Whether you currently have a garden or want to prepare for the future, it is never too late to start gathering seeds for long term storage. It is only logical that if there is a shortage of food at any time, your seed storage could virtually mean the difference between life and death. Not only can you use the seeds to grow your own crop of food, but you could also put them to use in bartering for other goods and items you may find yourself needing.
The question now becomes: what is the most efficient way to store seeds for long term use?
Long Term Storage
The storing of seeds is not that much, unlike the storing of food. The enemies are the same in that of heat, light, and humidity. There are those individuals who will also offer that oxygen can sometimes play a problematic part in the process.
To properly store your seeds:
- It is best to keep your seeds at a cool to cold temperature, if possible, of 40 degrees or less.
- Avoid storing your seeds in areas that fluctuate in temperature. This includes a garage or storeroom that may get cold in the winter, and the blazing hot in the summer.
- It is vital that you keep your seeds in a dark place, out of direct sunlight, or a well-lit room.
- Store your seeds in a moisture-proof container. I find that mason jars work well, as well as a mylar bag. If you find yourself in somehat of a pinch, a Ziploc bag will do, as long as you take the time and care to squeeze out all of the air.
- Some choose to go the route of using the desiccant oxygen absorbers to prolong the life of the seeds even more.
- Before packaging or storing your seeds, make sure you dry them out sufficiently first. This can be done by spreading them out and letting them dry. Then, once dry, you can place them in your container of choice and play them in your refrigerator or freezer to store.
Test The Germination
When you start thinking of starting your sprouts for planting, it is advised that you perform a germination test. This will help you know if the seeds are viable and what type of success rate you can expect.
The most common means to determine the germination viability is that of dampening a paper town to nearly soaking. You will then need to count out ten seeds and then place them on the towel. Take great care when folding the paper towel up, which will then be placed in a plastic baggie. Lay the baggie with the seed in a warm spot in your kitchen, someplace like a window sill, leaving a small part of the baggie open so that air can enter. Give the seeds a few days, then check to see if they have sprouted.
Some Parting Words
It is essential to know that for years manufacturers have worked to scientifically and genetically manipulate seeds that would prevent them from being stored and used the following growing season. However, there are a number of sources from which to purchase non-GMO and non-hybrid seeds, which makes them beautiful additions to your own seeds for long term storage.