Plastic bag or paper bag for seed storage

nisidotatosOctober 12, 2012

Hello,

i am keeping my heirloom seeds.

I would like to learn what is best between those two.

1)To keep them in small plastic sealed bags?

2)Or in small paper bags/envelopes?

Thank you

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nil13(z21 L.A., CA (Mt. Washington))

I keep my seeds in paper so any excess moisture can be released easily. I make little origami envelopes, sometimes out of the seed packet. Seed packets are generally huge compared to the quantity of seed. I also keep my seed in the frig with dessicant.

One of these days I'm going to get around to making a tutorial for those little origami envelopes.

    Bookmark   October 12, 2012 at 11:29AM
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calistoga_al ca 15 usda 9

I believe this is the envelope suggested. Al

    Bookmark   October 14, 2012 at 9:49AM
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nil13(z21 L.A., CA (Mt. Washington))

That drawing seems a lot more complicated then what I use, but I am going to have to give it a try.

    Bookmark   October 14, 2012 at 7:39PM
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nil13(z21 L.A., CA (Mt. Washington))

Now that I have made it that envelope is pretty easy. I like that it allows you to use paper that isn't square. I think I'll try using it for big seeds that need a big envelope.

Here is a folding diagram of the one I use. I like it because it forms a pouch that can be easily opened and closed. Because the opening ends in a point you can gently shake seeds out very accurately.

    Bookmark   October 14, 2012 at 8:29PM
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nil13(z21 L.A., CA (Mt. Washington))

That drawing seems a lot more complicated then what I use, but I am going to have to give it a try.

    Bookmark   October 14, 2012 at 8:40PM
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calistoga_al ca 15 usda 9

In my kitchen I use "counter fold" wax paper sheets as used in restaurants which dispense like Kleenex. These sheets are ideal for making these envelopes as they are the right size and are already folded once. They are also remarkably tough. Al

    Bookmark   October 15, 2012 at 8:06AM
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susanzone5(z5NY)

i use tiny ziploc plastic bags that are used for crafts like bead storage. you can get them at michael's or jo-anns. label with a permanent marker. i store the baggies in airtight glass canisters with dessicant at the bottom. i have viable seed from 12 years ago. i also store regular seed packets in these canisters.

    Bookmark   October 19, 2012 at 9:44AM
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terrene(5b MA)

Paper is probably superior to plastic, because paper would let the seeds breathe if there were any extra moisture. But both of them seem to work well for me.

I've been storing all seeds in a refrigerator drawer in little paper or plastic envelopes since the mid-1980s (mostly paper though). I throw extra dessicants in the seed drawer. A refrigerator and freezer are dessicating anyway, which is probably good for most seeds. The real advantage is that the cooler temps slow the metabolic rate of the seed embryo. I regularly use seeds that are 20 years old or so and they germinate fine.

    Bookmark   October 20, 2012 at 7:25PM
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mccommas(z5CT)

I use paper lunch bags. Seems to work well.

    Bookmark   October 28, 2012 at 9:28PM
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albert_135(Sunset 2 or 3)

A bit of a tangent perhaps, a famous seed company says each seed item is stored according to the species' need

    Bookmark   October 29, 2012 at 3:56PM
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Tiffany, purpleinopp GardenWeb, Z8b Opp, AL(8B AL)

Paper for me, please.

Also a fan of the little self-made folded envelopes, the style of the drawing nil posted. More size-appropriate and easier to repeatedly open/close than a bought envelope. Great way to reuse junk mail!

    Bookmark   November 5, 2012 at 11:44AM
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LoboGothic(6b SW Ontario CANADA)

Thanks for the diagrams. Just tried Calistoga's design and got nowhere. Any chance you could do a short video of hands actually folding this and post it to YouTube?

I've been using a variation of Nil13's design, using tape to make a reusable seal.

    Bookmark   November 7, 2012 at 11:01AM
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Tiffany, purpleinopp GardenWeb, Z8b Opp, AL(8B AL)

This will take a few posts, but I just made one and took pics.

I used a sheet of paper from my son's backpack. Fold like this first.

    Bookmark   November 8, 2012 at 9:30AM
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Tiffany, purpleinopp GardenWeb, Z8b Opp, AL(8B AL)

Cut off the excess.

    Bookmark   November 8, 2012 at 9:31AM
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Tiffany, purpleinopp GardenWeb, Z8b Opp, AL(8B AL)

Fold 2 corners in like this.

    Bookmark   November 8, 2012 at 9:32AM
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Tiffany, purpleinopp GardenWeb, Z8b Opp, AL(8B AL)

Slip one corner inside the other.

    Bookmark   November 8, 2012 at 9:33AM
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Tiffany, purpleinopp GardenWeb, Z8b Opp, AL(8B AL)

Fold what you just did to flatten it out. Now you can open the top.

    Bookmark   November 8, 2012 at 9:34AM
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Tiffany, purpleinopp GardenWeb, Z8b Opp, AL(8B AL)

After you've filled your envelope, begin to fold it closed.

    Bookmark   November 8, 2012 at 9:35AM
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Tiffany, purpleinopp GardenWeb, Z8b Opp, AL(8B AL)

Finish by folding the flap that's left into the folds at the bottom. Press to crease everything into place.

    Bookmark   November 8, 2012 at 9:37AM
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ashleyzone6b

Thank you purpleinopp for taking the time to post those how-to pictures

    Bookmark   December 15, 2012 at 7:47PM
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Tiffany, purpleinopp GardenWeb, Z8b Opp, AL(8B AL)

You're welcome. A great way to "use" junk mail!

    Bookmark   December 16, 2012 at 7:54AM
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mccommas(z5CT)

I use those lunch paper bags and store them in a wood box in garage. One bag will do me for YEARS. Its plenty pretty cold in the garage. My frig is for food, not seeds.

    Bookmark   December 16, 2012 at 9:13AM
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Tiffany, purpleinopp GardenWeb, Z8b Opp, AL(8B AL)

Mcc., excellent point. Those lunch bags are extremely inexpensive and I do use some of them for seeds that are too big or that I've saved so many that they won't fit in a junkvelope.

    Bookmark   December 17, 2012 at 10:35AM
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mccommas(z5CT)

I should have said one pack of those bags, rather than one bag (of bags) will last years.

    Bookmark   December 17, 2012 at 9:34PM
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calistoga_al ca 15 usda 9

The folded paper design I posted earlier, I use only for temporary storage or for mailing seeds. If you are having trouble folding it, it is usually because you do not turn it over as directed in picture #3. For long time storage I use the plastic air tight containers used for diabetic test strip storage. They are a little smaller than the old 35MM film shipping cases. Dr. Norman Deno in his many years of seed experimenting found very little difference in life expectancy between seed at a constant room temperature and that at refrigerator temperature for most seed. Al

    Bookmark   December 18, 2012 at 8:46AM
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