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.

Larry Hodgson is one of Canada’s best-known garden communicators. After studies at the University of Toronto and Laval University where he obtained his B.A. in modern languages in 1978, he succeeded in combining his language skills with his passion for gardening in a novel career as a garden writer and lecturer. He has notably been editor-in-chief of HousePlant Magazine, Fleurs, Plantes et Jardins, À Fleur de Pot and Houseplant Forum magazines and is currently the garden correspondent for Le Soleil and radio garden commentator for CKIA-FM Radio. He is a regular contributor to and horticultural consultant for Fleurs, Plantes, Jardins garden magazine and has written for many other garden publications in both the United States and Canada, including Canadian Gardening, Harrowsmith, Horticulture, Fine Gardening, Rebecca’s Garden and Organic Gardening. He also speaks frequently to horticultural groups throughout Canada and the U.S. His book credits include The Garden Lover’s Guide to Canada, Complete Guide to Houseplants, Making the Most of Shade, Perennials for Every Purpose, Annuals for Every Purpose, and Houseplants for Dummies, as well as nearly 50 other titles in English and French. He can be seen in Quebec on French-language television and was notably a regular collaborator for 7 years on the TV shows Fleurs et Jardins and Salut Bonjour Weekend. He is the President of the Garden Writers Association Foundation and the winner of the prestigious 2006 Garden Media Promoter Award offered by the Perennial Plant Association. An avid proponent of garden tourism, he has lead garden tours throughout Canada and to the gardens of over 30 countries over the last 30 years. He presently resides in Quebec City, Quebec.

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.

Leave a Reply to tonytomeo Cancel reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

<span>%d</span> bloggers like this: