how do you store your seeds?


How do you store your vegetable seeds packets? The leftover seeds from one garden year that you want to use in future gardens. Or if you don’t save any, why not?

seed sorting IMG_0124 soy bean seed from Roger Swain IMG_5908 seed swap seeds IMG_0672

I’ve been keeping mine in a big plastic box at room temperature, 65-70F (18-21C), and as dry as I can by adding silica gel packets and keeping the top on.

After some reading, I see that the optimum humidity for most vegetable seeds is 20-25%. For legumes it’s 44-50%. For temperature, a 10-degree reduction can double the life of my seeds. Optimum storage temperature of most vegetable seeds at home is 41F (5C) or lower, but frozen. It’s also important to have a consistent temperature and humidity for storage.

sorting seeds IMG_1303 organized 2010 seed basket delicata seeds

A consistently cooler area I have is the garage. It’s 50-60F (10-16C) and 40% humidity. I’ll move my storage location out to there, give the beans an open box of their own. I’ll keep adding the moisture absorbing packets to the other (closed) box. I’m also curious to check the humidity inside the closed box and see if it’s any lower than the surrounding air.

Let me know any thoughts. I never looked into this until a reader commented that she refrigerated her seeds. My seeds last a long time (most about 6 years, some, like tomatoes, 10 years), but I wouldn’t mind if they lasted even longer.

Here’s an informative site that I found: WFLO Commodity Storage Manual: Vegetable Seeds. (WFLO is the World Food Logistics Org that dedicates itself to the proper handling and storage of perishable products and the development of systems and best practices for the safe, efficient, and reliable movement of food to the people of the world.)

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