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storage requirement for seeds

Posted by njitgrad NE NJ (My Page) on
Sat, Jun 22, 13 at 10:29

Newbie to growing from seed here.

After having a successful first year so far growing from seed, I realized that I don't know much about properly storing seeds. Call it ignorance (or just being swamped with home and gardening projects) but the left-over seeds have been sitting in my garage (taped nicely shut in their envelopes) in an index card box where temps often approaching 80 degrees.

So my questions are:

1) Is there a limit to how long seeds can be stored?

2) What are ideal storage conditions?

3) How do you know if seeds are no longer good and will not germinate or will have their growth affected?

4) When should I start aquiring new seeds for next season? I want to have all of my wish-list seeds well ahead of time before sowing next season.

Follow-Up Postings:

RE: storage requirement for seeds

  • Posted by morz8 Z8 Wa coast (My Page) on
    Sat, Jun 22, 13 at 11:10

The best condition for storing seeds is the opposite of what they need to germinate - that means dry, and cool. I'd take them out of your garage where humidity and temperatures must surely fluctuate. An inside closet or drawer will be more stable. Mine are usually in my desk, right now since we've moved in the last months, they are in a drawer in a guest room :) The humidity in my house is generally low, if yours is higher you might want to consider storing dry, in your refrigerator.

To buy commercial seeds and be assured of fresh seeds for next year, you need to be patient and wait for this years harvest to be processed, packaged. When the catalogs and websites have their 2014 offerings listed, order. Unfortunately that's often right about the time we can be busy with things other than gardening on our minds, Dec/Jan for some...

RE: storage requirement for seeds

Are you saying you shouldn't use seeds from the previous season and always buy fresh?

RE: storage requirement for seeds

  • Posted by morz8 Z8 Wa coast (My Page) on
    Sat, Jun 22, 13 at 17:44

No, although you could have a problem with good germination from some seeds if you've had them in your warm garage. It's fine to keep seeds from year to year, depending on which seed, a few types are not good held over under any circumstances and the package will usually say something along the lines of 'short viable'. Onion, parsley, delphinium are examples of seeds you may not want to store...

You asked when to start acquiring new seeds to fill your wish list, and to that I answer Not now, because you will be getting seeds packaged last season, wait until right around the holidays when the new harvest will be available. If you are buying new, you may as well begin with the freshest.

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