How to store vegetable and flower seeds

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Posted on: 02 December 2014 by Robin Anderson

If you are a newbie gardener, then you are probably facing the problem of what to do with the excessive vegetable or flower seeds for the first time. Regarding the fact that most of them may last for about three years without having their germination considerably decreased, you can store them and use them the next planting season. In order to do that properly, you need to follow some basic principles.

The Internet is full of information, but most of it is not particularly systematic, not to mention how complicated it might sound to an amateur gardener. This is why the purpose of this article is to provide you with some quick and simple but quite effective ways to store your seeds and ensure their germination for the next few years.

First and foremost, it does not depend where you will place your seeds as far as it is somewhere dry, cool, and shady. Mind you, access to warm and humid air might cause them irrevocable damage. You can keep your seeds and seed packets in plastic zipper bags as well as plastic or glass jars with perfectly fitting lids. Thus, they will be properly insulated from air. Once, you have placed them in such containers, it is highly recommended to store them in the fridge. However, make sure not to position them somewhere in a near proximity to the freezer section, if there is any. When the time for planting comes, you need to remove the seed containers from the refrigerator and wait until they acquire room temperature before you unlid them. Otherwise, the warm air might condense them and this will considerably decrease their qualities or even spoil them completely.

If you do not have extra space in your refrigerator, you might want to try some of the tips below, in order to successfully store your seeds for the following seasons. In the first place, you can wrap two full tablespoons of dried milk in several layers of paper handkerchief and place the tiny bundle in the seed container. Silica gel is another excellent option. You only need to keep in mind that you have to put a new packet of it every six months.

Proper labelling is another thing that assists gardeners. It is a good idea to keep the current year's seeds in one place. Write their names as well as the exact date when they have been packed. Thus, when the planting season nears, you will be able to easily tell apart the seeds that are good to use from those that are beyond their productive period and, thus, ensure a productive year.

If you want to save seeds from your own garden, you need to make sure that they are completely dry before you put them in a container. For the purpose, you need to place them on a piece of old newspaper and keep them there for a week or so.

Finally, you need to know that providing your seeds with hygienic environment is essential, this is why you should make sure to store them only in perfectly clean containers. Otherwise, you risk to destroy them. If, however, you offer them the proper conditions, you might prolong their germination period up to three and why not even five or ten years for certain types of flowers and vegetables. And one last thing, remember, that no matter how well-organised and thorough you are in storing your seeds, not all of them will germinate the next season. There are just certain plants that have low germinating rates and you will learn that while gathering more experience. 

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