Heirloom seeds are kept over generations; they do not have expiration dates or limitations per se.
“The programs of Organic Seed Alliance serve the needs of today with a vision for tomorrow by promoting the value of seed and seed saving skills, prevent the erosion of this resource, and expand the benefits and abundance inherent in every single seed.” excerpt from Organic Seed Alliance.
But there are a few things you can do to make sure you are planting viable seeds. Although there is a date on each pouch that suggests that the seeds are no longer good. Unless you have a tremendously large garden, you will never plant all of your squash seeds, cucumber seeds, carrots seeds etc. After planting each season, put your extra seeds in a dry container in a dark cool place until next season, don’t throw them away. I keep all of my extra seeds in pencil boxes according to a planting time. I have a Spring/Fall box and a Summer box. All of my planting supplies are then put into a medium sized tub with a snap lid. When not in use, the supplies go in the basement.Use these easy steps to determine the viability of your older seeds.
1. fold one paper towel in half & then half again
2. lay at least 5 seeds on the folded towel
3. sprinkle with water, just enough to dampen towel
4. slide into a clear plastic bag, seeds facing up, close bag
5. place in a warm location, but not direct sun. In the germination time on the packet, your seeds will sprout if they are viable. If 50% of more sprout go ahead and plant them
Do this right way, so that you know your seed viability before planting time this year.