Friday, December 19, 2008

Simple Survival Tips - Storing Seeds Properly

Storing seeds for your garden properly will ensure a longer seed life. In order to properly germinate most seeds require little more than moisture and a bit of warmth. The main thing you will need to do is store them so that they will not germinate prematurely or suffer the effects of mold or mildew due to excessive humidity or moisture.

You can insure an even longer seed life by removing your seed from their original packets and drying the seed at 100 degrees Fahrenheit for at least one hour to lower their moisture content. This can be done in your oven or by using a food dehydrator. They can also be dried by placing them on a window screen and placing them in the sun on a hot day.

Caution: Do NOT use a microwave oven as this will irradiate the seed and may make it fail to germinate!

Allow your seeds to cool and then place the seeds or seed packets into moisture-resistant containers, label them and then store them in your refrigerator or freezer depending upon the type of seed. Many types of seeds will die or fail to germinate if kept below freezing temperatures. Some seeds even like to be frozen before germination and that will probably be indicated on the seed package. If the information on the seed packet does not indicate if freezing the seed is OK, just keep the seed refrigerated.

Seeds which you plan to use in your next planning will need to be stored in a dry location that stays cool and has sufficient air circulation so that the seeds are not allowed to take on additional moisture that may cause mold, mildew or premature germination. You can also add tiny silica gel packets in with your seed packets to prevent excess moisture.

Good results can be obtained by simply placing your seed packets in a brown paper bag. Then simply date the bag and place it in your refrigerator.

Storing your seeds in a cool, dry place with little or no humidity is always the best means of storage.

Staying above the water line!



gott_cha said...

I bought some Heirloom seeds a while back and wanted to put'em away for long term backup so I shrink wrapped them. I then latter learned from Big John Lipscom over at survival that that was wrong to do. The seeds needed air for any type storage. It makes me think that even the refridge would not be good.

What have you heard bro?

riverwalker said...

To: goot_cha

That's something I need to check out. Maybe just putting them in a paper bag would do the trick. Keep them out of the zip-lock bags or shrink wrap. I might have to amend my post. Thanks for the heads up!


riverwalker said...


Amended my post. Seeds are living things and need air to survive. I don't know about vacuum packaging and if that is OK. Will do some research and post an update. Thanks.


gott_cha said...

Talked with Big John,...he said put'em in brown paper bags,....put them in a coffee can with some sand or dry stuble to absorb moisture and put window screen material over the top so they can breath. Place em in a darkened area but not a damp area for storage.

Says they gotta breath!

Anonymous said...

I've been saving and planting seed's from grocery store item's with great luck. Some seed's can be planted right away after drying a bit,some,such as tomato's and pepper's,have a tough shell that need's to break before they can germinate.This can be done in 2 easy way's.. one is to just freeze them for a while,make's them think they went thru a winter and ready to sprout. If you need them quick,you can gently rub the dry seed's on an emery board to scratch the shell off. There is a third way..seed's are not digested,so if you eat them,then pass them,then find them.....I know it sound's gross,but yrs ago we had a septic tank that needed cleaned every yr or so,and what got spilled grew great tomato's! And another garden tip,NEVER plant tomato's near pepper's,some tobacco root rot thing going on there.

riverwalker said...

To: anonymous

Great info and tips!



Arch36 said...

Great ideas here. Read about plants! "Secrets of The Soil',, Perennial Library', and,
'The Secret Life of Plants', Pub. by, Avon, both written by Peter Tompkins and Christopher Bird.

I have no direct connection except to have read them. Opens up some very good ideas for growing and more experimentation. Arch

riverwalker said...

To: Arch36

Thanks a bunch! Always need to know about informational and reference works and books on this subject.


nancy said...

So have any of you heard of the Survival Seed Bank? The seed packs are vacuum packed and can be kept for 20 years at 70 degrees or 5 times that long if you freeze them. That is the claim anyway. Have you had any experience with this product. I'd appreciate any input.

JLA said...

I have the same question as Nancy. I'm hearing 2 different things basically and not sure which way to turn. Has anyone had any experience with the Survival Seed Bank and its info? Thank you.

Walker said...

Great ideas and tips here!

Survival Seeds said...

All viable seeds are hibernating tiny living plants that only need moisture and warmth to sprout. And much like a chick in an egg, all the nutrients this little life needs to spring into existence is contained within it's shell.
Like boiling an egg, heating a seed will kill that little life within it. However, unlike an egg, a seed can withstand cold temperatures!

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