Saving seeds

greattigerdane(z5NY)November 21, 2008

I'm sorry, I don't have any seeds to trade, but because you are all probably experts at saving seeds, Can someone tell how to save sunflower seeds until next September?

I'll be growing them in the house. They are only a foot tall and do well indoors in a sunny window. How can I save the seeds without them drying up, or getting moldy?

The lady that's giving them to me said the fridge would be a good place to store them, but that seems like an awful long time in a refrigerator without them going bad!

Thank you for any information, or advice!

Billy Rae

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busylizzy(z5 PA)

I just put mine in a coffee can in a dry place, no problem.

    Bookmark   November 21, 2008 at 6:14PM
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greattigerdane(z5NY)

Thank you busylizzy!

Billy Rae

    Bookmark   November 21, 2008 at 8:04PM
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vikingkirken(6b)

I put all my seeds in the fridge, in a sealed plastic container, with some silica packets to absorb any excess moisture (uncooked rice also works). They stay cool and dry, it works great.

Lori

    Bookmark   November 21, 2008 at 8:34PM
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greattigerdane(z5NY)

Thanks Lori.

I might split the seeds up, some can go in dry place and some in the fridge, oh, and thanks for the hint about the rice!

Billy Rae

    Bookmark   November 21, 2008 at 10:51PM
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lilydude

This is a method that you can use for long-term storage. It is extremely effective.
1. Buy fresh seed whenever available. Or collect seed and allow it to dry indoors for a couple of weeks.
2. Place in airtight container. Seed must be dry.
3. Place container in freezer.
4. When you need seed, remove container from freezer. To prevent condensation, do not open until contents are near room temperature (about 30 minutes).
5. Remove seeds that you are going to use. Close container and place back in freezer.
Seed will remain viable 20 years or more. I'm still using seeds that I bought in the 70's.

    Bookmark   November 21, 2008 at 11:41PM
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greattigerdane(z5NY)

Great! Thanks Lilydude!

I think I'll be needing long term storage, although not 20 yrs!
I "really" appreciate all the information, from all of you!

Billy Rae

    Bookmark   November 22, 2008 at 2:50PM
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angelady777 (was angelady on GW) - Zone 6(6)

Seriously? Using seed you bought in the 70's???? I've steered away from the fridge or freezer up until now. I'm sure wondering more about this now that you posted that. Hmmmm

Anyone else highly recommend the freezer? What kind of germination rate do you get, say, after 5 years or so? Any input would be appreciated even though it's not my thread... I hope that's okay.... :-)

Blessings,
Angela

    Bookmark   November 23, 2008 at 5:26AM
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bakemom_gw(z6 Central Ohio)

They sit on my desk in a box. That's it.

    Bookmark   November 23, 2008 at 11:11AM
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Chemocurl zn5b/6a Indiana(zone 5/6)

I just suggest dry, fairly dark, (as in out of direct sunlight) and fairly cool, like not in an un-air-conditioned upstairs room, garage, shed, or someplace similar.

Some seeds can even be damaged from freezing...like tropicals, and less hardy things.

Sue

    Bookmark   November 23, 2008 at 11:47AM
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angelady777 (was angelady on GW) - Zone 6(6)

Thanks. I was wondering if it could damage some seeds.

Blessings,
Angela

    Bookmark   November 23, 2008 at 2:40PM
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nantinki(zone 5/6 NM)

I have planted seeds I found in the barn that were dated 1978. No problem. Grew that old nasturtium like crazy.

The anasazi bean is named after the extinct Anasazi or the Pueblo Indians. This new, yet ancient bean has the most amazing history behind it. One story has it that in the 1950s, archeologists in one of the Anasazi digs found a sealed, clay pot with a few of these beans in it. (Carbon dating determined them to be 1,500 years old.) Some of them sprouted and the modern anasazi beans all come from those few beans. As the Anasazi Indians left their homes in the late 1200s AD, however, this would have made those beans at a minimum 750 years old!
I love these beans, a little sweeter than a pinto, smaller, but I think I love them most because of the history.

    Bookmark   November 23, 2008 at 3:08PM
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token28001(zone7b NC)

Date palm seeds from the Egyptian period have been germinated in labs. Dry, dark, cool. That's the key.

    Bookmark   November 25, 2008 at 10:16PM
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terrene(5b MA)

I have kept my seeds in the refrigerator drawer for years. I put them in Ziploc baggies (usually not closed tight) and throw those dessicant packets in the drawer and the baggies.

This spring I grew half a dozen types of seeds that were packed for 1997 and 1998, including parsley, basil and chile peppers. I also started Red Zinnias from seed that was packed for 1991. Still had good germination on all of them.

    Bookmark   November 27, 2008 at 7:10PM
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