photo credit: Mike the Gardener
|I get asked this question at least a half dozen times per week. How do you store your seeds? Some people think you have to keep them in a freezer and others think you should use a vacuum sealer to keep everything air tight for longevity, but my process is a lot simpler.
What am I keeping my seeds in?I want to start off by telling you what I store my seeds in, before I get into how exactly they are stored away. I do not vacuum seal my seeds. Not that I have anything wrong with that. I have tried it in the past and the seeds are still viable, but I found that it is an unnecessary step since I am not storing millions of seeds that I will never get to any time soon.
I simply keep my seeds in their original packets, and place them in my container that I use to hold them which is then further organized alphabetically. As you can see in the video below, I use a product called the Seed Keeper Deluxe from the Seed Keeper Company. I had the privilege of interviewing the company owners, Carol Niec and Kerrie Rosenthal, on the Vegetable Gardening podcast and we talked in great length of storing seeds and how rather basic the process can and should be.
Furthermore we discussed that keeping your seeds in the freezer is really not needed. You can listen to the podcast episode to hear why. For now, you should know, that if you wish to store your seeds, all you need is a container to keep them in, that is portable, easy to handle, and accessible.
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Where does my storage container get stored?Now that you have something to keep your seed packets in youíll need to store that container somewhere in your home where the conditions are ideal for seed storage. The best results I have experienced are when I store my seeds in a cool, dry location, which in my case is my basement. I have seeds that are over 5 years old and I am still getting great germination rates with them.
The reason why I donít vacuum seal them is because I donít see the need for the extra step. I have not experienced better germination rates from vacuum sealing and usually within 5 to 7 years I use up the seeds anyhow, so very long term storage is not an issue.
If you donít have a basement thatís ok. Chances are a first floor, out of the way closet will do. Try to keep them from being stored in the upper levels of your home. Heat rises and during the summer months it can be a bit unbearable for your seeds if it gets too hot.
Thatís it! It really isnít rocket science and there are no magic formulas or super secret information. Just keep your seeds in a cool, dry location and you too will get great germination rates for many years. As a side note, keep in mind that seed longevity will vary based on variety. I have found to get longer use from leafy green veggies as opposed to root crops. That sort of thing.
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