
Onion, sweet corn, parsley and parsnip seeds tend to
be short lived and should be stored no more than one
beans, carrots and peppers can last 2 or 3 years. On
average, beets, cabbage, cauliflower,
cucumber, eggplant, lettuce, muskmelon, pumpkin, spinach,
squash, turnip, tomato and watermelon seeds may remain
viable for 4 or 5 years.
To test old seeds, spread 10 of them
on a moist paper towel. Cover them with the towel
and place them in a shallow pan on top of the
refrigerator or other warm place. Do not allow the them
to dry out. In 7 to 10 days, check to see how many of
the seeds have germinated. If half or more of the seeds
germinated, simply increase the seeding rate at planting
to make up the difference. If only a few seeds
germinate, it may be time to buy a new packet for this