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Can you use out of date seeds? AND a cold porch question.

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aliasojo
aliasojo Posts: 23,053 Forumite
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Can't really do much in this rental place but I made sure we brought the modular raised beds with us so I could at least grow something.

I have loads of packets of seeds that have been stored in a tupperware box in a cold garage for most part.

Some of them are ok, some of them are out of date and should really have been used last season. Are they bin material or can they still be used?

If I was still at home I'd be giving them a go anyway, but as I don't have a lot of usable space here, I'd be a bit disappointed if they didn't grow.

So how important are the dates?





Also, I don't really have anywhere to start seeds off. No greenhouse, no space indoors at room windows etc. Only place that could be used is the back porch. It's the type which has a waist height wall and windows on top, all the way round. It's usually very cold. I'm working on the assumption that no matter how cold it is, it's got to be slightly warmer than outside and at least any seedlings would be protected by frost?

I've got an electric seed propagator and it's staring at me begging to be used again. :D
Herman - MP for all! :)
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  • Del_Astra
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    Well I have seeds growing in heated propgators in an external Garage at the moment, so I would expect your cold porch to be on a par with my cold garage, so see no reason why yo can't grow seedlings now.

    As for the out of date seeds, yeah I have grown from out of date seeds before, as you said space was an issue, might be an idea to have a back up plan just ot be on the safe side. I might add I hate throwing seeds out so would always attempt to grow them before throwning them away.
  • youngie
    youngie Posts: 999 Forumite
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    most seeds will keep many years providing they don't get damp the germination rate will decrease a little but I would certainly use them
  • aliasojo
    aliasojo Posts: 23,053 Forumite
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    Ooooh thank you, I'm quite pleased at the thought of being able to do something now. I miss my own garden back home. :(

    I can sense some 'pottering' days approaching. :D
    Herman - MP for all! :)
  • tim_n
    tim_n Posts: 1,607 Forumite
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    No, they'll be deadly.

    only j/k

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/science-environment-17100574

    These ones lasted 30,000 years, I'm guessing yours will be fine. I've used seeds from 2000 with no problems, but the viability drops for each seed.

    Some seeds like carrots are best bought "fresh" as the viability really is low. I tend to throw old packets of carrot seed into dalek style compost bins (filled with compost) and if they survive I get a lovely crop.
    Tim
  • aliasojo
    aliasojo Posts: 23,053 Forumite
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    tim_n wrote: »
    No, they'll be deadly.

    :D

    Lol, I didn't think they'd be poisonous, I just wanted them to grow. :rotfl:
    Herman - MP for all! :)
  • tim_n
    tim_n Posts: 1,607 Forumite
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    There's no downside assuming you've got pots and compost to spare, chuck 'em in the ground and see what happens (well, in the compost, it's still a bit chilly out). Worst that'll happen is they won't :)
    Tim
  • mrbadexample
    mrbadexample Posts: 10,805 Forumite
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    tim_n wrote: »

    Some seeds like carrots are best bought "fresh" as the viability really is low.

    Parsnips are also known for poor viability after just a season. ;)
    If you lend someone a tenner and never see them again, it was probably worth it.
  • tim_n
    tim_n Posts: 1,607 Forumite
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    Just noticed the cold porch question - I'm growing on windowsills at the moment (no greenhouse as yet, alas) by wrapping the seed containers in clingfilm.

    No harm in trying. Use the propigator as well!
    Tim
  • ALIBOBSY
    ALIBOBSY Posts: 4,527 Forumite
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    I decided to have a good sort of seeds this year as we always buy too many. I now have an enormous box of seeds most out of date but many unopened so am going to try with them (although I have given in to a few good offers lol).

    Planted a few of each variety of my toms expecting low germ rates but virtually all came up. Some yellow pear seeds that are 5 yrs old (I got them from ebay) I now have 10 seedlings and I was aiming for about 3-4 lol.

    Worth trying them now, but leaving time for a backup later if required.

    Ali x
    "Overthinking every little thing
    Acknowledge the bell you cant unring"

  • aliasojo
    aliasojo Posts: 23,053 Forumite
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    I'm going to spend this weekend planting the seeds. I've got another couple of heated propagators coming so the seeds should get the best start hopefully.

    There's a bit of sun here today. I'm outside pottering, happiest I've been in ages. :D

    I've just found out that the potted strawberry plants that I brought with me last year, have thrown off runners that have embedded themselves in the broken tarmac. I'll have a strawberry flavoured driveway. :rotfl:
    Herman - MP for all! :)
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