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Definition of 'cool, dark, dry place'

Posted by new_bee NoVa Z7 (My Page) on
Mon, Apr 6, 09 at 12:47

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


Follow-Up Postings:

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RE: Definition of 'cool, dark, dry place'

  • Posted by remy 6WNY (My Page) on
    Tue, Apr 7, 09 at 8:20

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


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RE: Definition of 'cool, dark, dry place'

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.


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RE: Definition of 'cool, dark, dry place'

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.


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RE: Definition of 'cool, dark, dry place'

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


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