Seed long term storage

je25ff

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I don't have an active garden right now, just due to various reasons, but I want to store seeds for long term storage in case it becomes necessary. I've read that dried seeds have variations in their viability and am wondering if this can be prolonged. I've bought some generic dried seeds (cucumbers, beets, etc.) but even keeping them somewhat cool (60 degrees about) and sealed to keep out moisture, I think I'm only looking at maybe a few years.

Anyone have some tips on what kind of seeds to store, how to store them, and what to expect?

I found this list:

vBush and pole beans - two years

Beets - two years

Broccoli, Brussels sprouts, cabbage, cauliflower, and kohlrabi - three to five years

Carrots - three years

Collard, Kale - three to five years

Sweet Corn - one year

Cucumbers - three years

Leeks, onions - two to three years

Lettuce - three years

Melons - three years

Oriental greens - three years

Parsley - two years

Parsnips - one year

Peas - two years

Peppers - two years

Radishes - four years

Rutabagas - three years

Spinach - one season

Squashes - three to four years

Swiss Chard - two years

Tomatoes - three years

Turnips - four years
 

NewGunGuy

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If you are buying the seeds from retail stores like home depot, lowes or places like walmart they are hybrid plants and you won't ever get plants that produce seeds for future plantings. If you really want some for long term storage buy some that the emergency preparing sites sell called heirloom or non-hybrid seeds, those are the plants that will produce seeds for you to regularly gather each year to be able to plant again. I have purchased some of the heirloom seeds and just use the retail store seeds for when we do a garden. Also if you can store your seeds in a freezer or refrigerator they will last alot longer.


Charles.
 

je25ff

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So when you remove them from the freezer, do you just unthaw them and they're good to go? How do you freeze them? Just in their packaging? Thanks for the heads up on the heirloom seeds, I had bought those but didn't realize they were different from others.
 

NewGunGuy

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Well in the packages that I purchased it doesn't say anything about that actually but I guess it wouldn't hurt to plant them right from the freezer. Remember though the emergency seeds are sealed up in a vacuum mylar bag and once you open them they can start to degrade. We have a chest freezer in our basement and I have the package of those and four of those big blue water jugs in ours. I haven't used the seeds yet but was surprised about the different seeds that the retail stores sell us, nothing like making you come back and buying new seeds each year because they are modified!
This is what we got when we bought some of the year packages. Search results for: 'heirloom seeds'
If you have no room in your freezer, keeping them in your basement, would be better than sitting someplace else in the house. If you have an older house with the rock and mortar walls and maybe a partial dirt basement, put the cans in something like trash bags or a tote to store them. I hope you find the info you need and stock up, TINFOIL HAT WARNING, because I feel that it's going to get bad here soon and people are going to be starving like they have in other countries ran by incompetent govt!


Charles.
 

Twigg

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Unless you have a lot of large scale gardening and plant propagation experience I'd suggest harvesting your own seeds from heirloom plants and starting a garden from scratch a couple times. Sustenance gardening is a looooong way from a couple tomato plants and a few rows of carrots.

Best to know what you're doing - and to have sufficient preps in place to allow for a bad year or two of gardening-on-the-job so to speak.
 

NHAtHeart

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Unless you have a lot of large scale gardening and plant propagation experience I'd suggest harvesting your own seeds from heirloom plants and starting a garden from scratch a couple times. Sustenance gardening is a looooong way from a couple tomato plants and a few rows of carrots.

Best to know what you're doing - and to have sufficient preps in place to allow for a bad year or two of gardening-on-the-job so to speak.
Agreed, gardening is not something you want to learn when you're hungry. Learn what grows well on your land, my place has a lot of shade, very limited sunlight hours. As a result I CANNOT grow cucumbers, carrots or corn, something I'd much rather learn now than later. On the other hand potatoes, beans, broccoli, tomatoes and zucchini grow great so those are our core crops with a few misc add on's.

Also, we tried zucchini pickles and relish this year, I'll reply back in the garden thread when we find out how they came out.
 

mousegunguy

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There are thousands of edible plants that grow here without any effort at all. Often what people pull out of their garden as weeds are better for them than the plants they are working hard to grow. This could eliminate the need to save seed. I am teaching a class on wild edible plants at red zone tactial in n. Brookfield this saturday at 2pm. if your intrested. You'd be amazed how many plants you already know but didnt realize you could eat. On my own farm I grow upwards of 1000 different types of edible trees,bushes,vines etc. I have taught classes on seed saving/storage, root cellaring, edible forest construction, garden design at Old Sturbridge Village where I manage the herb garden with about 400plus medicinal/culinary heirloom plant. If you want to learn to save seed and do it correctlly get "Seed To Seed" by Suzanne Ashworth. It the seed savers bible. Simple but very detailed. But if you have specific questions I'd be happy to help.....
 

Stryker

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Hiltonizer

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If you are buying the seeds from retail stores like home depot, lowes or places like walmart they are hybrid plants and you won't ever get plants that produce seeds for future plantings. If you really want some for long term storage buy some that the emergency preparing sites sell called heirloom or non-hybrid seeds, those are the plants that will produce seeds for you to regularly gather each year to be able to plant again. I have purchased some of the heirloom seeds and just use the retail store seeds for when we do a garden. Also if you can store your seeds in a freezer or refrigerator they will last alot longer.


Charles.
Mostly fallacious.

For every 20 brands of seed packets there is 1 commercial seed producer, at best. Odds are the 99c Organic Marketmore Cucumber packet at Walmart is no different than the Botantical Circlejerk Gardens at the feed store for $4. Just google private label seed packets. Most seeds that are hybrid are labeled as such, but a marketmore is a marketmore is a marketmore.... and will produce seed just as well as any boutique heirloom. Seeds labeled F1 you shouldn't count on reproducing, as they are first gen hybrids. Everything was a hybrid at some point, hybrid != non-reproductive.

That said, those shelved packets might be a few years old before they even hit shelves. Best germination rate I've ever had is buying direct from High Mowing, they produce seed in Vermont. Bonuses to them include supporting a relatively local business, and the seeds aren't far off the mark from being perfectly adapted to our light spectrum as a result.

If I were building my own seed storage, which is the only way you can guarantee age of seed btw.... I will go to High Mowing as I have had better germination rates with 3 year old packets of there's stored in a kitchen drawer versus brand new 99c shit Walmart seed.

I actually went balls deep on this year with cheap seed, as I always picked up a few for items I only needed a small quantity of and had great luck. Figured I couldn't beat it for a cheap storage option... but now am paying for it having used them for most of my garden. It's been been a disaster in what should have been a great year. Lesson learned, a mistake I won't make again. After some research, I found that it's likely the cheap seed has probably sat improperly stored for years and why its worked then and not now.

As for storing my own, I use 1 gallon mylar bags for food... I'll just use one of those... throw a bunch of high mowing packets in there. I'll keep it in a bench drawer in the basement where it'll stay around 55 degrees all year and rotate it out in 3 years or so by actually using it.
 
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