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You don't having anything to loose other than a bit of compost, which can be recycled. I would have a go, but don't rely on them, have alternatives.
Sew them a bit earlier ( bit) than usual and see if they germinate, maybe only a small % will, all, or none.
Certain seeds last for years beyond the sew by date, others are more fussy. Just have a go.
Something else to watch Tracey
I don't think there is a conclusive answer Tracey. It depends what they are, how they're packed and how they've been stored.
As KEF says, sow them and see
Hi Tracey. There is no definitive answer Im afraid. Some seeds remain viable for many years eg. poppies which can remain viable for hundreds of years, whereas others need to be sown fresh. Some Hellebores for instance need sowing as soon as ripe.
If you have the space try them, but if they are seeds you really need to perform, then I would buy fresh.
'No definite answer' describes many aspects gardening. Some people will swear by one technique, others will throw up their hands in horror.
Everything depends on something and the somethings are very variable.
Somewhere there may be a thriving rhodendron on chalk, even though we all know they don't grow there
You can do a test germination with seeds that don't need a period of cold - put a few seeds on a piece of wet folded kitchen paper and observe whether they start to shoot. You can then sow any that do germinate, and it gives you an idea of the success rate if you sow the remainder.
Beans, runner and French, last several years after their sow by date, peas are OK too. I have used tomato and courgette seeds a year or two past their date. But parsnips must be fresh. Poppies last decades in the ground waiting for suitable conditions, they like the earth to be moved, so poppies should be fine. But French Marigolds that were 2 years past didn't work - but was it old age or something else?
I have germinated seeds found in my FIL's shed after he died and most were 10 years old or more. You don't know till you've tried but as others have said don't rely on them, have a back up supply if you really can't do without them this year.
Good luck Tracey.
Just had my newsletter from Garden Organic and they commented on old seeds;
Parsnips only last one year. For everything else, sprinkle a few on to damp kitchen paper and see if they germinate Easy peasy lemon squeezy.
some seeds will not keep beyond a year and others will grow years on and other seeds are sterile or will revert back to the parent plant.
For commercial reasons. Two, perhaps three years from the harvesting of seed, to the resowing, has becomea rule of thumb. Firstly one has to take into account what your seed is. Perhaps you have saved some beans or the like. Usually these, if not sown, will either dry up or start sprouting on their own. So suffice to say, out of date seed usually refers to annuals, biennials and perennials. Provide the seds have been kept in moderate conditions, not got damp etc. Then take a chance. That last mention. Not got damp. Us gardeners should at times look back upon what is so often called nature. Seeds can lie dormant for many years in woodland areas etc. Likewise in our greenhouse or garden. For me it's waste not, want not. So pots that have shown no development are often chuck out onto the garde. The two or more years later. I ask myself. Where the blazes did that plant come from.
Never give up. Take a chance, sow the seeds. Best of luck.
Let us know how you get on! I'm tight fisted so would be more than willing to try anything before buying a replacement. Must go through my seeds this weekend!