|Seeds drying on paper plates|
It won't be long before I'll start thinking about which seeds to sow this year.
Having them organized will help speed things up when it comes time for sowing.
Storing seeds can be complicated.
It's important to know that some types of seeds don't store well, and need to be sown as soon as possible.
Other types of seeds need cold stratification in order to germinate, and therefore should be stored in a cool location. (These are the perfect types of seeds to use for winter sowing. Winter sowing does the job of cold stratification for you!).
But I am not going to go into the storage needs of particular types of seeds here. In this post, I will talk in general about the way that I store most of my seeds. If you've collected a type of seed that you aren't familiar with, I recommend looking up the best storage method for that particular seed.
So, in general...
|My seed storage containers|
To store my seeds, I like to reuse the small containers that condiments come in with take out food.
I like these because they are lightweight, small, easy to store, reusable... and of course, because they are free!
I also like that they are clear so I can see the seeds.
Other containers I've heard of people using are pill bottles, baby food jars, spice jars, plastic film canisters, small plastic zip top bags, paper bags, envelopes... you get the idea! Note that if you choose to use a plastic container, make certain the seeds are completely dry otherwise they could mold.
For trading and sharing seeds, I like put the seeds in small envelopes. Some people buy envelopes for this purpose, but I am cheap and like to recycle... so I make my own out of scrap paper.
|4 steps to make a seed envelope|
Here is a picture of how I fold a paper square into an envelope.
(Note, I don't use lightweight paper like newspaper or magazine pages because they rip easily.)
For tiny seeds, I fold them into a small square of paper before putting them into the envelope.
Once the seeds are in their container, I label the container/envelope with the name of the plant, color of flower and the season/year I collected them. It's important to keep track of the year seeds were collected in order to keep seeds fresh.
|Seed boxes in closet|
I keep mine on a shelf in a basement closet.
The length of time seeds can be stored varies depending on the type of seed.
I have had success germinating seeds that are several years old. But in general, I would recommend discarding unused seeds yearly once fresh seeds have been collected.
How do you store your seeds?