Does Grass Seed Go Bad? Factors Explaining Why

One of the most frequently asked questions about growing grass is Does Grass Seed Go Bad? Or how long can you store the seeds without getting expired? What are some possible things we could do to extend its life? Some of us might find seeds lying around our house and ask ourselves if this can still be planted. This article will help you identify the good seeds from the bad ones.

Grass Seeds Going Bad

grass seed

Grass seeds, if left for a certain period, will eventually go bad due to different environmental factors. The period depends on the kind of seed being stored. The method of storage can also affect the grass seeds’ possibility of going bad. If you are trying to avoid grass seeds from going bad, you need to secure the container and the seeds. Also, these few factors should always be considered when storing grass seeds.

Factors That Cause Grass Seeds To Turn Bad

Before tackling the different reasons why seeds go bad, we need to understand what Germination is. Germination is the process of an origin growing into a plant. This is the sprouting of grass seed into a seedling. It can be thought of as anything expanding into a greater being from a germ or a tiny being. It requires several factors happening in harmony with each other to be successful.

1. Water

water on sprouts

Water is used to moisten the seeds for them to swell and break the coat of the seed. Imbibition is the process of the seed taking up water. The hydrolytic enzymes are activated when the seed imbibes water. They are responsible for breaking down the stored food resources and turning them into useful metabolic chemicals.

2. Oxygen

green grass seed

Oxygen is used for metabolizing the seed into Germination. The main source of the seed’s energy is called aerobic respiration until it grows its leaves. The seed can be oxygen-starved if it is buried deep within the soil or if it is waterlogged.

3. Temperature

dry soil

Temperature affects the growth rate and cellular metabolism. Different grass seeds require a wide range of temperatures to germinate. Most grass seeds’ temperature ranges are above 60F or 16-24C, while the others can germinate just above the freezing degree. Some also germinate by alternating warm and cool temperatures.

4. Light

growing corn

Some of the grass seeds aren’t affected by light. But most will require the seed’s canopy to open for the sunlight to hit the seedling so that it can grow. Light is a physiological dormancy of a seed, and it is triggered by the environment.

These are the requirements for a plant to germinate. If these requirements are not met, the seed will not sprout and grow into a plant. It requires time and patience for a seed to germinate. It is best to have seeds that are less than a year old. That way, they have a greater chance of success.

Storage Of Grass Seeds

Keeping the bag in a cool and dry place free from humidity will help the seeds last longer. It is recommended to store seeds at a temperature below 60F and a humidity level of 60% or less. The best storage containers for the seeds are bags with mesh air vents to allow airflow while preventing insects from contacting the seeds.

Until How Long Can They Be Stored?

stored seed

Generally, grass seeds can be stored for 2 to 4 years, depending on the conditions. But for germinating and planting purposes, it is best to use less than a year old seeds. Like the seeds from ryegrass, some seeds can survive up to 5 years compared to other types of grasses.

Grass seeds bought on a store or package have an expiration date stamp at the back of the package. It is best not to use the grass seeds that have passed the expiration date, but it is up to you to take your chances of germinating the expired seeds.

seed in labed jars

  • When deciding to store the grass seeds, it is best to use a secure, airtight container to avoid insects and animals from eating up the seeds. Be sure to keep the container away from moisture not to cause the seeds to form into a mold.
  • Look out for changing temperatures. The irregular rise and fall of temperature will cause the seeds to die eventually. The best places to store the seeds are basements. Gardening sheds are often experiencing different temperature changes. Also, please keep it away from direct sunlight to prevent it from drying out.
  • Always make sure that the seeds being stored are properly labeled so that the next time you come across the container, you will know what seeds are those. It is also advisable to input the expiration date of the grass seeds.

In Conclusion

Grass seeds and all other kinds of seeds will eventually go bad. Our main goal is not to prevent it from happening but to prolong the life of the seeds. The factors of Germination are the reason why the seeds are going bad. Factors such as water, light, and temperature can significantly affect the condition of the seeds in the container. It is essential to store grass seeds in a secure and airtight container to extend their life and be used in the following planting seasons.

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