Grass seed can be kept for two to three years if kept in a cool, dry place, but it might not produce the same results as newly sown seed. The proportion of seeds that will be able to germinate decreases as the seed ages, necessitating the use of additional seeds to achieve adequate coverage. Continue reading, you will learn more about grass seeds like the effects and guide to storing.
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How Long Does Grass Seed Keep?
There is more to determining how long grass seed lasts than simply stamping an expiration date on the bag. It’s possible that unopened bags of seeds last longer than opened ones, but how you store the seeds does have a significant impact on how long they’ll stay fresh.
While an unopened bag will last at least five years, a properly stored opened bag of grass seed can last up to 18 months. How do I know this?
Well, those who are more knowledgeable than I am, i.e. the experts at the According to the Oregon State University Seed Lab, grass seeds that grow in hardiness zones 3 to 9 (like ryegrass) can last up to 5 years when stored properly.
The storage life of other popular grass seed types, such as Bermuda or Fescue, is typically three years. You will need to use more grass seed to cover an area because some of it won’t sprout because the chances of germination are still reduced while in storage.
What is Grass Seed Shelf Life?
Grass seed has a best-before date, similar to the majority of other natural goods with a shelf life. Generally speaking, you should try to use your grass seed within two to three years of purchase. After the first two years of storage, keep in mind that the likelihood of seed germination will decline by about 10–20% per year.
Let me give you a quick example:
Only about 1 in 5 seeds might germinate in a bag of seeds that is at least ten years old. Not good right?
Try to plant those seeds as soon as possible, or at the very least within the first two years after purchase. After all of that, it all depends on how you store your seeds; we’ll talk more about that later.
Does Grass Seed Get Too Old to Use?
Grass seeds may eventually become unusable due to aging. The germination rate will decline, but gradually and typically by only 10% annually if stored correctly for more than a year in dry conditions and out of sunlight. You can still use the seed, but you’ll need to use more. In other words, buying discounted older seeds isn’t always a good deal! Grass seeds from Jonathan Green should be used for the best results.
Since 1881, the Jonathan Green name has stood for genetically superior grass seed, innovation, honesty, tenacity, and dedication to excellence. We take great care to provide you with seed that is fresh, lively, and viable.
The majority of seed packets contain three, four, five, or more distinct cultivars from various regions of the U.S. Pacific Northwest. and They are frequently double-checked by the governmental organizations in the state where they are sold after being examined for germination and purity in Canada.
How Old is Too Old?
Grass seeds can be kept for two to three years if kept in a cool, dry place, but you might not get the same results as you would with the newly sown seed. You need to use more seeds than usual to get adequate coverage as the percentage of seeds that will germinate decreases as the seed ages.
Use a Styrofoam coffee cup, a paper towel, one inch of water, grass seed, and a paper towel. Place the cup in a warm, sunny window and check it every few days. Water the grass seed if necessary to prevent it from drying out. To make a miniature greenhouse, place a plastic bag on top of the cup. After 10 to 14 days, the seed in the cup should start to grow.
Why Your Grass Didn’t Grow?
The grass seed you used might not have been to blame if it didn’t germinate. When trying to grow grass, there are numerous other things that could and would go wrong.
When the grass is bare in their yards, many homeowners will sow grass seed in the spring. However, cool, wet weather can prevent germination. When the soil is consistently 55 degrees and the air is 60 degrees or higher, grass seeds will begin to sprout.
Additionally, too much water can prevent germination. Excessive spring rains can hinder germination, and while watering freshly planted grass seed is beneficial for growth, overwatering will not hasten the process.
Growing grass seeds may be more difficult when there is insufficient sunlight or when the area is too shady. Trees grow better than grass seed in shady areas. You might have trouble growing grass in your shaded area if it only receives 1-2 hours of sunlight each day. Ivy or pachysandra are excellent ground covers to take into account in these areas.
Great lawns are not as simple as 1-2-3-4. Instead of merely combating symptoms like weeds and insects, you will learn how to address the underlying causes of any lawn issues by adhering to Jonathan Green’s ground-breaking New American Lawn Plan. Our goal is to feed your lawn AND your soil to encourage your Black Beauty® lawn to thrive.
It’s essential to create an environment where grass seed wants to grow. Before spending money on additional seed and fertilizer, test the soil in the areas where you are having difficulty growing grass seed.
