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Thread: Does grass seed go bad?

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Apr 2007
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    Question Does grass seed go bad?

    I have a big bag of grass seed that is about 3 years old. Can I still use it? Does grass seed go bad?
    Thanks
    Dennis

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Feb 2003
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    You may not get as much germination as you would with fresh but give it a try. I used some this spring that was at least 3 years old to patch some bare spots and it worked OK. I did use more thn I would normally.

  3. #3
    I concur, if the seed has been kept dry most likely it will still germinate, but possibly at a reduced rate. Go a little heavy and you should be fine.
    Lee Schierer - McKean, PA

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  4. #4
    Join Date
    Apr 2008
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    Rensselaer, IN
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    They found seed in the pyramids that was viable.

    I'm sure it wasn't grass seed, but hey!
    Used to be round. Looks like a 2 by 4. Thank you!
    -
    When they tell you it won't work, try tanacity and guile and make it work.
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    Practitioner of the notorious "Barbarian Build" philosophy

  5. #5
    Here in Ohio a store can not sell grass seed that has not been tested each year and not tested more than once after the first test at the growers.
    As others have said. No reason not to use what you have. Just each seed may not sprout as it would if fresh.
    "Remember back in the day, when things were made by hand, and people took pride in their work?"
    - Rick Dale

  6. #6
    Join Date
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    You could count out a 100 seeds and put them on a damp paper towel. Keep the towel moist, not soaked.

    From that you should be able to tell what kind of germination you will get.

    I tossed an old bag recently. It was here when we bought the place 3 years ago. I set it out for the birds to eat. Most of it started to germinate. So I just spread it around on the front lawn.

    jtk
    "A pessimist sees the difficulty in every opportunity; an optimist sees the opportunity in every difficulty."
    - Sir Winston Churchill (1874-1965)

  7. #7
    I don't know about grass seeds, but I had several lily type plants in my yard. After I took them out, I had sprouts from seeds for years afterwards - and those seeds were in the ground all that time. I think some seeds take longer to germinate than others. That may be a survival strategy - if the first germination is killed by bad weather (maybe a drought), the longer germination seeds may save the species.

    Mike
    Go into the world and do well. But more importantly, go into the world and do good.

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jim Koepke View Post
    You could count out a 100 seeds and put them on a damp paper towel. Keep the towel moist, not soaked.

    From that you should be able to tell what kind of germination you will get.


    I tossed an old bag recently. It was here when we bought the place 3 years ago. I set it out for the birds to eat. Most of it started to germinate. So I just spread it around on the front lawn.

    jtk
    Winner. When farmers used to use their own grain for seed, that's how they checked the germination. If it was less than 90% or so, they'd find different seed.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Apr 2008
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    Rensselaer, IN
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    What is the down side of using old seed?

    Zombie grass?
    Used to be round. Looks like a 2 by 4. Thank you!
    -
    When they tell you it won't work, try tanacity and guile and make it work.
    -
    Practitioner of the notorious "Barbarian Build" philosophy

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Sep 2009
    Location
    Conway, Arkansas
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    608
    Quote Originally Posted by Bill Edwards(2) View Post
    What is the down side of using old seed?

    Zombie grass?
    Get the shotgun martha the grass wants to eat our brains!
    One purchase helps keep HF in business, the other helps keep LV in business.
    Those two outcomes have different values for me. - Chuck Nickerson

  11. #11
    got this from a garden forum
    Normally grass seed will loose some germinaton if not stored in the proper enviroment.

    The seed guys tell me that you need to store your seed in a cool 55 degree consisant temp with very low humidity. If you just have it in stored out in a building the varying temps and humidity can cause some reduction. Not to were it will kill the germination of the seed. I always have seed left over. I just mix the old with the new and go with it.

    You should have any problems just remember humidity is the key. And just mix some new with the old next time you sow seed.

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
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    Crown Point, Indiana
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    As others have pointed out, the germination rate of the grass seed decreases. You could use more grass seed but some of the varieties of grass will have a worse germination rate than others. If you read the label, almost all grass send is a blend of various types of grasses. If you want a nice yard year during different seasons, it is important to keep the varieties. For instance, blue grass grows well in the spring and fall but does not do well when the temperatures increase especially at night. During the hotter weather you need the other varieties such as fescue to be growing.

    Use the older grass seed at a heavier rate and also add some newer seed to keep the variety of grasses.

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