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One to two years if stored in doors in a regular room temperature. I'm not saying you won't get any growth beyond 2 years but I'm told by a farmer that leases land from me he wouldn't buy anything more than 2 years old. He sales me a lot of seed which I freeze some of - frozen I'm told 5-7 years is feasible maybe even longer.
 

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That's about right... Not just store-bought seed, but most every seed.

What one must consider is that all seeds are actually living things and they can exhaust their own food supply if left un-planted for long enough. Once exhausted, they do not have the resources internally to sprout once in the ground. Think "egg." The seed must carry its own food supply until the root system develops enough, with a leaf or two, and starts the gathering of energy from sun and ground.

Cooling seeds slows the living process enough to exend the times.
 

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I'm not saying bullhonkey but looks here

http://www.kamut.com/userfiles/1964_06_07 - Great Falls Tribune - King Tut Wheat Article.pdf

This real life research says 4000 years
Yes, seeds can remain viable for a very long time if they remain completely dehydrated and shielded from light. There are very few places on earth where that is possible. The seeds you buy at the store in paper packages begin to lose their viability after the first year unless they are refrigerated or completely dried and sealed from light.
 

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This is a rather easy experiment to conduct. A couple people just purchase 5 packs of seeds, plant one this year, one the next, etc., and save the rest for the subsequent years. Track germenation and report in a thread that we will watch with anticipation. See how much grows well after the 5th year of the same seed. One could even do a control experiment, keeping one batch in the freezer and one batch dry on the shelf.

I've found low (but not impossible) germination rates after the 2nd year on many seeds when I've saved what was not planted for the next year.
 

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No need to. I plant multi year old seed every year.

Onions are supposed to be one of the worst yet I have an entire 1020 tray of onion plants grown from 2011 seed that has been open since Feb of 2011 and just been stored in the basement.

Some new onion seed I got from SSE is even dated out 2 years.
 

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you can also trick seeds into a longer life....keep them in the fridge and they will go into a "hibernative state" till you need them. Many fruit farmers use this trick when planting.
 

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Seeds can and will last longer than 2-3 years. The stronger the genetics i.e. Heirloom or Ancestral seeds the greater the chance of longevity. Here is a wonder story and proof that illustrates what I am saying! Read on!
 

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I did a lot of research before starting to save seeds about 7 years ago. The best book I found is Seed to Seed which states “Lightweight plastic bags are not moisture proof and make poor storage containers. However, seeds can be put into Self Seal T-Bags|, Seal-A-Meal| bags, Zip Lock bags, small drawstring bags or paper envelopes, before being stored inside of a large, airtight jar.”
According to research done by the National Seed Storage in Fort Collins, Colorado it is moisture, not oxygen, that may cause seeds to “die”. I put my seeds in a small envelope, then “foodsaver” a bunch of those and then put them in a large jar with a desiccant pack. The seeds I used from 5 years ago germinated this spring with only 2% loss. I think that is about par for germination using same season seeds but I can’t find my notes for that.
The Fort Collins folks have found that cold (either refrigerating or freezing) makes no difference for seed storage as far as seeds stored for twenty years. Should you have a small leak in your packaging the humidity in a fridge or freezer will do more damage.
I buy all sorts of seeds and save them - I also collected seed last year from the herbs I grew and this year will be another bunch from peppers and tomatoes.
 

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I haven't bothered with saving seeds, but my mother would take seeds from the best tomatoes, save dried beans and peas, etc. The seeds from the tomatoes were smeared on a piece of news paper to dry out. I can remember her using seeds like this that were so old, you could barely read the print, it was so faded.
 

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I did a lot of research before starting to save seeds about 7 years ago. The best book I found is Seed to Seed which states "Lightweight plastic bags are not moisture proof and make poor storage containers. However, seeds can be put into Self Seal T-Bags|, Seal-A-Meal| bags, Zip Lock bags, small drawstring bags or paper envelopes, before being stored inside of a large, airtight jar."
According to research done by the National Seed Storage in Fort Collins, Colorado it is moisture, not oxygen, that may cause seeds to "die". I put my seeds in a small envelope, then "foodsaver" a bunch of those and then put them in a large jar with a desiccant pack. The seeds I used from 5 years ago germinated this spring with only 2% loss. I think that is about par for germination using same season seeds but I can't find my notes for that.
The Fort Collins folks have found that cold (either refrigerating or freezing) makes no difference for seed storage as far as seeds stored for twenty years. Should you have a small leak in your packaging the humidity in a fridge or freezer will do more damage.
I buy all sorts of seeds and save them - I also collected seed last year from the herbs I grew and this year will be another bunch from peppers and tomatoes.
Please see my post:

http://www.prepperforums.net/forum/...erm-food-storage/4143-science-experiment.html

I am not saying that seeds will last forever if kept away from oxygen, moisture and light, but Mrs Inor and I have experienced a far higher germination rate than is suggested on the package.
 

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Yes, seeds can remain viable for a very long time if they remain completely dehydrated and shielded from light. There are very few places on earth where that is possible. The seeds you buy at the store in paper packages begin to lose their viability after the first year unless they are refrigerated or completely dried and sealed from light.
What about putting seeds in ziplock bags, inside an ammo can, should dark and airtight? Maybe throw in a couple Silica packets for moisture?
 

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One thing concerning seed that bears discussion; seed is a living entity. And no, I'm not getting all tree-hugger liberal here. All seed is alive. Seed that can no longer germinate is no longer alive (or lacks sufficient carbohydrate stores to feed the germination process).

So, storage methods that hasten the death of seed by removing its ability to breath, etc., will not be helpful for long term storage. The general idea is to slow down the burning of carbohydrate stores by the cells that make up the seed so as to prolong storage if that is the desired goal.
 

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We've kept seeds in the freezer for as long as six years and they were still viable and grew healthy plants and produced good fruits and veggies when we used them.
 
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Thanks for all the information on saving seeds... Its going to be a great help in the future...
 
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