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Garden Seeds Success Story


My husband and I were bound and determined to create a garden for our family this year. In years past we'd try, but only half heartedly, and end up with practically no crop. This year, we made garden boxes and filled them with compost and then sat and wondered what to plant.

Then my husband remembered something tucked away on a shelf in the basement food storage closet. A can of Canned Garden Seeds we had purchased from Emergency Essentials at least 6 years ago. I was skeptical.



"Are you serious?" I complained while staring him down as he read the back of the can and reached for the can opener.

"Of course I'm serious, why not try them out?" he explained. "And," he added, "We don't have to go anywhere, they are here and ready to go!"

Humph. I did not just put all that effort into creating the perfect haven for my precious little plants only to have it foiled by old, withered, "canned" seeds. It seemed ridiculous and impossible from my viewpoint.

Continuing to assert my case, I suggested "Honey, how about we go to the home store and pick out some little plants that have already come up that we are certain will grow. I don't want to waste a few weeks of good springtime on some old seeds from a can!"

He was unwavering. He was determined. He was nuts.


Or so I thought. He was right. Here it is, several weeks later and these are the adorable little sprouts that have come from our can of Garden Seeds...the very can which sat on a shelf in the basement for 6 years! The seeds were obviously potent, and I find myself trekking out to the garden every afternoon to check on my little miracles.

So, for those of you who are skeptics about the can of Garden Seeds, as I was, here is living, growing, and I'm sure soon to be producing, proof of the magic contained in a seed. Even one that is canned!

14 thoughts on “Garden Seeds Success Story”

  • Tammy

    What a great start to your garden. The planting boxes look wonderful. I hope to see an update when the veggies start showing up!

  • Anonymous

    Thanks Tammy - I'll be planting some corn next so stay tuned....It's amazing how much the garden changes from week to week. I'll snap a few more shots and post them in a week. This is the first garden that has actually turned out for us. Maybe I have some green in my thumb afterall.Shane

  • amy1875

    That is great! I'd love to hear how to can garden seeds on my own.

  • kaytee

    I'd also like to know how to "pack" my own seeds! Would putting them in a vacuum-sealed baggie (Food Saver type) work? Or in a plastic container with an oxygen absorber pack?

  • Anonymous

    On April 10th I planted 10 YEAR OLD SEEDS. We bought them four states and seven moves ago. They were found in a box last year when I put them in the refridgerator.... yes some of the are now the beginnings of my very first garden. At 40 yrs old and in the middle of a depression I decided it was definately worth an effort, after 3 weeks of wondering 2 bean plants and 3 tomatoe plants sprouted. I was like a kid again so my husband went out and purchased some ocra, zucchini, roma's, bean, seedless cucumber, cabbage and cauliflower plants that were already established. We then planted raddish and carrot seeds. WOW!!! 6 weeks later an amazing thing happened... we are know approaching our first full garden soup. I've already made a raddish soup(very tasty) but I hope to have a full homegrown soup within the next week! Gardens are amazing miracles of God... enjoy his fruits of your labor any chance you get!!!

  • Doug Wade

    The details depend on the variety, of course, but seeds are pretty remarkable. The big thing seems to be keeping them dry - any kind of moisture and all kinds of bad things can happen from rot to premature sprouting. If they're old and they look OK they probably are OK - or even if a few are dead usually people overplant anyway. Just means less thinning later!

  • Anonymous

    I, too, just opened my can of seeds that had sat on the shelf for five years. There were enough seeds to share with my two daughters and all three of us are now eating fresh peas from our own garden. We still have tons of seeds so I am going to expand my garden now. I think the frost got some of mine but I have other veggies popping up! Both daughters are thrilled to death with gardening. One daughter has carrots and radishes ready, too. We all tried raised gardens this year so the work would be minimal and it is a big success. Great idea to put seeds sealed in a can. stankay

  • PeakChick

    A seed story of different outcome: We had a total-loss house fire in July, 2004 with a few Emergency Essentials boxes of #10 cans surviving in the basement corner (unsure how much heat exposure, but the cardboard was not toasted). Taken to the barn, stayed there for 2.5 midwestern years until new house built. No seeds sprouted the following year in testing!So, the moral is, don't let your #10 cans of seeds get warmed!The replacement #10 cans are in the basement again to stay cool. I do appreciate the "keep in fridge or freezer" advice too--didn't know freezing would not harm the seeds!

  • Moon

    lt's wonderful to hear your garden is "just ta happening"thanks for the photos too .We too this family are growing a much bigger garden this year to "put food up" l recieved my canner the other week and l have approx 300 jars.We should be having our local strawberries coming in , in approx 2 wks .All my seeds are coming up .lm so excited .cheers Moon eastern Ontario Can.

  • Anonymous

    After looking at your planter boxes I noticed you used pressure treated wood. I would like to ofer a tip of using ceader lumber instead that way you won't have to worry about the chemicals leaching into the soil over time and possibly affecting your plants and cedar is somewaht impervious to insects that like to eat wood.

  • msgreenjeans

    That is so great! I like to hear about how the food/seeds that have been stored actually keep. Very good to know they are as fresh as advertised.

  • tamara

    Garden box gardening works great! We planted our first garden this year. With some trial and error we will figure out what's best and Lord willing, start storing some of our yield.

  • ThrtnWmsFam

    Kaytee: I often have seeds leftover because I'm a fanatic about buying new varieties each year, so I make sure (always using dry hands) to keep them in the original package, then put that in a baggie, and then in a seal-a-meal bag. I've had some last for 8 years!Vikkiwww.backyardgrocerygardening.blogspot.com

  • norriscal

    Has anyone had any experience drying out seeds from their garden and planting them the next season?

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