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raaychill
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How to Save & Preserve Seeds

how do i?????



i have tons of squash, peas, pumpkins, kale, carrots....... a ton of things, and i don't wanna waste um!
may the wind always be at your back, the sun upon your face, and may the winds of destiny carry you aloft to dance with the stars

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raaychill
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im not so concerned that i wanna go by a book, i just wanted to know if perhaps throwing them in the freezer is the way to go, or do they need to stay warm and dry?

just some cheep pouches of seed, i don't want to waste um, not willing to spend anything, but its too late to give them away for this years crops
may the wind always be at your back, the sun upon your face, and may the winds of destiny carry you aloft to dance with the stars

cynthia_h
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The standard advice is to keep seeds cool and dry. Some sources recommend putting them in the fridge with desiccants; others recommend root-cellar-like temps so long as those temps are in a dry dry dry area.

Obviously, the "dry" part of the equation is more important than the "cool" part, b/c archaeologists studying the Pueblo Ancestral ruins in the American Southwest germinated seeds which were known to be at least six to seven centuries old.

These seeds had experienced both heat and cold for over 600 years. But the conditions were always bone-dry.

Some seeds will also need stratification to germinate. Others will not germinate if you stratify them. Each plant has developed its own strategies for survival; others have been so modified by people (corn/maize, for example) that their natural mechanisms are no longer clear.

Cynthia

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raaychill
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thanks! thats more of what i was hoping to hear....

crazy about those 600 years old seeds!

:flower:
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Jess
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I just collect seeds in envelopes and store them in a drawer.
I do find out first if this is the right way to store them. You can only store 'Orthodox' seed this way. Orthodox seed is your basic dried out, can sit around for years seed that does not need to be eaten, frozen, heated, sown straight away(green) or affected by light levels seed.
Just type in the name of the vegetable you want to save seed from and type "Orthodox" in as well and see what comes up.
Knowing without doing is like plowing without sowing."

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raaychill
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I typed in "carrot orthodox" first, google started telling me stories of "the jew and the carrot!" I'll keep looking :lol:
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Jess
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raaychill wrote:I typed in "carrot orthodox" first, google started telling me stories of "the jew and the carrot!" I'll keep looking :lol:
:shock: :lol:
Knowing without doing is like plowing without sowing."

dinker
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Hello to all :D I don't think there are to many was to go wrong with pumpkins I dryed mine and put them in a small paper bag. BUT :lol: my grandkids carved pumpkins last oct and set them on each side of my walk leading to my door .when time came i tossed them appremtly there must have been a seed stuck on one and it stayed when i tossed the pumpkins . And this spring :shock: i had a pumpkin growing beside my flowers I live in zone 5 it made it threw are Cold wet windy winter

poke salad annie
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i save those little capsules that are in over- the- counter medications and the little packets found in new shoes(silica gel) to put in with the dried seeds sacks...don't have any worries of moldy seeds and they're free :D

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Jess
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poke salad annie wrote:i save those little capsules that are in over- the- counter medications and the little packets found in new shoes(silica gel) to put in with the dried seeds sacks...don't have any worries of moldy seeds and they're free :D
Neat idea. I never thought of doing that. Not only free but recycling too! Can't be bad! :D
Knowing without doing is like plowing without sowing."

Coleman
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I've been using disposable tupperware typethings. Glad makes ones that are slightly larger then a dipping sauce cup at a restaurant. I think I may toss some dessicants in just to be safe though the lids are pretty secure I think.

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cherishedtiger
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dinker wrote: And this spring :shock: i had a pumpkin growing beside my flowers I live in zone 5 it made it threw are Cold wet windy winter
its amazing to me how much hard work we can put into our gardens; perfect soil, water, sun/shade etc. and the random dropped seed can do better then some of the stuff in the garden... same goes for volunteers! Well, at least you will have pumpkins this year!? :lol:
Because all things need to be cherished
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dsexton18
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poke salad annie wrote:i save those little capsules that are in over- the- counter medications and the little packets found in new shoes(silica gel) to put in with the dried seeds sacks...don't have any worries of moldy seeds and they're free :D
I do the same thing but put the seed packets in a ziplock bag. That's what a book I read suggested.

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jal_ut
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I put them in paper bags and toss them in a cardboard box in the basement. It usually stays 65 to 70 degrees there year round. I live in a very dry climate though. We seldom get humidity above 40%.

