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Greener Thumb
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Seed Storage

I have been more active saving seed this year than ever before. Got several batches of Brandywine tomato, some multi colored bell pepper, okra, and rattlesnake beans. I also have collected 100s of sawtooth oak acorns and some persimmon tree seed.

What are the best practices for seed storage? Cool dry shelf or refrigerator? Does a particular type of seed need different storage?

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I have stored mine in freezer or frig and done fine. Last year I just left them on the shelf and didn't seem to get as good a germination rate. I think they dried out more or something.

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I dry mine well and store in glass jars. small ones for small seeds and bigger ones for bigger seeds and bulk. the trick is to reduce the air space in the jar with the seed. I store in a cool, dry, closet. seeds that need to be cold stratified get stored in a dry container outside in the winter, so by spring I can just plant them.

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lakngulf wrote:I have been more active saving seed this year than ever before. --><8 snipped 8><--and some persimmon tree seed.

What are the best practices for seed storage? Cool dry shelf or refrigerator? Does a particular type of seed need different storage?
Tree seeds do overwhelminly better planted back to pot or field and alowed the winter cycle of chilling and thawing. I like a cold frame for a winters slumber.

A second place (or runner up) for a seed trader would be mixed in with some mostened (and wrung-out) peat moss. Store 'em moist in the fridge. This does not replace the cold stratification of outdoors. But will permit at least some viability to be left in tree seeds.

The sooner a normal winters cycle is resumed the better your tree seeds will do.

With very few exceptions dried tree seeds, are dead tree seeds. Even the ruggedest crab apple seed (or other rose family) will thank you with better germination with a normal winters slumber outside.

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Seeds are at their peak when they have reached their maximum dry weight from the mother plant. Always give your self a good start in collecting seeds by waiting for the correct time to do so. Home saved seeds will retain maximum vigor when stored in a moisture proof container. The two greatest wrongs for storing seeds are in places of high temperature and high moisture.
Seeds that are stored at fluctuating temperatures and of moisutre levels lose their ablility to germinate quickly, if at all. Containers used for storage of seeds should be airtight. I like using jars with a ruber seal lid, like used yeast jars these are dark colored which are also good for germination, not letting light into the seed, or baby food jars.
Plastic bags are not moisture proof and make poor storage containers. However seeds put into self seal or zip lock, or paper envelopes before being stored inside a airtight jar works great. Each seed jar should be labled carefully.

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I keep mine in the house in plastic zip bags but place a piece of paper towel in each bag to keep them dry! Make sure the seeds are very dry before putting them in the bags or any container! Put the plastic bags in a container that will stop mice or even moths from chewing through the bags! Keep storage in lower places in the house because the higher you get the higher the tem goes. Floor temp is about 5 degrees lower than ceiling temp! I keep my home below 70 degrees!

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huh.... I have all of mine in little ziploc bags labeled in a shoebox on the buffet. seem to do fine for me. But they do have to dry thoroughly before going in the bags or they mold.
Last edited by GardenRN on Thu Nov 17, 2011 8:32 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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I put them into envelopes and then into ziplock bags, toss in a couple of desiccant packets, and put them in the fridge. I also read once that if you don't have desiccant packets, you can wrap uncooked rice in a Kleenex and use that.

We run a whole-house pellet stove in the basement so it's usually in the low seventies down there -- great for seed starting, not so great for seed storage!

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I use coin envelopes. Ziplock are used by a lot of people but can cause problems.

No fridge or freezer here either a cool dry spot is good enough.

But that is me. :D

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