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Does grass seed expire?

Discussion in 'General Industry Discussions' started by SW Landscape Maintenance, Mar 27, 2007.

  1. SW Landscape Maintenance

    SW Landscape Maintenance LawnSite Member
    Messages: 64

    Just something I'm wondering about. If it does expire... How long is it good for? Thanks in advance.:canadaflag:

    DUSTYCEDAR LawnSite Fanatic
    from PA
    Messages: 5,132

    i would stay away from anything that is over 2 yrs old it will still grow but not as well
  3. martinfan06

    martinfan06 LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 631

    Yes seed has a self life, time frame just depens on the type some last lot longer than others, but 1 year t0 18 months bout as long as you want to go.
  4. topsites

    topsites LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 21,653

    Yes, also depends how and where it is stored, due to humidity it can clump and at times start sprouting, I don't care to remember how much I've had to throw away :cry: Dunno what to tell you far as how long it takes, but I try and use the stuff I buy asap, the sooner it's used up the better.
  5. muddstopper

    muddstopper LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,341

    I might be wrong on this, but I am pretty sure that any seed that is kept at the wholesalers place for more than 9 months must be retested before they can sell it to the retailers. I also believe the big box stores like Lowes and Homedepot also must test their seed after nine months. Storage does play a large part in how long seed will keep. Warm, Damp areas are a huge no-no. Also if stored under a shed where it doesnt get rained on directly, it can still absorb water from the atomosphere, and if it is in direct sunlite, even in the bag, the temperatures can actually bake the seed. Test have shown that almost all kinds of seed that are exposed to temperatures of around 140* for more than a few hours, will start to die. I have actually checked bags laying out in full sun during the heat of the day and recorded temperatures ranging up to 135*F, so think about that when you leave a bag of seed laying in the bed of your pickup truck for a day or two.
  6. mow2nd

    mow2nd LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 603

    Seed does NOT expire. As long as it is kept inside and dry it does not go bad. Seed is only harvested 1 time a year (JUNE) that seed is then put into bags and sold in the Fall. However seed that is bagged and sold later the next year will actually germinate FASTER. I prefer seed that is over a year old versus a few months after it is harvested. The only problem you may have with old seed is getting rats in it. But to answer your question.........NO
  7. JoeinJasper

    JoeinJasper LawnSite Member
    Messages: 173

    According to USDA regs seed can not be sold to the consumer more than 9 months after the test date. If the label expires, the grower can retest the batch a issue new labels that reflect the current germination rates. While seeds don't spoil like milk, they can lose viability and must be keep up to date. Joe
  8. mow2nd

    mow2nd LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 603

    I buy last years seed all the time from Lesco, all you gotta do is ask for it, they know what lots are last years, and that seeds germinates twice has fast as new seed
  9. Gaturf

    Gaturf LawnSite Member
    Messages: 128

    i worked for the scotts company for many years.....home depot and lowes do not test there seed, the seed companies do the test. they test different lot #s every month. if you look on the back of all scotts bags (i cant speak for every brand...because i think some seed companies just trash anything over 10 mo. with out testing) there is a sticker with a date on it. if the date has passed then the seed cant be sold(if the state comes in and finds a bag that is outdated they put a huge red piece of tape around the bags that say DO NOT SALE). its not that the seed is bad but the germination rate is no longer acceptable. so you can use old grass seed but you may not have all the seeds germinate.
  10. Roger

    Roger LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 5,943

    Every lot has germination rates posted on the tag. You are suggesting that older seed has higher germination rates than newer seed, right? If certain thresholds of germination rates are not met, the seed is not a marketable product.

    Maybe I have missed the point and message of your post.

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