When saving your own seeds, it's important to store them properly. Not only is it a waste of time and energy to go about saving the seeds, only to let them go to waste because of improper storage, but it's also important to make sure your seeds are viable when the time comes to plant them!
Here are just a few tips on seed storage, keeping in mind that location/climate factors into storage, as does space available, what types of seeds you're saving/storing, and how long you want to store the seeds:
- Be sure to save the seeds at their full maturity, making sure they are fully ripened.
- To dry the seeds, bring them indoors in a cool, dry place--do not leave them outside where the elements can affect them. Placing the seeds on paper bags helps draw-out and suck up moisture.
- Once the seeds are completely dry, store them in glass mason jars or baby food jars with tight lids. I like using baby food containers because they're small and easy to transport if need be.
- Some people will purchase small silica packets to place in the jars with the seeds to absorb any remaining moisture. If you live in a dry area, this is not necessary, but if you live in a damp or humid area, I would recommend it.
- Always store the seeds in a cool, dry place. If you want them to last longer, you can put them in your refrigerator. If you do this, definitely use the silica packets and be sure the lids are nice and tight.
Most seeds will last up to 5 years, but I would recommend testing the saved seeds at the beginning of each growing season to ensure they are still viable. Date your jars so that you know when the seeds were saved. If the seeds are older than 5 years, I wouldn't put much stock in them being viable and it's probably time to save some new seeds of that variety.
My number one focus is growing my own food. I don't think that really counts as a hobby. For some people it is, but for me, growing my own fruits and vegetables and saving my own seed is the key to survival. The only person you can count on is yourself, if you ask me. The government is trying to "help" us all with GMOs and welfare, but it's all a crock. We need to know how to survive on our own.
Photo. Simon Howden
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