Definition of 'cool, dark, dry place'

new_beeApril 6, 2009

Hello all, bought WAY too many seeds this year so came on this forum to explore storing them for next year. Where do you store your seeds? A cool, dark, dry place sounds like the inside of a refrigerator but is there a better option? Can most seeds be saved year over year? I have:

carrot

cucumber

zucchini

mesclun

pea

bean

watermelon

basil

dill

Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
remy_gw

Hi New Bee,
Here's a copy of what I wrote in another post:

"To save seeds for long term storage, it all depends on what you plan to do. If you want to save seeds indefinitely, in a a freezer in airtight containers is your best bet. You must make sure the seeds are dry though or you will kill them. You must always let the containers come to room temp before opening or you will kill the seeds. If you plan on a lot of seed retrieval for trading this is not the best method.
You can store in the fridge in airtight containers. Make sure they are airtight since moisture is not good. There is an exception to this some seeds like spring woodland ephemerals and a few other types of seeds need be keep cool and moist in storage or they will die. Most seeds though need to be dry. In the fridge is good if you have a warm humid home.
If you have an area of you home that stays relatively cool and dry and does not fluctuate in temperature much, most seeds will happily stay there for quite some time. The sum of the temp and humidity should not exceed 100 when added together. Like 70 degrees and 40% humidity(high end of normal for a home in spring/summer) equals 100. During winter it is not much of a problem since humidity in homes is low. In summer though if your home is not air conditioned and it gets to be 75-80 degrees inside and very humid like 60% in summer, you are putting seeds into conditions they don't like because the total has risen over 100."

Normally the easiest spot to find a cool closet or room would be on the north side of a home.

In proper storage, these are how long they will have at least 50% germination:
Carrots will last 3 years
Cucs 10 years
Squash 6 years
Lettuce 3 years, Brassica family items added to a mix like Arugula will be more.
Peas 3 years
Bean 4 years
Watermelon 6 years
Basil - a long time
Dill 3 years

Remy

    Bookmark   April 7, 2009 at 8:20AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
gpopovski

I haven't stored mine in a fridge or freezer, and I never had instructions for storing, but I put them wrapped up in paper towel (don't ask me why... I don't know... I just did it on an impulse) in an airtight container, and put them in the same under-stairs basement closet as my holiday decorations. It stays cool and dry there. My squash seeds that I harvested in 2004 grew fine in 2008, and I've planted the remainder this week, in hopes that I'll have the same results. I had separated my seeds within the container by putting them in freezer zippy bags, labeled with the seed type. This turned out to be a good thing, because I didn't dry out my cucumber and pepper seeds enough, and their baggies got nasty by the end of winter the first year. The other seeds all survived alright.

    Bookmark   April 17, 2009 at 6:21PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
tcstoehr

I keep mine in the garden shed during the cool/cold season, and bring them into a dark closet during the warm months. Underneath the house or in a basement would likely be better. I keep them in card-filing boxes with a rechargeable, silica dessicant inside. The boxes are not air-tight so I keep each box wrapped in a plastic garbage bag.

    Bookmark   May 1, 2009 at 4:53PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
takadi(7)

Where do you buy rechargable desiccant tcstoehr? Is there a place online where I can get it?

    Bookmark   May 4, 2009 at 8:52PM
Sign Up to comment
More Discussions
any seed savers in z7/8 Southeast?
I already posted the following to the vegetable forum,...
cousinfloyd
Saving Tall Cosmo Seeds
This is my first year saving seeds and I'm wondering...
earthchildnj
Need help on keeping seeds True
If I want to collect Petunia seeds to grow the following...
longknife
How lonf do these last? Will they cross pollinate?
I have many types of seeds in a cardboard box in my...
pansyloverandgrower
4 oclock seeds
Can someone explain to me how to collect seeds from...
charinky
People viewed this after searching for:
© 2015 Houzz Inc. Houzz® The new way to design your home™