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Thread: Long term storage of Heirloom seeds

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Sep 2009
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    Default Long term storage of Heirloom seeds

    I was contemplating buying one of those #10 cans of heirloom seeds for LTS. I will grow a garden this year but want to have some set back. I was thinking that for the $42 they would charge me for the sealed can, would I be money ahead to buy enough non-hybrid seeds for two gardens , plant one and vacuum seal the other, put it in a small sealed bucket, and leave it in the basement. Or could I possibly freeze them after sealing? I know that seeds keep better at lower temperatures. Is freezing ok or just refrigeration?
    Anyway, I was wondering if this idea would be a viable way to store seeds for 3-5 years. Whattya think?

  2. #2
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    Mar 2009
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    Don't vacuum seal seeds that you intend to plant! The little critters inside the seed still need oxygen. Just keep them cold (fridge good, freezer better, deep freeze best) in the original #10 can and you should be OK. If your budget allows, buy two cans - one to plant, one to store.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Sep 2009
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    Default Seed storage

    Looks like the vac seal deal will work. Keeping the humidity down before packaging and keeping them cool are more important factors it seems.
    2paranoid you are too paranoid!

  4. #4

    Default

    I've always heard that your seeds do need oxygen to stay viable.
    I've also heard that freezing is better.
    I've also heard not to expect a high germination after more than a year or two.

    Nothing to back this up. Just what I've heard and/or read.

  5. #5
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    Oct 2009
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    A lot of plant seed packets will advise oversowing (planting several seeds together instead of just one) especially if the seeds are older. Or you can also do a test, similar to the grade school experiment I think - where you do a test planting or seeds in wet towels in a baggie allowed to sprout. Plant 10 and see how many germinate.... if half do, you can overplant by half... here's a link to some info:
    http://gardening.wsu.edu/library/vege004/vege004.htm

  6. #6
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    As I understand, heirloom seeds will sprout after years of storage because they are heirloom. The hybrids may or may not sprout (germinate) after a few years of storage. Experts also say that vacuum sealing will eliminate positive germination. Store in paper envelopes and keep in a cool dry closet, or under the bed. Mice will destroy the seeds if they get in, but cats and mouse abatement takes care of that.
    Approach with a calm resolve, attack with reckless indifference. Gladius Republicae!
    "...use Gold like it's gunpowder..."

  7. #7

    Default

    I had several packs left over from last year. I put them in the freezer to see if they will grow this year. I may leave a few in there to try for a couple of more years just to see. I may move them over to the deep freeze.

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