Some seed will keep for years like this, but lettuce seed loses viability quickly.
Gardening at 5000 feet elevation, zone 4/5 Northern Utah, Frost free from May 25 to September 8 +/-

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rainbowgardener
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I use paper envelopes for storing seeds, too. Paper doesn't trap moisture inside the way plastic does. As cynthia noted dry is most important, moisture is killer for stored seeds. And home collected seeds need to be thoroughly dried before storing (cleaned and dried for things like pumpkin seeds).
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jal_ut
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Just type in the name of the vegetable you want to save seed from and type "Orthodox" in as well and see what comes up.
I searched for Carrot Orthodox on Google, and guess what came up? This thread. See you are will known. :P
Gardening at 5000 feet elevation, zone 4/5 Northern Utah, Frost free from May 25 to September 8 +/-

imafan26
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Sometimes seeds just come up. I haven't planted gladiolus, nasturtiums, sesame, and culantro for a couple of years. The seeds or corms just sprout when it is time. I don't have freezing temperatures though.
Happy gardening in Hawaii. Gardens are where people grow.

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rainbowgardener
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sensenjog wrote:hello friends, whether squash can be planted in areas that have hot weather? :)...
Squash likes hot weather
Twitter account I manage for local Sierra Club: https://twitter.com/CherokeeGroupSC Facebook page I manage for them: https://www.facebook.com/groups/65310596576/ Come and find me and lots of great information, inspiration

imafan26
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Re: How to Save & Preserve Seeds

The seed racks at the stores have been decimated. I have a couple of bags of seed and I bought my seeds in November last year. However, I recently checked online and many seed companies have been overwhelmed with orders and the larger ones are either not taking any orders at all or won't take orders until later.

Agricultural restrictions makes it difficult to import seeds without certification and certification has to be planned in advance since I can only get the amount of seeds I intend to import and only the seeds on the list for one price. $100 for a year or $20 for one shipment. For the same reason I cannot participate in seed exchanges unless they are done on my island.

I am reviving this thread to remind people that they can save their seeds and share locally.

Fresh seeds: Store seeds in a cool and dry place. For me that is in the refrigerator or freezer.
Pick seeds when they are mature. Do a float test. Keep only the sinkers, floaters aren't good.
Dry seeds well and make sure you label and date the packages. You can store dried seeds in
paper envelopes and then put the envelopes in plastic bags to keep moisture out.
How long can you keep seeds? It depends. Most seeds will keep 3-5 years and some like
beans and dill have been good for me for 10-12 years. Germination rates decrease the older
the seeds get and they last longer at a constant temperature. So, to prevent temperature
and humidity variations, only take out the amount of seeds you can use, not the whole bag.
Some seeds have very short viability and should not be kept more than one year. Only
perfect conditions can extend seed life longer.

Check germination: If you have seeds that are older than three years. Do a germination test to see if they
are still good. Seeds over 5 years , you should consider replacing with fresh seeds.
Seeds over 10 years old may not be worth keeping.

Rare seeds: To make sure you don't lose old and rare varieties, plant seeds out every couple of years just
replenish the seed supply and share with others.

Collecting seeds: Make sure you collect ripe seeds. Immature seeds are not viable. Some seeds that have
protective coatings need fermentation before drying.

Germinating seeds: Seeds may have specific germination requirements such as complete darkness or need
to be exposed to light. Seeds that go through an intermediate host, like a bird's gut
may need to be soaked in potassium nitrate first. Other seeds may need soaking or
scarification to germinate better.

Recalcitrant seeds: cannot be dried or stored. They have to be used fresh. Chayote , cacao,and avocado
are examples. Chayote and avocadoes will sprout before they fall off the plant.

Temperature: Seeds will germinate in their own good time. Seeds will drop and remain dormant
until conditions are right to germinate. This happens a lot with nasturtiums, and some
hot pepper varieties. There are minimum and maximum temperatures that will
support seed germination. So if you plant seeds and the seeds don't come up, it may
not be a problem with seed viability, but with the soil temperature not being optimum.
Some rhizomes may need to be lifted and chilled or they won't come out of dormancy.
I have this problem with dahlias. They grow from seed, but they never wake up again if
they don't experience "winter".

Really fresh seeds: If you are using seeds straight out of the pod, you can plant ripe seeds immediately
without drying. Tomatoes, peppers, eggplant, melons, and most herbs and fruits will
work this way. Some fruits are usually harvested in the immature stage and may not
have ripe seed so you will need to wait for a while until the fruit has matured.

