Grass seed shelf life.

Discussion in 'Turf Renovation' started by Gabby, Jun 5, 2008.

  1. Gabby

    Gabby LawnSite Member
    Messages: 140

    What is the shelf life of grass seed? How long is it good for? Could not find anything on the bag. Thanks.
  2. CrownLawnSvc

    CrownLawnSvc LawnSite Member
    Messages: 51

    Seed should stay viable for a long time if it is kept dry. I have used two and three year old seed on my yard without problems. Try an experiment and germinate a few dozen seeds and see what your germination rate will be. You might loose a few percentage points and you might have to seed a little higher rate.
  3. Whitey4

    Whitey4 LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,448

    If it's kept dry and not subject to wide temperature swings, the germination rate at worst would drop 5%/year of storage. Depending on the strain they run from near 92% to 82% when fresh. I would not trust seed kept in a backyard shed for two years.... the heat, cold and humidity will take a toll. Not on an important job, anyways.
  4. DiyDave

    DiyDave LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,695

    Depending on the conditions of storage, you can expect at least 10% decreased germination/year. If the seed has ever gotten wet and caked or malted, very little will germinate. I hang seed bags from a meathook in the barn to keep the mice from getting in, and to allow it to stay dry.:waving:
  5. Gabby

    Gabby LawnSite Member
    Messages: 140

    Well this seed was like 2 years old. Not much of it, like a 1/4 of a 50 lb bag. I laid it down on an area I am doing along my driveway and sure enough it is starting to come up and it is coming up pretty good. Thanks for all the replies.
  6. turfcobob

    turfcobob LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 878

    I read where they found some grass seed over 300 years old in a storage vase. Took it to the University and it grew. Right conditions who knows. Right conditions are the key. I use Tupperware 20 gallon storage containers on a shelf and seed keeps for years.

  7. Marcos

    Marcos LawnSite Gold Member
    Messages: 3,720

    Alot of people don't realize that grass seed, or any other seed for that matter, can be grossly affected in a negative way if they're simply STORED in the same general proximity as bagged pre-emergent herbicides; either for landscape OR turf.

    For example :

    What not to store near seed :
    (granular bagged, in either plastic OR paper) Treflan, Snapshot, Team Pro, Pre-M, Dimension, Barricade, etc. etc...

    If you don't believe me...ask about this from one of your fertilizer / seed vendors the next time you see them.
    Or look around at THEIR storage facility... and see how they've generally "spaced" the seed away from granular herbicides.

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