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Hi all, I'm new to growing my own and was wondering? The seeds I have bought to grow some veg have a sow by date of 2016 , is it possible to store unused seeds for next year's planting as well as I won't use them all? If so how and where?

Thank you



Nelly, most seeds will keep beyond their sow-by-date if stored properly - kept dry, at a consistent moderate temperature. I'm still using tomato seeds that I saved in 2003.

Parsnip seeds are an exception. Germination levels drop off significantly even a year after packaging.


Hi Nelly. Seeds can be stored & even used after "sew by date", maybe not as good a germination rate.

Store in an airtight container in a cool dark place.

Maybe start a list/book of what seeds you have, so that next year you'll know what you've already got. You could make notes about how well certain ones do and if not good try a different variety or thing next year.

Enjoy your gardening.


It depends on the seeds, NellyG.  The date on the packet is if you leave them unopened but they begin to age once you have opened them.  Some seeds like tomatoes are generally good for a couple of years after opening but opened parsnip seeds won't keep 'til next year.  What seeds do you have?


I don't grow  a lot from seed but I can vouch for sweet peas, lettuce and basil lasting well, and I've had free packets of seed which have been past their sell by and have germinated well -  sunflowers and nigella were two that my daughter sowed. I make sure they're closed up tightly after opening and stored in a cool place out of sunlight as KEF stated.


The seeds are cherry toms and sweet peppers. I will store the unused seeds in a sealed sm Tupperware box in my cupboard. Just realised the cucumber seeds I only have 5 anyway lol . Thanks for the quick response 


Think you should be ok there Nelly, I have had good germination from toms and peppers for 3 years after opening.

Awsome thx

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