Hybrid seeds: While hybrid seeds will most likely grow (some will be mules). They are not
guaranteed to be exactly like the parent and there will likely be variation even between
siblings. Cloning is a better method for propagation if you want to save a hybrid.


https://extension.colostate.edu/topic-a ... eds-7-221/
Happy gardening in Hawaii. Gardens are where people grow.

imafan26
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Re: How to Save & Preserve Seeds

Seeds are scarce now. I just checked some of the seed companies and ordered my catalogs. I did find a few seeds to buy, but most were sold out. It is the end of the season so seeds being sold out is not that unusual for this time of the year. However, some seeds have been sold out since June.

There have also been a few companies now that appear to have closed up shop permanently. TGN pumpkin nook (retired), Evergreen seeds, and Tatiana's tomato Base closed pre epidemic in 2019.

Covid 19 and the weather, drought and floods , have also impacted the availability of many seeds.
While it is great that a lot of people are discovering gardening. Demand for garden supplies has outstripped supply.

It is the end of the season for a lot of you. It is a good time to remember to save some of your best seeds for another year. While I'd love to exchange seeds, department of agriculture restrictions make it difficult, but not impossible.

Remember to make sure you put a label on the seeds asap. Label the variety and the date saved. I have been bad at doing this. I usually have to identify my seeds by looking at them. Even I forget.
Remember also that even seeds have a shelf life. Stored cool and dry is best. I store mine in the refrigerator. Take out only the seeds you need, not the whole bag. Changing temperatures is not good for seeds.

Some seeds only have a short viability like sweet corn, most seeds have decent germination for 3-5 years. A few seeds can go for ten years like beans and dill if stored properly. If you have a prized heirloom variety and you want to make sure that you will be able to keep the variety growing, you should replant the seeds in 3-4 years and make sure it is isolated so it will not cross pollinate and collect the seeds.

I have a bag of seeds that takes up a whole section in my refrigerator. I regularly have to go through the bag and I still end up with seeds that are too old to plant. I just threw away more old seeds I found from 2011. Some seeds were on the cusp so I planted them out. 2016 seeds pepper and kale failed to germinate. I will give them a second chance since my media also grew algae. If you have older seeds and want to know if it is still viable you can plant 10 out and check the germination rate. I plant them in compots, but paper towel germination works as well. In my case I also have to take into consideration that some seeds, like nasturtiums, won't germinate at the wrong time of the year, so the seed germination test is not accurate if the temperature is not right. I have some peppers drying that I am going to save seeds from. Luckily, I did label the pots. However, one of the peppers was only called long hot pepper, so I will have to just go with that.

I do have seeds from other plants like basil, and Jamaican oregano. I don't really save those because Jamaican oregano, rosemary, murraya koenegii, mints, thyme and Mexican mint marigold are perennials and easier for me to grow from cuttings. Some of these, although they produce seed, don't germinate well enough to make it worthwhile. Basil reseeds itself, so for me it is a weed. I only keep a few when I need replacements.

I do not save seeds from my cucumbers because they are parthenocarpic and rarely get pollinated although it does happen. The seeds would not necessarily breed true so it is not worth saving. It is also not worth saving seeds from hybrids for the same reason, but on occasion, I will try to save some seeds from a good variety to see what the progeny look like.

Although people have said peppers cross and I have been given some hybrid seed, I have not had that problem. I plant peppers right next to each other, but I have not had seeds naturally cross.
Happy gardening in Hawaii. Gardens are where people grow.

Vanisle_BC
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Re: How to Save & Preserve Seeds

I do miss Tatiana's tomato resources, although I think her huge (not updated) data base is still online.

Imafan, you mention Ag-dept making it difficult to mail seeds. Are you referring to state or federal (or international) regulations? When I checked into it a few years ago there were no obstacles to mailing small amounts of seed across the Canada/US border. I did send some tomato seed south and it was received, apparently without interference. I wonder if hings have changed.

Seed companies mail across borders all the time - although I suppose they may have special licenses or certification requirements.
I think the world is full of incredible abuses of power at the moment and terrifying injustices, but there seems to be so much slack energy going into what I think is much smaller stuff. Andrew O'Hagen

imafan26
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Re: How to Save & Preserve Seeds

It is the State of Hawaii department of Ag. Many places just won't send anything to Hawaii because of the rules to send it legally.

A phyto certificate is required. Certified nurseries can send out plants. Even seeds have to be inspected by the Ag department, packaged and stamped in front of them to be mailed. Live plants and seeds can be taken to the department of Ag for inspection if someone wants to get it stamped. Some things on a list will never be approved.

Incoming plant material will be stopped by inspectors if the sender does not have a phyto certificate and the dogs detect it in the mail.

Tatiana's tomato base is still up. It just has not been updated. I miss it too.
Happy gardening in Hawaii. Gardens are where people grow.

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