Planting and harvesting your garden can be one of the most rewarding seasonal activities on your own or with your loved ones. Using these seed storage tips, you can keep growing your vegetable strains year after year.
How long will stored seeds last?
Depending on what kind you’re storing, seeds can last anywhere from a year to more than five years.
Seeds to use quickly:
Seeds that last last 3-4 years:
How should you salvage vegetable seeds?
Vegetables that are more “fleshy” should be seeded when fully ripe. These vegetables include tomatoes, squash, melons, and the like. Other vegetables like beans and peas should be left on the vine until their pods are dried out and crackly. Corn needs to be left on the stalk until the kernels dent. For fleshy-vegetables seeds:
– Scoop out the seeds
– Spread them out on a paper towel
– Leave the seeds to dry in a well-ventilated area
Is freezing bad for seeds?
Freezing seeds is better for long-term storage. The cold temperatures will actually extend the lifespan of the stored seeds.
Can you expect growth from frozen seeds?
The simple answer? Yes. You can check the germination rate by putting a damp paper towel in a plastic bag with some of the seeds. Then place the plastic bag into a warm area of the house. After about one week, you should begin to see germination occurring.
How to Store Seeds
- Prepare the amount of mason jars you’ll need for proper separation of your seeds
- Place a cheesecloth bag of dry powdered milk at the bottom of the jar
- Put the seeds into each jar
- Label and date the jars
- Place the jars in a refrigerator or freezer for long-term storage