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/