I have some leftover seed from planting my garden. Can I keep it and use it next year or do I need to just throw it away?
First of all, don’t throw that seed away, especially if you purchased it this year. Seed can still be viable for a period of time as long as it is kept in the proper conditions. You will want to store it airtight, in a cold and dark location for best results. Here are some rough guidelines on vegetable seed viability:
- One Year–onions, parsnips, and parsley
- Two Years–leeks, sweet corn, peppers, and okra
- Three Years–Chinese cabbage, broccoli, kohlrabi, celery, celeriac, spinach, beans, and peas
- Four Years–cabbage, Brussels sprouts, beets, Swiss chard, cauliflower, eggplant, turnips, chicory, fennel, mustard, kale, rutabaga, pumpkin, tomatoes, sorrel, watermelon, and squash
- Five Years–garden cress, cardoon, endive, muskmelon, collard greens, cucumber, and radishes
- Six Years–lettuces
Hopefully that will get you started. Be sure to come back and check out our Weekend Project this week. We will be showing you how to make a simple seed saver that you can use to keep your leftover seeds organized and transportable.