How To Store Heirloom Seeds
If you’re always on the lookout for ways to save money without sacrificing the quality of your small or large garden and vigorous plants, then keeping and storing your own seeds for the next season is an option, instead of going to an online store.
Plus, if you have an organic farm, this is a great way to have organic seeds without looking for organic certification.
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, tomatoes, herbs like Basil, or berry plants.
When you choose the best of your plants and fruit trees each year to save your new seeds or organic garden seeds, it ensures a beautiful full harvest of heirloom vegetables and fruits next season.
This is why knowing how to store the annual flower seeds, vegetable seeds, or organic herb seeds that you love is incredibly important. If you store all your heirloom seed varieties poorly, chances are, they won’t germinate.
No matter how big or how small they are, it’s a must to keep your heirloom garden seeds viable for long periods of time.
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If you’re looking for ways to effectively and efficiently keep all your seeds for different plants in good condition, here are some of the best ways to harvest, save, and store your own seed collection for long-term use.
Once you’ve decided which heirloom varieties and seeds to store for your next planting season, the first thing you need to do is to harvest from your parent plant in your garden or vegetable garden and save them.
Collection methods vary depending on the plant varieties you’re harvesting from. When you’re harvesting heirloom tomatoes seeds and organic 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:
Lexingware 35.5oz Plastic Food Storage Container with Lid
Umite Chef 6-Piece Mixing Bowl Set with Airtight Lids
Whysko Stainless Steel Mixing Bowls Set with Airtight Lids
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 time to dry them.
To do this, spread the seeds on a piece of parchment paper in a well-ventilated part of the house:
Kirkland Signature Non-Stick Parchment Paper
Smartake 200-Piece Parchment Paper
Reynolds Kitchens Parchment Paper Roll With SmartGrid
At least once a day, stir the seeds to make sure they are drying out evenly.
You can also place the seeds in your own food dehydrator with an extremely low temperature, at least between 80 to 90, to dry out the seeds:
Gourmia Premium 6-Drying Shelves Countertop Food Dehydrator
Presto Electric Food Dehydrator
Hamilton Beach Digital Food Dehydrator
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 heirloom variety and date.
Then store them in an airtight container like a mason jar:
Kamota 16-oz Mason Jars With Lids
Glass Regular 4-Piece 16-oz Mason Jar
Or you can use a seed storage box:
DecorRack 40 Plastic Mini Containers with Lids
Iris USA Extra Large Photo And Craft keeper
Blue Clear Plastic Bead Storage Containers Set with 30 Pieces Storage Jars
Another way to store them is to place the seeds in plastic zipper bags, with all the air pressed out:
Glad Food Storage and Freezer 2 in 1 Zipper Bags
Don’t forget to write the type of seeds that you stored as well as the dates. That’s one of the most common home gardeners mistakes.
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 different varieties, it’s important to store them for longer periods of time, so they will last for two or more years. That’s a long time, so they need to be stored properly.
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:
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Store In A Cold Storage
Use cold storage. Use a compact beverage cooler where you have 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 keep 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.
Dry-Packs 1-Ounce Moisture Absorbing Indicating Silica Gel
Wisedry 50 Gram 4-Packs Silica Gel Packets
Dry & Dry 2 Gram 50-Packet Premium Pure & Safe Silica Gel Packets Desiccant Dehumidifier
Protect The Seeds
Your dried heirloom plants 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 they remain the way you stored them.
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 for future generations, all with better flavor, without buying family heirlooms seed packets and organic heirloom seeds from places like the grocery store and heirloom seed companies.
Do you store your Heirloom Seeds? Do you have any tips to share with us? Please let us know in the comments below.
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