Does Grass Seed Go Bad When Expired?
It can be challenging to determine if grass seed is past its expiration date if there are no outward indications that it has begun to degrade, as the date printed on the bag is only a rough estimate. Everything hinges on how you keep your grass seed stored.
If you’re on the fence about sowing the expired seeds, carefully examine the seeds for evidence of fungi. Throw them away if they are clumpy or wet. This indicates that you haven’t stored them properly.
Do Expired Seeds Still Grow?
Expiring grass seeds won’t affect the outcome, I can assure you based on my own experience. Why?
According to the manufacturer’s expiration date printed on the packet, grass seed does, in fact, expire. Does this, however, impact seed germination?
The majority of people rely excessively on the products’ expiration dates. A grass seed packet may have a “sell-by” or “best-before” date listed on it if you check the date on it. Additionally, some seed packets include a “sow-by” date that doesn’t even reflect the freshness of the seeds.
Therefore, the query “do expired seeds still grow?” has an answer.’ is a big YES, just as you would with their fresh counterparts, you will still receive fruitful harvests from expired grass seeds. But to be safe, perform a quick test to see if your expired seed has successfully germinated. I’ll follow up with my seed testing hack.
How to Store Grass Seed?
The grass seeds’ longevity is significantly impacted by how they are stored. While the majority of people might suggest an outdoor shed or garage for storing your seed, those locations aren’t ideal due to the exposure to humidity and heat.
You might scowl if I suggested putting your sealed bag of grass seed next to your carton of milk in the fridge due to a lack of room in your refrigerator.
Okay, so this might not work for everyone, but try to find a place that is as cool as possible, like a cellar or basement, provided that it is completely dry and maintained between 40 and 55 degrees Fahrenheit.
Nevertheless, think twice before you exclaim, “Whew, that was simple.” we’re not done yet with the seed storage advice! More advice is provided further down the page.
Useful Grass Seed Storage Tips
- The storage area must be cool, dark, out of direct sunlight, and humidity-free, ideally in an air-conditioned room.
- Even if the seed bag is still sealed, make sure there is enough airflow to circulate the bag.
How to Check If Grass Seed is Okay?
It’s time to put my seed testing hack to the test. Since some grass seeds continue to be viable long after they have expired, this is a simple way to check their viability.
take a paper towel and slightly moisten it with water.
place 5 or 6 seeds in the paper towel and put them in a warm location. You should lay the towel on top of the radiator or the clothes dryer, in my opinion.
wait for a couple of days to see if any of the seeds sprout.
That’s it, so give this test a try before you decide to throw away any expired grass seeds you may have.
Can Grass Seed Freeze?
As long as the freezing is only temporary, freezing your grass seed won’t affect its viability.
There is no reason why you can’t temporarily freeze your grass seed since sown seeds frequently do nothing in freezing temperatures. The quality of your grass seeds shouldn’t be impacted by one or two brief freezes.
What Are the Factors Affecting Seed Viability?
The conditions under which seeds are kept have a significant impact on their viability, and sadly, homeowners frequently store grass seed in the exact opposite of what is recommended for seed storage. Generally speaking, seeds will stay viable the longest if kept in cool, dry conditions, which are not typical in most garages and sheds. The factors influencing seed viability include:
- seed moisture content. For most seeds, an internal moisture level of 10% to 20% is ideal; however, this varies by species. It is likely that seeds will perish if their moisture content drops below this point or if they absorb more humidity. Normally, seeds rarely experience internal moisture levels below their ideal ranges, but in humid environments, they are more susceptible to excessive moisture absorption.
- Storage temperature. For most seeds, ideal storage conditions are above freezing and below 60 degrees F. Seed viability can be negatively impacted by temperatures above 100 degrees.
- Storage humidity. The moisture content of seeds is prone to change when kept in cloth sacks or other exposed containers. They might absorb humidity in humid environments.
Conclusion on Does Grass Seed Expire
If stored properly, grass seed can last up to five or six years. On average, though, it will lose 10% of its viability for each year it is stored. The length of time the seeds will remain viable will depend on how cool and dry the storage environment is, but each year you will see a lower germination rate.
The longest-lasting grass seeds are typically those that are refrigerated and kept in a sealed container. However, since most people find this to be impractical, you can simply store them for up to five years in the room in your house that is the coolest and driest.