Gardeners sometimes ask about using unused seeds in a package they purchased last year. Will they germinate? Bear fruit or vegetables? Certainly, the seed companies would rather you purchase a new package, but the seeds of most varieties will be viable for two to three years – assuming you stored them in a cool, dark, dry location. Most packages will be marked with the year the seeds are intended to be used, so those extras may germinate the next season or the one after that. Beyond that, viability begins to drop off. If you particularly love the variety of the veggie in question, or if you just forgot to obtain new seed, planting the leftovers is a great option. On the other hand, part of the fun of gardening is trying new varieties. And, given the amount of time and effort you invest in raising fresh veggies in your plot, why wouldn’t you just opt for purchasing fresh seed? Either way, start planning for your seed-starting now.
– Carol Hassell