In the wake of the Coronavirus pandemic, you may have tried to purchase seeds for your garden and found them more challenging to find than ever before. As I discussed in a previous post, the good news is that there is still a healthy supply of seeds. And, with a few tips and tricks, you’ll be able to store the seeds you do have in such a way to get the most life out of them.
QUICK TIP #1: Keep It Cool And Dry
Talk to anyone with a base knowledge of seeds and gardening, and they will tell you that the two biggest threats to stored seeds are heat and moisture. So, with that in mind, the first thing you are going to want to do when you harvest your seeds is DRY THEM!
Lay the seeds out and let them air-dry for at least a week – although, you can also leave them out to dry for up to a month. If you leave them to air dry on a paper towel, you may find that they end up sticking to the towel when dried.
However, according to GoodHousekeeping, you can roll them up in the towels to store them. And when it comes time to plant, rip off tiny pieces of the paper towel and plant along with the seeds.
QUICK TIP #2: Choose The Perfect Storage Spot
Once they’re dry, store the seeds in airtight containers. Glass, plastic, metal, all will work fine.
Then, place the containers in a cool, dry place: a cupboard, basement (if it doesn’t have issues with humidity), etc.
What about the fridge or freezer, you ask? Well, there are differing opinions on those. While some people feel that neither is necessary, others tout the freezer as the best option.
The issue with the fridge is that the temperature isn’t as consistent as a freezer. And the problem with the freezer is the higher threat of moisture issues when you remove the containers.
However, if you are careful, you can avoid that problem by letting the containers gradually reach room temperature and letting the seeds sit exposed to the air a few days before planting.
QUICK TIP #3: Label, Label, Label!
One can’t write about seed storage and not mention the importance of proper labeling.
Whether storing the seeds in jars or bags or Tupperware containers, this step is essential.
Mark all of the information you have, including the type of seed and the year it was saved. It will make your life a whole lot easier come planting season.