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Are last year's seeds ok? and Is Burpee non-GMO?

1116 Views 9 Replies 8 Participants Last post by  george darby
Hey, I still have a bunch of seeds from last year, pole beans, lettuce, green onions and beets. They say on them that they are packed for 2003. They are from Burpee. I have been storing them in my baker's rack drawer in my kitchen. Do y'all think they will still be good? I would love to be able to save as much money as possible this year. Free seeds from Martin will sure help!!! Thanks!!!!

Also, do any of you know if Burpee (the kinds you get out of the rack at the store) are non GMO?? I still have mixed feelings about GMO's and I would prefer heirlooms when possible, but the two catalogs that I have been looking at are so very expensive!!! And there are so many seeds in the packets. I only want two or three zuc's but there are like 50 in the package.
Thanks in advance for any and all help.
God Bless you and yours
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Already sprouted 5+ year old tomato and pepper seeds here in zone 8. Hope that helps.

I even heard of 40+ y.o. seeds germinating.

mousecat33 said:
Already sprouted 5+ year old tomato and pepper seeds here in zone 8. Hope that helps.

I even heard of 40+ y.o. seeds germinating.

40+ years nothing - I heard at one point that some of the grain in one of the archeological sites in Egypt sprouted! The trick my green-thumb neighbor taught me was to put them in the freezer for a couple weeks, so that they would essentially "winter".
I read in the Tightwad Gazette II that year old seeds were not only ok to use but, in many cases are better!
Are you in the round robin?

If not, let me know what heirlooms you are looking for, I have alot, (I do have squash :) ) I would be happy to send you a few seeds of each if you would like.

Let me know!

~Marisa :)
No, Marisal I am not in the round robin as I don't have any seeds to add to the collective pot. I am still very new to gardening and have yet to have a totally successful garden. The only thing I can grow is Mint, and well....... ya know!! But I intend to keep on trying until I get it right!
God bless you and yours
Well, like I said, if you would like a few different seeds (heirlooms) let me know, and I can send you some. :)
One thing you can do is to take ten seeds from each pack and place on a moist paper towel then roll it up and put in a plastic bag then on top of your refridgerator for heat and wait a few days and check to see how many of the seed sprout. This will give you a rough percentage of the seeds you can expect to sprout when planted in the garden if you have a low percent just plant more seeds then thin if more come up. This should give you an idea at least of whether it would be a total waste of your time, no seeds coming up at all, before planting in your garden.
i have sown seed as old as eight or nine years old with pretty good results. but that was in the southwest. in a more humid environment they wouldn't last as long. a lot depends on how u store em. heat and humidity r the biggest threats.

of course the older they r, the thicker they should be planted to compensate for lower germination. this isnt a problem to me as i use a lot of saved seed, and have saved a lot of it. in my experience, one- to two-year old seed is as good as new and i've had few if any problems with it.

that said, i'd use my newer seed for my most important plantings. or do a germ test as someone else explained above so u know what to expect.
hummmmmm? depends on how hot it is at your bakers rack? seed store best in a cool dry place many seeds have long life under normal storage cabbage turnips have very long storage life parsnip and onion are notoriouse for short storage life by all means plant them and see if they dont sprout then buy some new seed and next time store them in a sealed container in the freezer /or on a cool dry shelf the book seed to seed by Susan Ashworthwill tell you all you need to know about seed storage ans saving your own seed for years to come . check out the seed savers exchange
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