One of the questions that is asked a lot on the forums, is how long will seeds stay good? One example to the answer of that question is the Doomsday Seed Vault. This seed vault is designed to keep seeds frozen for centuries. Some types of seeds will stay good for decades. While other types of seeds can stay good for hundreds of years – if kept frozen.
Even though seeds can stay viable for a long time if frozen, I still take the time to rotate out my seed stock.
A lot of the seeds in my stocks are cucumbers, peas, snap beans, corn, squash, radishes, and zucchini – especially squash and zucchini. That is because they are easy to grow and somewhat disease resistant. Snap beans, cucumbers and zucchini can by high producing plants.
In the spring of 2008 my wife and I planted a couple of rows of snap beans. These rows were maybe 10 – 15 feet long. We got around a 5 gallon bucket out of just short row. Keep in mind that the 10 foot row produced food for over a month and had to be picked every couple of days.
On my trips to the local feed and fertilizer store I will buy anywhere from 1/2 a pound to a full pound of pea and bean seeds. Right now I probably have about 6 pounds of beans and pea seeds. Some of these seeds are 3 – 4 years old.
Here are some suggestions on rotating out your seed stocks:
1. Plant the seeds at the deer lease to feed the wildlife. When a doe gives birth to a fawn, this is a bad time of year. The spring and summer foliage has not yet fully bloomed, so sometimes there is a shortage of food. During this time I usually have several deer feeders going throwing corn once a day. This usually goes on through at least May or June.
2. Start a community garden with your friends and relatives. Take the seeds out of your stocks, use them to plant the community garden, and then re-buy fresh seed.
3. Give them away. Know someone plating a garden, share your old seeds with them.
4. Move the seeds to the bug out location. If your place has a freezer, store the seeds in the freezer so that you will have a secondary stockpile.