Using last year’s seeds in the garden

If you are wondering whether or not to use last year’s seeds — or some even older — there is no reason to waste time planting them in the garden only to realize a couple weeks later that they are not going to germinate. You can check out their viability now!

I happen to have a very large bag of pea seeds that I’ve had for a few years. They don’t have a date on them, and I don’t remember exactly when I bought them, so I poured a handful into a canning jar and soaked them for a few hours, then drained off the water. I rinsed them several times a day to keep them moist, and within two or three days, I started to see sprouts!

After about five days, I poured the peas out onto a plate and started sorting through the ones that had sprouted and the one that hadn’t. Since the germination rate looks like it is still very close to 100%, I’ll be planting the seeds in my garden again this year!

And what will I do with the seeds that I sprouted? I’m going to continue rinsing them for a few more days and then feed the pea sprouts to my pigs as a treat!

Subscribe to my weekly newsletter!

My weekly newsletter includes recipes and articles on homesteading, raising livestock, health, and gardening.

We won't send you spam. Unsubscribe at any time. Powered by ConvertKit

4 thoughts on “Using last year’s seeds in the garden”

    • I've never tried, but it's a little early to plant here anyway. We're in the midst of a slush storm as I'm typing! (Snow is falling, but it's 34 degrees, so it's very slushy.)

  1. You can plant them but you have to be really careful not to snap off the little roots. They are fragile as all get out and they don't grow back.

  2. I had a package of parsnips last year that was marked low germination rate on the package. since I have limited space and sq foot garden I took the number of plants I wanted and doubled that and put that many seeds on a wet paper towel on my seed starter shelf. I kept it wet for 2 weeks before I wanted to plant and then when I was ready to plant I took tweezers and gently planted the seeds that had sprouted on the paper towel.


Leave a Comment

Join me online