I had several promising seed packets left in my stash with older dates. Seeds can be good for germination for 4-10 years but over time they weaken. Since I was well into April, I didn’t want to put them in the ground and have an empty patch of dirt a month later. So I tried a seed viability test.
The seeds were wrapped in damp paper towels and placed in labeled plastic bags. My early jalapeño seeds and bell pepper seeds turned into tiny plants while the Tabasco and Anaheim seeds did nothing or molded. Now I know which ones I can plant.
I carefully planted some in pots, labeled with popsicle sticks, and placed them in a shaded spot to harden off. After a couple days I will move them into the sun and keep them watered until established.
While I try these outside, I have more tiny plants to try in small cups in the window. This way I will have backup plants if anything goes wrong or I can share them with a friend.
So believe it or not, though some seeds seem to last forever, some can certainly expire! Check your seed backer dates. You can always direct sow, and I often do, but if you’re unsure if your seeds viability try this simple test. Find out if your seeds are good!
He taught the people many things by telling them stories. He said, `Listen, a man went out to sow some seed.
As he sowed it, some of the seed fell on the road. Birds came and ate the seed.
Some seed fell on the stony ground. Not much earth covered the stones. The seed started to grow right away because it was not deep in the ground.
When the sun began to shine, it was too hot for the new plants. They died because they had no roots.
Some seed fell among the weeds. The weeds grew up and made the new plants die.
But some seed fell on good ground. The seed grew and the plants gave more seed. Some plants gave thirty seeds. Some gave sixty. And some gave a hundred.
ref: Mathew 13