I planted my garden for the third year with the same seeds bought 2 or 3 years ago. Every single seed I planted, bi-colored corn, green beans, snow peas, cucumbers and green onion was the same as the 2 previous years with one exception. I added a fertilizer/weed killer to the soil. I was expecting a good year since this was the third year of planting. To my surprise, not one single seed sprouted. Were they too old? I've never seen anything like it before. Please help.
Seeds Too Old?
Certified GKH Gardening Expert
If you have older seeds lying around, it is entirely possible that they have lost some of their viability. As seeds age, the likelihood that they will germinate decreases. However, you can test the viability of seeds in one of two ways:
Slightly dampen a paper towel and place the sample seeds on it. Fold the barely damp paper towel it in half over the seeds. Enclose in plastic wrap or place inside a sealed plastic bag so it will stay damp. Label the package with seed name and date. Set the package in a relatively warm place (70 to 75 degrees) such as the top of your refrigerator or on a high shelf. Do not put it in direct sun. OR you can simply float them in water. If they sink, they're still good and if they float, toss them.
Here is an article that you may find helpful: https://www.gardeningknowhow.com/garden-how-to/seeds/planting-old-seeds.htm