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Seeds For This Year's Garden

Updated on February 17, 2012

Knowledge is power, because it gives you choices.

Why spend for what you already have?!
Why spend for what you already have?! | Source

Can I use seeds I already have on hand?

When you head out to the garden to plant, and even before then, when you are checking for seeds for this year's garden (whether a first planting, or late plantings), keep these facts in mind: some seeds you already have can do just fine in this garden, next year's garden, and the next!

While there is little sense in saving hybrid seeds which will not stay true to the parent plants you had last year, hybrid seeds which were not planted last year may do just fine.

Which seeds can do well this year from the leftovers of last year's non-hybrid seeds, is a simple matter of checking these lists:

Seeds which should be used within the first or second year are:







Seeds which remain viable for 3 to 5 years are:



brussel sprouts












Seeds which can remain viable for more than 5 years are:








Keep this in mind:

Seed catalogs are as enticing as any other advertising designed to sell, sell, sell. Even though some seeds can remain viable for several years, stockpiling seeds for future years is probably not necessary, even in the face of future uncertainties.

The best discount you can give yourself may not be by "ordering early" but rather by knowing what you already have on hand and planting in time to be sure you are getting the good germination you want.

The dollars you save by using good seeds you already have, can be spent to try new varieties of your favorites. Meanwhile, last season's leftovers are itching to have their places in this year's garden.

If you have some difficulty finding last year's leftovers, put this year's leftovers in the first place you checked for the ones from last year! Chances are that will be the first place you look for them next year.

Happy gardening, and may you have bumper crops in 2012!

(c) Demas W. Jasper All rights reserved.

Quick quiz:

Do you typically buy more garden seeds than you plant each year?

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