How To Store Heirloom Seeds
If you are always on the lookout of ways to save money without sacrificing the quality of your garden and plants, then saving and storing seeds for the next season is an option.
When it comes to storing, you can keep the flowers that you love every year or you can also save the seeds of your favorite variety of watermelons or tomatoes. When you choose the best of your plants each year to save from it ensures a beautiful full harvest next season.
This is why knowing how to store the ones that you love is incredibly important. If you store them poorly, chances are, they won’t germinate.No matter how big or how small they are, it’s a must to keep them viable for long periods of time.
If you are looking for ways to effectively and efficiently keep them, here are some of the best ways to harvest, save, and store them for long term use.
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Once you’ve decided which seeds to store for your next planting season, the first thing you need to do is to harvest and save them.
Collection methods vary depending on the plant you’re harvesting from. when you’re harvesting tomato seeds, for example, upon collection, you might notice that there’s a gel around them. You need to remove this gel..
To remove it, place the seeds in a bowl of water with an airtight lid:
Once a day, shake the bowl or stir them. As you do this, you might notice that the gel starts to come off. Once your heirloom seeds are gel-free, rinse them off entirely with running water.
Dry The Seeds
Once the seeds are gel-free, it’s the time to dry them.
To do this, spread the seeds on a piece of parchment paper in a well-ventilated part of the house:
At least once a day, stir the seeds to make sure that they are drying out evenly.
You can also place the seeds in a food dehydrator with an extremely low temperature, at least between 80 to 90 to dry out the seeds:
Store The Seeds
After drying out your heirloom seeds completely, it’s now the time to place them in a storage container.
There are several ways you can store your seeds for the next planting season. Place them in separate envelopes labeling them with the variety and date.
Then store them in an airtight container like a mason jar:
Or you can use a seed storage box:
Another way to store them is to place the seeds in plastic zipper bags, with all the air pressed out:
Don’t forget to write the type of seeds that you stored as well as the dates.
Place them in a cool, dry, and dark location of the house, with at least 60 to 65 degrees temperature. Some people store them in the back of the refrigerator or inside their pantry.
Tricks For Storing Seeds For Longer
If you have a large collection or if you have a lot of varieties, it’s important to store them for longer periods of time so they will last for two or more years.
The best way to do this is to create a great environment to keep them in.
To ensure that they will last for many years and planting seasons to come, here are some tips and tricks:
Store In A Cold Storage
Use a cold storage. Use a compact beverage cooler where you have the full temperature control so you can set your preferred temperature levels.
If you are on a budget or you are just starting to store them for future use, you can store the containers in the back of your refrigerator.
A cooler environment can cause moisture to gather.
To avoid this, you need to use a fully sealed, airtight container to keep the moisture out. You can also add moisture-absorbing pockets to the storage containers to keep the humidity out.
Protect The Seeds
Your dried seeds can catch the attention of pests.
Bugs, insects, and even rodents and critters will enjoy nibbling on them.
Choose a storage spot in your house that is pest-free. Always keep an eye on your containers, to ensure that they remain the way you stored them.
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Storing your seeds is not as complicated as you might think it is. In fact, as long as you know how to do it and if you have all the tools you need to get started, you can save them from your favorite fruit and vegetable varieties.
Do you store your Heirloom Seeds? Do you have any tips to share with us? Please let us know in the comments below.