The Basics of Seed Storage

Merry Meet All,

I talked the other day about the safety of our food supply. To avoid purchasing seeds from companies like Monsanto, and doing damage to your garden, consider creating and saving your own seeds. When you grow veggies, flowers, and herbs this year, during the harvest, store the seeds to save for next spring.

This also works well if you know you purchased organic plants in the first place. If you didn’t, then continue with organic practices.

Keep seeds dry and cool. Never store seeds, herbs, roots or bark in damp jars, as that causes it to mould. Keep seed packets in Mason jars. I disagree with storing seeds in plastic, as chemicals leach from the plastic into the seeds and herbs. Be sure the Mason jars are sterile and have tight-fitting lids. The refrigerator is a good place to store seeds and the pantry cupboard. Simply store the seeds in the jar and leave in a dark area out of direct sunlight.

Seeds from self-polinated, not hybrid, plants can produce the exact same crop as last year. If the plants are pollinated by bees, the plant will not grow to be the same plant in the next season. Also, hybrid varieties do not always breed true.

Plants are either perennial, biennial, or annual. Annual plants such as lettuce and tomatoes flower and mature seeds in the same year.

Biennial plants such as carrots and beets are harvested in the summer but do not produce seeds until next year. Biennials do not produce seed pods till the next year. Perennials bear seeds year after year.

Do not use heat to store your seeds. They need to be kept cool and dry. Here are tips on saving vegetable seeds.

For vegetables such as tomatoes, squashes, and melons, gather the seeds when they are fully ripe. Scoop out the seed and store in a well-ventilated place. Beans and peas can be left on the vine till they are dried. Corn should be left on the vine till the kernels dent. Potatoes and onions can be stored in open boxes or other mesh bags where the temperature is 45 degrees Fahrenheit. Other types of seeds can be gathered when the fruit is fully grown. Remember to collect seeds from only the healthiest plants. By doing that, you will create a special sub-variety of crops that are adapted to your climate.

Remember to label and store the seeds -once clean, as soon as you have harvested your bounty. Also, some of the seeds may closely resemble each other. Know what you harvest and store them separately.

You can store seeds in paper envelopes and Mason jars. Be sure to label the jars and envelopes. Be sure the jars are clean and bone dry.

How long do seeds last? This chart will tell you

Aspparagus 4 years
String beans 2 years
Broccoli 3 years
Cabbage 3 years
Carrots 4 years
Cucumber 5 years
Lettuce 5 years
Onion 2 years
Peas 2 years
Pumpkin 6 years
Radish 3 years
Spinach 5 years
Squash 4 years
Tomato 3 years
Turnip 3 years

Some seed storage fluctuates depending on how, where, and when they are stored.

Now you know to select seeds from organic companies and store seeds for a delicious crop of veggies to bring to your dinner table. Mmm I can already taste it!! Tomorrow we will look at storing flower and herb seeds.

Blessed Be,
Lady Spiderwitch )O(