If you see, you have some bare patches showing on your lawn; you may think the half bag of grass seed in your shed would stay viable to use.
Before you start spreading your seed. You do have a few things you need to consider. Much of this depends on how long your bag of grass seed has been sitting in your shed.
Knowing how long is grass seed good for is the first thing, and wondering, does grass seed go bad, also means you may see less success than you expect.
The germination rate will decline over time, and it won’t last forever. Therefore, here you can find out what you need to know about using and keeping leftover grass seed.
Types of Grass Seeds
You will find two types of grass seeds you have in the warm season and one for the cool-season grasses such as Kentucky Bluegrass and Perennial Ryegrass.
You can find that the grass seed shelf life should be the same for both types as long as you care for them in the right way.
Here you can find out, does grass seed go bad? It may not go bad in the sense of rotting, but you do need to store leftover seed correctly no matter which type of seed you have.
How Long Does Grass Seed Keep?
When you wonder, can grass seed go bad? You may find the bag in your shed still looks okay to use. However, you may see your shelf life of grass seed has expired, and it isn’t worth using anymore.
The answer to how long does grass seed last, and does grass seed expire can be answered here.
In general, the ideal shelf life is just ten to eighteen months. However, you may still use the seeds, which are stored longer than this length of time, yet you cannot expect 100% grass seed germination to occur. (Learn When To Plant Poppy Seeds)
In other words, seeds, which are stored for over ten months, may still germinate, but you will observe a decrease in your grass seed germination rates.
The expiration date corresponds to the time when the germination ratio of the seed was tested. According to the type of grass, the rate should be between eighty and ninety-five percent.
This rate ought to be valid for a minimum of the first year of storage following the test date, except if you don’t properly store your seeds.
Each further year you store grass seed after the initial year decreases the germination rates by ten to twenty percent.
How to Store Grass Seed
Grass seeds need keeping in a cool, dry place where the air can circulate. Temperatures should remain around 40 to 50 degrees Fahrenheit.
Do not store your seeds in unheated sheds, where temperatures drop below 32 Fahrenheit. Grass seeds can only stand very short periods of freezing temperatures before you will see your grass seed expire prematurely.
Avoid placing bags of grass seed on the floor; or where mice can reach them. Cellars or basements are appropriate storage locations as long as they remain dry.
Internal seed moisture needs to be between 10 and 20 percent, so avoiding humid areas are best.
You can also store the seeds in a functional refrigerator if you place an opened packet of baking soda or commercial desiccant in the container to remove moisture.
Testing Germination Rates
Now you see how long does grass seed last when cared for, you will want to know, did your grass seed go bad, or is there still plenty of seed viability.
You can determine this using a simple paper towel test.
- Spread a damp paper towel onto a flat surface.
- Position 10 seeds in a row
- Roll up the damp towel and place inside a sealable plastic bag
- Leave in a warm area for one week
- Remove the towel and count the seeds, which have sprouted
- If you have eight sprouts, your seed is good to use, if you have only five or less, you need to purchase new grass seed.
Grass Seed Planting Procedure
When you are planting grass seed, it requires good contact between the seeds and your soil to enable the seed to sprout. Therefore, a planting depth of no more than 1/4 inch is required.
- Furthermore, the soil needs a high moisture content to allow the moisture from the ground to penetrate the seeds.
- It would be best if you sowed your grass seeds in the spring or autumn.
- Adjust the sowing rate of your spreader so that it will sow between 12 and 16 seeds for every one square inch.
- Gently rake the seeds into the soil after sowing.
One thing to note is if you are adding seed to an existing lawn, you will need to mow your lawn before you sow your seeds to obtain contact.
- Water the area with a gentle spray after you plant grass seed.
- Moisten the area frequently to keep the top 1 inch of soil moist.
- Maintain the watering until grass growth begins and maintain moist conditions until your grass grows to a height of 2 1/2 to 3 inches.
- Approximately 2 to 4 weeks after sowing, apply a lawn fertilizer to care for the grass seed, and ensure that the grass has access to the nutrients it needs for root development.
It can be easy to store your unused grass seed as long as you use the guides above. If you have a bag of seed, you may think it is suitable for your lawn care but don’t know the age.
You can test it before either buying more or wasting effort when trying to grow grass from seed that is no use.
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