32 year old Tomato Seeds

Rockoe10
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32 year old Tomato Seeds

#1

Post: # 31067Unread post Rockoe10
Mon Sep 21, 2020 8:05 pm

I was gifted a grocery bag full of seeds by a co-worker. It was found in his late father's house, and the co-worker of mine knows how much i enjoy gardening and thought to gift them to me. The assortment includes things from classic store bought seed packets to envelopes of saved seeds with hand written comments like "start these first" and "big for eating". These seeds range from tomatoes, to peppers and even pumpkins.

So today, I looked in the bag, out of curiosity (this years MMMM has my mind on seed mode) to see what i could find. And something caught my eye, a hand packaged paper pack of Bragger Tomato seeds. I had to google search it to even know it was a tomato to begin with because all it said was "Bragger". And the year, was from 1988! I just couldn't believe it.

What I then discovered was how hard these seeds are to come by nowadays. So, I've set up my grow lights and decided to attempt to germinate them indoors for the Winter season. If all goes well, I'll have a fresh batch of seeds saved up for the future, and hopefully enough for next year to share.

Here is crossing my fingers to a successful germination!
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Re: 32 year old Tomato Seeds

#2

Post: # 31072Unread post eyegrotom
Mon Sep 21, 2020 8:39 pm

Good Luck with your Seeds
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Re: 32 year old Tomato Seeds

#3

Post: # 31076Unread post Shule
Mon Sep 21, 2020 8:56 pm

That's quite exciting. Even if nothing germinates, the information on all the seed packets could be quite valuable.

Some chemicals are said to help with the germination of very old seeds.
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MissS
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Re: 32 year old Tomato Seeds

#4

Post: # 31083Unread post MissS
Mon Sep 21, 2020 9:25 pm

What an exciting gift you have received. Bragger is one that I have heard about but never seen. I wish you luck on your grow out. Some have said that soaking the older seeds in a light mix of Miracle Gro helps with germination.
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Rockoe10
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Re: 32 year old Tomato Seeds

#5

Post: # 31097Unread post Rockoe10
Tue Sep 22, 2020 6:01 am

Thank you. I was told that as well. I don't know the specifics, but i did take a VERY LIGHT dose of miracle grow and "spritz" the seeds. I didn't want to over do it in fear of burning them.
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Re: 32 year old Tomato Seeds

#6

Post: # 31104Unread post KathyDC
Tue Sep 22, 2020 9:11 am

Good luck, what a fascinating project! There are some folks out there who have experience with waking up old seed, you might save back a few and see if they'll pop up to help. Please keep us posted!!
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Re: 32 year old Tomato Seeds

#7

Post: # 31117Unread post wykvlvr
Tue Sep 22, 2020 10:09 am

a google search for germinating old tomato seeds may bring up some of the old posts about the 15 year old seeds and other old seed grow outs that have happened in the past which have hints and tips.
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Rockoe10
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Re: 32 year old Tomato Seeds

#8

Post: # 31149Unread post Rockoe10
Tue Sep 22, 2020 3:06 pm

Thankyou. Just did a search and some are saying to use bleach to weaken the seed coat, to allow better water absorption.

Others say to use Oxygenated Sugar water.

Its pretty interesting to see all the different methods.
I have a lot of different seeds from decades ago. I think maybe I'll give some of these a try and see what works best.
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Re: 32 year old Tomato Seeds

#9

Post: # 31340Unread post Volvo
Fri Sep 25, 2020 11:04 pm

Good luck with those seeds ey :)..
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Re: 32 year old Tomato Seeds

#10

Post: # 31662Unread post GardenGuy00
Thu Oct 01, 2020 2:15 am

I look forward to hearing how they do! Tomato seeds are notoriously long-lasting so a bit of germination is certainly possible.
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Re: 32 year old Tomato Seeds

#11

Post: # 32168Unread post Amateurinawe
Sat Oct 10, 2020 12:38 pm

Yes, keep us all posted , exciting to say the least :-)
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Re: 32 year old Tomato Seeds

#12

Post: # 32174Unread post OhioGardener
Sat Oct 10, 2020 2:45 pm

Sounds like a super exciting project. I still have original seeds for a variety that I maintain that were given to me by a friend's mom in 1991. At least as of last year, several still germinated without much fuss. Hopefully you'll be able to bring some of those old varieties back.
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Re: 32 year old Tomato Seeds

#13

Post: # 32233Unread post MikeInCypress
Sun Oct 11, 2020 5:25 pm

I think the oldest I have germinated was about 18 years old. Those Braggers may have been from Park Seeds or maybe Hastings. Good luck.

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Re: 32 year old Tomato Seeds

#14

Post: # 32238Unread post worth1
Sun Oct 11, 2020 7:10 pm

I think mine was around 12 years old or something that Carolyn sent me not in the annual seed give away.
Got something close to 90% or more.
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Re: 32 year old Tomato Seeds

#15

Post: # 33731Unread post MissS
Mon Nov 09, 2020 3:29 pm

@Rockoe10 Is there an update on this yet? What method(s) are you using?
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Rockoe10
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Re: 32 year old Tomato Seeds

#16

Post: # 33751Unread post Rockoe10
Mon Nov 09, 2020 7:27 pm

So I've used several methods, with no success.
Plain water and paper towel in a bag.
Pre-soaked in MG, H2O2, or Bleach.
Tried doing just in dirt, some soaked and some not.

All I've been able to grow so far is mold after several weeks.

Thankfully I have hundreds upon hundreds of seeds from several different years (1988-1994).

I'm going to leave a few seeds from each pack, and if I can't geminate them then I'll see if anyone else who has more success would like a crack at it.

They are VERY old and weren't kept in the best of conditions.

I'm not giving up just yet 😁
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