Seed Viability Chart

Ever wondered how long you can save your seeds and have them still be viable? We’ve created this chart to help you determine the longevity of your seeds.

Proper seed storage conditions are cool and dark. The moisture content within the seed greatly affects germination rates. Seeds should be stored in their original packaging in a cool (below 50 degrees Fahrenheit), dark place where their moisture content will stay relatively stable. Here at High Mowing we keep our seed cooler at around 45 degrees Fahrenheit with less than 40% humidity.

Seed Type Longevity Under Proper Seed Storage Conditions
Artichokes 5 years
Arugula 3 years
Beans 3 years
Beets 4 years
Brrocoli 3 years
Brussels Sprouts 4 years
Cabbage 4 years
Carrots 3 years
Cauliflower 4 years
Celery/Celeriac 5 years
Chard 4 years
Collards 5 years
Corn 2 years
Cress 5 years
Cucumbers 5 years
Eggplant 4 years
Endive/Escarole 5 years
Fennel 4 years
Kale 4 years
Kohlrabi 4 years
Leeks 1 year
Lettuce 5 years
Melons 5 years
Mustard 4 years
Okra 2 years
Onions 1 year
Peas 3 years
Peppers 2 years
Pumpkins 4 years
Radish 5 years
Rutabagas 4 years
Spinach 2-3 years
Summer Squash 4 years
Tomatoes 4 years
Turnips 5 years
Watermelon 4 years
Winter Squash 4 years
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11 Responses to Seed Viability Chart

  1. Pam Willson says:

    I recently read that bean and pea seeds should NOT be kept in an airtight container, whereas other types can and should be. Anything to that? I usually stick extra seed or hand-selected seed in small food-grade plastic containers with lids in a dark cupboard at fairly stable room temperature, and they seem to do fine.

  2. Virginia Plotnick says:

    I like your seed longevity chart. I’ve been searching for similar data about flax seed but not found any which is useful. Have you any suggestions where I might get this information?

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  6. Bruce Vetter says:

    I have a question about storing seeds in an environment that is cool, away from sunlight and in low humidity conditions, WITH the addition zero oxygen. I do this with laboratory quality vacuum pumps and appropriate glass storage containers. I drawn down to 29.9999 in hg.

    What is your experience in storing seeds in a zero oxygen environment regarding viability?

  7. sheepwrecked says:

    Just to confound the odds–In the summer of 2014 I planted 2 old packets of sweet corn, germinating them first on paper towels. One packet was Ferry-Morse Silver Bullet from 2003; of 100 seeds all germinated. The second packet was Henry Field’s Cotton Candy from 1996; of 250 seeds, 248 germinated. I planted the seedlings one at a time into the rototilled garden bed and enjoyed plenty of sweet corn with enough to share and freeze. That’s basically 99% viability on corn seed as much as 18 years old. I wouldn’t throw anything away until I tried germinating it.
    I keep all my leftover seeds in sealed plastic bags in the fridge, but the 1996 packet had been moved with me through 3 different addresses.

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  9. Kathryn Guillaum says:

    Just a note of ” Thanks “, for the viability chart.
    I’m trying to prepare for…….anything, and this includes stocking some seeds.
    Living in Alaska has some gardening challenges, but ya know that if you don’t try something out of the…zone, you get stuck and won’t ever know the possibilities.

    I happen to think you all are great!


  10. giving us lifespan of a seed is a good idea so that we can b able to buy seeds that has not stayed to much in the store which can disapoint us latter.

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