How Well Do Canned Survival Seeds Hold Up?

Feature | Close up Young plant growing on back soil | How Well Do Canned Survival Seeds Hold Up?

How long will canned survival seeds last? Will the seeds still be good for growing? Find out all about it as you continue reading!

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All About Canned Survival Seeds

Survival Seeds in a Can 9 Years  Later


I, like some of you, have in the past purchased canned or packed “survival seeds” that are advertised as if they can be saved and planted when disaster hits. Mine came from Nitro Pak Preparedness Center and were packed for 2000 (yep, that’s 19 years ago).

We didn’t get into the Y2K scare, so it’s really just coincidence that that is the year they were packed for, but I’m guessing I’m not the only one that has a can or two of these seeds sitting on the food room shelf waiting to plant them until I “need” them.

They are non-hybrid seeds, meaning they produce seed that will grow the same plant it came from when it is planted, so you are supposed to be able to harvest your seeds and grow more food next year with it.

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What Are Heirloom Seeds? Heirloom seeds are seeds collected from the same variety grown for generations. They are distinct from hybrid seeds and GMO seeds, thus valued as organic.

I decided this year to plant as many non-hybrids or heirloom varieties as I can in my garden, so in addition to purchasing more heirloom seeds, I pulled out these cans and opened them up.

Inside was an oxygen pack, the seed packs, and a 2-page front/back printed set of instructions for gathering seed that left me slightly confused (this is easy to do).

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Some of the varieties like beans and corn are annuals. These will produce seed this fall. Some like carrots, spinach, and beets are biennial and will not produce seeds until NEXT growing season.

So I have to wait until next year to get seeds off some of these plants. That means that if it were a survival situation, I could only eat some of the beets this year, then I’d have to leave some to go to seed next year (in some cases the biennials need special care to overwinter).

Then I’d be able to plant more the following year. Are you seeing where this might be a problem if you’re starving?

In thinking I needed a little more information in my non-hybrid garden adventure, I searched out a book to help me and ended up with Seed to Seed by Suzanne Ashworth. It has specific directions on planting, growing, pollinating, and harvesting seed from about any vegetable you could want to grow.

It even has pictures–I love pictures–they teach me faster than words do. This should help me out far more than the insert in the seed can–glad I didn’t have to rely on the scant information in the can to grow the plants and harvest the seeds correctly.

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Seed storage is a smart survival move knowing how they are a valuable food source by its seed form and when they are grown. Knowing more about canned survival seeds lets you in on how to store seeds for survival, too.

So whether you simply want to enjoy the benefits of heirloom seeds in your gardening and for consumption, or prepping for SHTF, make sure to store up on canned survival seeds on your own emergency seed bank.

Have you been storing up on canned survival seeds? What are your thoughts on this article? Feel free to share them in the comments section below!

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Editor’s Note: This post was originally published on December 14, 2015, and has been updated for quality and relevancy.

2 Responses to :
How Well Do Canned Survival Seeds Hold Up?

  1. Gregory Perkins says:

    Well what the heck ! Did the 19 year old seeds grow well or not ?

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