How Long Should I Store My Seeds?

While preparing for the upcoming crop season, I had the privilege of sorting through our large seed collection. It turns out we have seeds going back to 2006. I was not sure how well those would do for planting. However, if you are a plant enthusiast such as myself, and interested in saving & collecting seed here are a few guidelines I found on the Ohio State University Extension page on seed saving:

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Asian greens – three years

Bush and pole beans – two years

Beets – two years

Broccoli, Brussels Sprouts, Cabbage, Cauliflower, and Kohlrabi – three to five years

Carrots – three years

Collards, Kale – three to five years

Sweet Corn – one year

Cucumbers – three years

Leeks, Onions – two to three yearsDSC_0019

Lettuce – three years

Melons – three years

Parsley – two years

Parsnips– one year

Peas – two years

Peppers – two yearsphoto

Radishes – four years

Rutabagas – three years

Spinach – one season

Swiss Chard – two years

Squashes – three to four years

Tomatoes – three years

Turnips – four years

The authors also mention that annuals are generally good for one to three years; perennials for two to four years.

 Happy seed saving!

– Awinda Otieno-Pala, Horticulturalist, UTC staff