Posted: 04/12/2013 at 14:24
As a general rule how long a seed will last depends on the conditions, ie, temperature and moisture content. The higher the temp and moisture content the less time the seed will last. Also, wide temperature variations reduces the life of a seed, so a seed stored in a shed or greenhouse will probably last less time that one stored in a warm, dry spare room or cold, dry fridge. Very dry conditions and very cold are ideal conditions failing that very dry with a stable temperature is the next best thing which is why seed from Egyptian tombs sometimes germinates after thousands of year.
Bulbs - well you can tell by looking at it if it's a keeper. Basically if it's dry and shrivelled or soft and soggy chuck it, otherwise give it a go.