Seed Saving: Best Method For Storing Vegetable Seeds

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Copyright © 2010 Cherie Kuranko ~ “InkSpot”

All Rights Reserved.

After laboring all season to plant, grow and finally harvest those precious vegetable seeds; it’s important to know how to store them properly. Improper storage can reduce the life of your vegetable seeds and the germination rate come next spring.

There are 3 key words to properly storing vegetable seeds:

  • Cool

  • Dry

  • Dark

Your seeds will need to be stored in an area that can provide a cool, dry, dark atmosphere. Be sure you start with seed that has been completely dried before storing it.

Storage Containers:

You can use any container that provides tightly sealed, dry storage for your seeds. Mylar bags that seal are a great choice, however, you may also use plastic zip lock type freezer bags, canning jars and lids with rings, or plastic freezer storage containers. As long as the seed cannot pick up exterior moisture from outside the container, it should work fine.

Label Containers:

At a minimum, your container should be labeled with the following information to help identify your vegetable seed at a later date:

  • Variety of Seed

  • Seed Harvest Date

  • Approximate Seed Life Expiration Date (Click to view SEED LIFE GUIDE to determine how long your seed will last when stored under ideal conditions. Vegetable seed life varies among different varities.)

  • Grower and Location of Seed Source

  • Quantity or Weight of Seed Saved

It is best to use a laundry or permanent marking pen to avoid loss of information.  Place your seed into the container and seal it tightly.

Now, where do you store your seed to maximize its life? The best place is an area that is cool, dry and dark. Many people use closets, garages, basements or refrigerators.

One of the best places to store your labeled seed saving containers is in the freezer where it will remain until you are ready to plant next spring or even several springs later. When you are ready to plant you simply remove the amount of seed needed from the container and return the rest to the sealed container in the freezer. It is best to only remove the seed you are going to plant rather than refreezing the entire container of seed.

Place the seed you are going to be using in an area that is warm, but not near a heat source or directly in the sun. A kitchen counter is fine. Let the seed thaw overnight and plant the next day.

Other gardening articles you may enjoy are:

Seed Life Guide: Learn How Long Your Seeds Will Last

How to Make a Manure Hotbed for Early Vegetable Gardening

Winter Carrots Get Sweeter with Time

How to Grow Sweet Potato Slips or Starts

How to Grow, Harvest & Save Onion Seed

Copyright © 2010 Cherie Kuranko ~ “InkSpot”

All Rights Reserved.

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