While I’m plotting out my growing year, I’m also doing a bit of a stock take. Like most gardeners I have a huge stash of old seed packets – some unopened, others half-finished, all in a bit of a mess after the hurly-burly of last season.
So I’ve pulled out my trusty seed storage boxes for a ruthless edit of the contents.
Here’s the checklist I run through:
1: What’s the sow-by date?
This is the printed date on the bottom of the packet: if there isn’t a specific sow-by date, assume two to three years from the date you bought the seeds. I often write the date I acquired the seeds on the packet myself if it’s not there already.
Get rid of any seeds which are past their sow-by date. You can keep tomatoes a little longer – I’ve germinated tomato seeds after over eight years in storage before. If they’re umbellifers though (that’s parsley, carrots, parsnips and relations) always sow fresh as they deteriorate very quickly in storage.
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