As we continue to pack up our house in preparation for an eventual move I look at my box of seeds and wonder how long will seeds last? Should I pack them up and take them with me? Like most home gardeners Iā€™m frugal and I hate to throw anything away, especially leftover garden seeds from one year to the next.How Long Will Seeds Last


For long term storage seeds should be kept in the freezer. However that is not an option when planning a move across the country. So I will keep my seeds dry and in a dark place until they are ready to be planted again. Seeds should be stored with some type of desiccant in a sealed jar. You can actually use rice as a desiccant.


But how long do seeds last? Some types of seeds are naturally more short lived than others. Did you know that some seeds have a higher oil content than others and that these are the seeds with the shortest shelf life. Parsnips, spinach, lettuce and onion seeds have the shortest seed long will seeds last


Beans, beets, leeks, parsley, peppers, and Swiss chard seeds will usually be good for up to two long will seeds last


Broccoli, Brussels sprouts, cabbage, cauliflower, leeks, and tomatoes should last for three long will seeds last


Turnips and flower seeds are generally good for four long will seeds last


If you keep your seeds dry and cool you may find they will last longer then the time periods I mentioned. I have heard of seed savers who have kept seeds for years and had success growing them.


Now that I know how long seeds will last I can now sort through my seeds and check the dates on the envelopes and decide which seeds I will be taking with us. Another thing that I will have to consider is will the seeds grow in the Pacific Northwest? I believe most of my seeds will do fine. Vermont has a very short growing season and although the PNW may have more rain and less sun I should still be able to have a vegetable garden. Any of my readers familiar with growing vegetables in the PNW?planning your vegetable garden

13 comments on “How Long Will Seeds Last?

Gina Caro - Gypsy Soul on June 21, 2017 1:22 pm

This is really handy to know. Thanks for sharing šŸ™‚ #WasteLessWednesday

Nancy Wolff on June 21, 2017 1:58 pm

Thanks for stopping by Gina!

Daisy Debs on June 21, 2017 2:32 pm

Hi Nancy , I have two boxes full of seed packets ..some are unopened ..some half used , some empty and brown paper bags with bean seeds and lose peas scattered at the bottom of the boxes !
I cant bear to throw them away !
I really need to sit down and sort through them….groan. I love that top picture with all the beautifull organised labels . Maybe I’ll make some time to do this .
You should definately go through yours and at least pick out the really special ones to take with you . They wont take up much room in a packing box of your gardening things .
I hope you will have a nice garden to play in , at the new place ! šŸ™‚

Nancy Wolff on June 21, 2017 8:27 pm

I still have to go through all my seeds before a big move and yes I imagine most will come with me! I also plan to dig up a few perennials to pack…

Charlotte Burkholder on June 22, 2017 3:08 pm

Well after spending the money sometimes you hate to throw them away. We tend to go with the method of “should we try it?” cause they might still be good. Or Nah those can’t be good anymore let’s not risk it. šŸ™‚

Nancy Wolff on June 26, 2017 1:08 am

My thoughts exactly! šŸ™‚

Margy on June 22, 2017 5:52 pm

That’s great information. We had a guest speaker at the Powell River Garden Club that touched on the subject as well. I have a small garden so my seeds tend to last more than one season, even the lettuce. But I’ve used it successfully at three years old. I am a bit farther north than you will be, up in Coastal BC about 100 miles north of Vancouver. I have great gardening weather from about May through September. I usually get seeds planted in April but this year the weather was colder than normal. I have winter crops as well, kale, Brussels sprouts, chard, and leave my carrots and beets in the ground until they are gone in about March. You should do just fine in the Pacific Northwest. – Margy

Here’s a link to my gardening posts if you want to take a look.

Nancy Wolff on June 26, 2017 1:08 am

thanks for the helpful hints! I have to admit I tend to save my seeds longer than I should, if in doubt I do a germination test to test the viability!

Katy SkipTheBag on June 23, 2017 4:21 pm

I didn’t get into gardening until we moved into our forever home. I would feel sick about having to leave all my wonderful plants. Thanks for sharing on the #WasteLessWednesday blog hop!

Rosie (@greenrosielife) on June 28, 2017 5:58 am

I started my gardening journey after I found some old seeds in my grandfather’s shed – I sowed them and naturally some grew and other didn’t … it took me a few years to work out why some failed and that it had nothing to do with me! #WasteLessWednesday

Nancy Wolff on June 28, 2017 1:26 pm

What fun to grow seeds that your grandfather had grown!

Ivory on July 18, 2017 12:00 am

Thanks for this helpful information. I just planted seeds I had, like forever. I guess I’ll know some the results.

Nancy Wolff on July 18, 2017 1:22 pm

Some seeds will surprise you and germinate!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Never Miss a Post!

Find Me


Nancy’s Archives