While your lawn fits perfectly with your lifestyle, it won’t always look great, so having some spare grass seeds may come in handy.
But after dumping your bad seeds in a store for a long time, you probably wonder if grass seeds go bad.
We have explained all you need to know about the shelf life of grass seeds, how to properly store them, and how to easily tell if they are bad. As you read further, we will also answer some of your frequently asked questions.
How Long Do Grass Seeds Last?
The period at which grass seeds last is called their shelf life. There is no exact shelf life for grass seeds but a strategy to determine how effective they will be when used next.
The concept is that after 2 to 3 years of storing your grass seeds, their chances of germinating will decrease by 10% to 20% each year.
A good example is a bag of grass seed that is 12 years old. Only one in 10 seeds may germinate because of how long it has been stored without actually being used. For this reason, it is recommended that you use your grass seeds within 2 to 3 years of purchase.
Do Grass Seeds Go Bad?
Grass seeds do not have an expiration date, but just like every other organic product, they are perishable, but it just takes some time to notice.
As we explained earlier, grass seeds lose their strength or ability to germinate if left for a long time (usually years), indicating that they do indeed go bad.
You can also get cases of fungi growing on the seeds, or they may be in a terrible state, like being moist or wet before planting.
How To Check If Your Grass Seed is Good
If you plan on using your seeds on your lawn, now is a great time to determine if they are still good to be used. This method involves three easy steps that are quick to perform.
Dampen a paper towel with some water
Place about 5 to 7 seeds inside the moist paper towel and keep them in a warm, dry place. A perfect location is at the top of a dryer or refrigerator.
After some days, check the paper towels to see if the seeds germinate.
If the seeds germinate, you are ready to grow some grasses in your yard, but if the seed does not germinate, they are bad and should not be used.
How To Properly Store Grass Seeds
Knowing how to properly store your grass seeds ensures that they have a longer shelf life. Some ideal factors to consider when storing grass seeds are location and packaging. Storing your seeds in locations with high humidity and temperatures like a garage or shed can be bad for them.
An ideal region is a cool place that allows your seeds to be ventilated. An ideal storage location for a bag of seeds is a basement or cellar, and If you have a handful of seeds you need to store, you can place them inside a sealed bag and store them in your fridge.
You can consider other locations, but your selected destination must be cool, dark, properly ventilated, and free from humidity.
You should also ensure that sufficient air gets into the bag and that each bag should be kept at a reasonable distance from the other to avoid the buildup of moisture.
Below are some other helpful tips to help store your seeds properly.
- Use a sealed bag with an entrance for air, preferably a mesh bag, to keep the seeds cool and also prevent insect infestation
- You can never go wrong with baking soda as a container of it inside your bag of seeds can help prevent fungi and moisture
Do Expired Grass Seeds Still Grow?
If you are still nurturing some hope after your grass seeds expire, then there is great news as expired grass seeds grow.
Manufacturers assign expiry dates for the grass seeds, but if this date is missed, there is no need to panic as you can grow very healthy grasses with expired grass seeds.
You should be aware that when it comes to products like grass seeds, the expiry date or best before can be considered irrelevant as they are not very accurate in determining when to dispose of the seeds.
How Can You Keep Grass Seed?
How long grass seeds keep depends on several factors like the specie, condition of seeds, and storage. As we have discussed earlier, good storage space is necessary to keep your grass seeds healthy and free of insects and moisture.
The specie of grass seed also contributes to how long they last. Uncommon grasses like rye can last up to 5 years, while common grass species like Bermuda and barley can last up to three years.
If you have unopened grass seed, it will last longer than an opened one. According to the Oregon state university seed lab, an opened grass seed will last only 18 months, while an unopened one will last for about 3 years. These conditions greatly determine the shelf life of your grass seeds.
It is that time of the year when you have to plant new grass seeds and wonder if the bag of seeds in your garage is good enough for your lawn. There is a lot you should know about regarding the shelf life of grass seeds; the first is that expiration dates do not matter to some extent.
We have also explained the appropriate storage for your grass seeds as they need a dry, cool, and humidity-free environment to survive.
It is also best f you leave your seeds unopened as it helps them last longer than opened seeds. If you still have doubts about the health of your seeds, you can carry out the 3 step test.
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We trust this article helped you understand if grass seeds can go bad. You may also want to check out The Best Time To Plant Bermuda Grass Seeds?
Thanks for taking the time to read our article, and we hope you find it helpful. Would you mind leaving a comment below if you have any suggestions?
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