How do you store fresh seeds?

Fleur(z5)June 19, 2005

My hellebore seeds are just beginning to mature and drop. I'd like to save some for trading but don't want them to dry out and shrivel. I know John Dudley packs his seeds in small plastic baggies with a pinch or so or vermiculite. Then probably refrigerates them, but I'm not sure about this. Does anyone store their seeds with vermiculite? I'm open to all suggestions. Thanks.

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jgwoodard(USDA z7 TN)

you can store them for a while in slightly moist vermiculite, but no need to refrigerate them right away... room temperature would be fine. it really depends on your time frame. when do you expect to trade them? john dudley's system works really well for speeding germination and getting high rates.

    Bookmark   June 20, 2005 at 2:14AM
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jgwoodard(USDA z7 TN)

one more thing. even if you store them dry and keep them in a cool dark area they will be ok. fresh seed is best but the notion that they must never dry out is not true from my (and others) experience.

    Bookmark   June 21, 2005 at 9:59PM
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I store my fresh harvest in a damp soil less germination mix. I do not like small plastic bags, but generally use a sandwich bag. I like the Fafard super fine germination mix but have used vermiculite, washed coarse sand (concrete sand) and even have just used the soil from beneath the hellebore.

The media you use for seed storage is probably less important than the moisture level. I like the moisture level to be damp, not soggy. The media should not have any fertilizer mixed in.

The seed and media should not be placed in the refrigerator, but kept in a cool room at a moderate temperature.

I have kept seed stored in damp media for 12 weeks and longer.


    Bookmark   June 22, 2005 at 5:40AM
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I plant fresh seeds about now in a flat with a 1/2 " mesh fence crimped down over the top and sides, and keep moist through winter. Next March or so germination begins.

    Bookmark   July 21, 2005 at 5:19PM
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