How long do vegetable garden seeds last?

Bob Dluzen
Special to The Detroit News

In my previous post, I mentioned we were taking inventory of our seeds early this year so that we could make our seed purchases in anticipation of another shortage.

Another thing I mentioned in passing was the longevity of seeds, some lasted several years while others only a year.

Seed size is not at all an indicator of how long they’ll remain viable. For example seed corn is relatively large, but is only good for a couple of years while a lettuce seed which is tiny in comparison will last five years.

Here’s a chart I put together a few years ago that will help you decide whether or not to keep a particular package of seeds.

Vegetable seed chart

 I’ve experimented in the past with old seeds and found that the times listed in the chart are pretty accurate.