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Storing Seeds

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Storing Seeds

Post  AbiKool on 3/14/2015, 10:10 am

Hi, 

I have a problem storing my seeds. I need a simple effective way to store my seeds if I want my gardening hobby to be cost efficient. How do you store your seeds? Please include pictures if possible.

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Re: Storing Seeds

Post  quiltbea on 3/14/2015, 10:54 am

I don't have any trouble with my seeds lasting a long time using the crisper drawer of my refrigerator.
I put small amts of unused seed in small 2x3" plastic zip bags, labeled and with short description (names, type, days to maturity, special notes), and those into a larger zippered baggy by their crop name.  Each crop has its own larger zip baggy.
Placing a small dessicant inside the larger bag helps keep them dry.  A recipe to make and easy type follows at the end.
Opened seed packets are folded over once and paper-clipped shut.
I always list the dates on the packets that they should be viable.
If I buy a packet this year, then I put 2015-20 on it if its a tomato seed. This seed should be good til at least 2020. 
There are lists online that give seed life dates.  Different crops have different dates.
The sealed baggies by crop are put alphabetically in the crisper draw where they stay until I need them.
Dessicant:  1 teaspoon powdered milk laid onto a tissue (Kleenex type) and that is folded over and over longwise to close it, then the long flaps at both ends folded over once and stapled together (thru the flaps only, not thru the body of the tissue so they don't leak).  Change these about every 6 months or so.  The dessicant keeps the seeds nice and dry.  I only change them once a year and its been OK for me.

I don't freeze my seeds because they could frost over in the freezer and then when you take them out to use, they defrost a bit and get very moist.  That's a no-no with seeds.  You want to keep them dry.

I'll try to be back with pix later.

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Seed Saving in Crisper

Post  quiltbea on 3/14/2015, 11:51 am

I'm back with a few pics for you.

Here are some of my seed packets.  I mark the front with dates and I paper clip the tops shut.  The dates are the date bought up to the date seeds are good.  Lately I found another sight that said you can keep seed a couple years beyond the stated years as long as you realize there will be a lower germination rate so I'm keeping mine longer now, as you will note on the small packet on the right.

When I have small amts of seed, they go into 2"x3" clear baggies (I get mine from an office supply store like Staples).  I label the bag itself or put a piece of paper inside giving a description.

Here's my packets in the larger bags.  I keep one bag for each crop.  These are just for my Squash seeds.

Here is my crisper drawer where I keep all the baggies alphabetically.

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A simple desiccant

Post  quiltbea on 3/14/2015, 12:03 pm

I took pics of how to prepare homemade desiccant packs.

You take 1 teaspoon powdered milk and a tissue.  Place the powder in the middle.

Fold the tissue over and over from the center outwards.

Fold over the long flaps.

Staple thru the flaps only, not thru the body of the packet.  You don't want to make any holes where the desiccant can leak out.

Here's one stapled shut.

Place the pack inside a larger baggy where you have several seed packets or you can put one in each individual packet if you like.  I just put them in the larger baggy.

You make new packets once each year and they'll keep your seeds from getting moist.
Remember, the older the seed the lower the germination rate.
When I'm starting tomato seed that's 5 years old, I'll start twice as many as normal to be sure I get enuf starts. 
Good luck and enjoy the whole process.
And later you might even learn to save your own heirloom or open-pollinated seed from your own garden.

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Re: Storing Seeds

Post  Windmere on 3/14/2015, 12:07 pm

Thank you so much for this post quiltbea!  I have a boat load of seeds and this will help me take care of them.  Plus, this is so cost effective.  I think it's so crooked of some seed companies claiming you need a new packet of seeds for each year!  I'm on my third season, and my first year purchases are germinating just fine.

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Re:Storing Seeds

Post  AbiKool on 3/14/2015, 12:32 pm

WOW... Thank you sooo much for the very detailed explanation and pics, quiltbea. I really appreciate your time and effort in your post. I'm trying for a smaller scale storage idea, since my crispers are all occupied (one for meets, one for fresh produce, and another for my bird food... I have two lovebirds)... but I'm definitely keeping your dried milk in a tissue idea. I have a lot of dried milk I had bought to use a little bit in a recipe that I ended up not liking after all. I was wondering if someone store their seeds in a container to see how that is set up.

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Re: Storing Seeds

Post  mollyhespra on 3/14/2015, 1:20 pm

I basically do what QB does, except that the seeds go in a shoebox-size plastic bin with a lid and then the bin gets put into the lowest shelf on the fridge.  I have three bins full: one for herbs & flowers; one for bulky seeds like beans, peas, corn & squash; the other for smaller-seeded veggies.

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Re: Storing Seeds

Post  AtlantaMarie on 3/14/2015, 3:19 pm

I know that it would be much better for my seeds to keep them in the fridge...  Maybe I need another one that's just for the garden...?  Wink  Not sure I can get DH to go along w/ that...

I take them from the packages & put in a small plastic bag.  Then staple the bag to the front of the packet.  That way I can see how many seeds I have left.  Then it goes in a repurposed floppy disk holder (boy, am I dating myself here!) separated by:  Grains, flowers, fruit, veggies, herbs.

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Re: Storing Seeds

Post  bbroomm on 3/14/2015, 11:55 pm

Here's my compact storage container.  Everything is in one neat tidy place.




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Re: Storing Seeds

Post  bbroomm on 3/15/2015, 12:00 am

Funny thing.  I saw this just after posting...

http://www.apieceofrainbow.com/make-seed-box/

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Re: Storing Seeds

Post  floyd1440 on 3/15/2015, 8:46 am

Good post quiltbea!!!!

Learned a lot.

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Re: Storing Seeds

Post  donnainzone5 on 3/15/2015, 3:09 pm

This year, I'm experimenting with lidded plastic or metal bins set up with cardboard tab dividers.  I then store the seeds in the fridge.

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Re: Storing Seeds

Post  CapeCoddess on 3/15/2015, 4:16 pm

I seal them in lettuce clampacks, 1 lb size, with desiccant packs from vitamin bottles and such thrown in, and keep them on the bottom shelf at the back of my fridge.  The seeds that I harvested from my own plants are  in the little bottles (old ground ginger bottles) with their own desiccant packs.  

I recently took them all out, looked thru them, and put all the ones I want to plant this year in the left box, the others in the right.  Doesn't mean I won't poke thru the right side box later on...just in case something strikes my fancy.
What a Face
CC

I also use lettuce clampacks for seed starting and growing, as well as placing them upside down to warm soil and keep newly planted out seedlings protected in cooler weather.

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Re: Storing Seeds

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