Lawn Sowing Seeds

How Long Is Grass Seed Viable?

Question: I just found a bag of grass seed I bought about 3 years ago. Is it still good?

Louise L.

Answer: Depending on the storage conditions, grass seed can remain viable from 1 to 7 years. It will last longest indoors under cool, dry conditions and much less in heat and humidity or in a tool shed where dramatic temperature swings occur.

Rather than waste time and effort sowing seeds that don’t come up, do a trial seeding first, easy to carry out indoors or out. 

Sow 10 seeds on moist soil. If 7 or more seeds come up, germination is still excellent and you can proceed according to the recommended application rate. If 4 to 6 seeds pop up, double the rate. If 3 or fewer seeds are germinate, it would probably be better to buy fresh seeds.

Garden writer and blogger, author of more than 60 gardening books, the laidback gardener, Larry Hodgson, lives and gardens in Quebec City, Canada. The Laidback Gardener blog offers more than 2,500 articles to passionate home gardeners, always with the goal of demystifying gardening and making it easier for even novice gardeners. If you have a gardening question, enter it in Search: the answer is probably already there!

1 comment on “How Long Is Grass Seed Viable?

  1. Viability . . . . If only seed stayed viable for ever. There were so many seeds that I brought back from Oklahoma, but could not plant right away. I was impressed with what survived! Yucca arkansana seed apparently stays viable for many years! Grass and some annuals do not have that luxury.

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