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Seeds in Refrigerato?

Gilmer, TX(Zone 8a)

This question I know has been asked a million times. Some by me, but please give me the ultimate answer....LOL

Do I put seed packets I am saving for next year and to trade. in the refrigerator in a big ziplock or something with the stuff to keep it from getting moist.

I've heard so many different things, so I'm going in circles and doing nothing!!

Some one stop me, please!!! lol

Pretoria, South Africa

LorraineR, I tend to put everything in the refrigerator. Don't know if it is necessary, but I found some of the seeds easier to germinate - not necessarily seeds that need stratification - so I decided I have nothing to loose.

Elsa

Gilmer, TX(Zone 8a)

Thanks, so do you think if I put the different seeds in packets, put in the silica pack and put that in a container, it will be ok? I have a big silica thing so would like to put them in one container with it.

So, here I go. Fingers crossed LOL

Pretoria, South Africa

I think so..

Calgary, AB(Zone 3a)

I OWN the veggie bin in a fridge and I use my ninja skills to defend my territory. It is full of seeds which are packaged in paper seed packets. I've used this method for many years and have found nothing better. Now if I was only smart enough to ORGANIZE the seeds so it doesn't take an hour to find a packet my life would be perfect.

Gilmer, TX(Zone 8a)

That is so funny, Daliah!! You actually made me laugh out loud!! Almost spilled my coffee!!

It's so true tho. Once I find them, sometimes I'll lay them out to get to later, and of course never find them again. Well, till a month or so later and I finally clean from under the couch.

If you come up with the right trick, tell me too. I want my life to be perfect too!!!

So, I need to go ahead and get them in fridge, huh?

Calgary, AB(Zone 3a)

Righto about the fridge. Be strong. Stake out your turf. I started with packets, then larger envelops and then a small box which shared space with (believe it or not) food stuff. Moved up to a shoe box and suddenly VIOLA! I owned the bin. Using expressions like "You touch the seeds, you die" or "Those are toxic if handled you know" worked well for me. IMHO it's all fair in luv and seeding ^_^ I'll keep you posted on organizing but sigh it's not my strong suit.

Gilmer, TX(Zone 8a)

I can see you standing in front of the fridge, arms up against it, yelling . Don't go near the seeds. lol

I like the , you touch the seeds you die. Or you could tell them they might get one in their stomach and have flowers gwowing out their ears!

Springfield, MA(Zone 6a)

Heck! I own the bar fridge! Lorraine, I let my seeds dry for about a week - then I clean them while DH reads novels to me, then in the fridge I go.

Some people keep seeds in the freezer. I was the happy receipient of some from Alaska that had been kept in a freezer. Some of the dianthus seeds were five years old. I thought "well these are soooo old, what could the germination rate be? might as well sow them all . . . " Well, the germination rate must have been close to 100 percent! Well, maybe not that much, but basically waaaaaayyyyy more seedlings than I could ever use!

Personally, I would be careful about putting seeds in the freezer, but the fridge works terrific

Gilmer, TX(Zone 8a)

Now, all I have to do is brush up on the ninja moves to keep people from moving them to put stuff like food in there!! lol

Calgary, AB(Zone 3a)

You go girl LorainneR!! "touch the seeds, you die"^_^

Gilmer, TX(Zone 8a)

You got it. So what if the tomatoes and stuff have to sit on the cabinet. Better than losing a seed!!!

North Richland Hills, TX(Zone 8a)

So are there any seeds that would be hurt by being kept in the fridge? I'm thinking of putting my whole bin in there, but don't want to take the chance of hurting any of them if they aren't supposed to be stored in the chilled environment.

Calgary, AB(Zone 3a)

All my seeds are in the fridge. The only seeds that might be damaged are those that need to be planted fresh. Any storage would be a no no for those.

North Richland Hills, TX(Zone 8a)

how can I find out which seeds need to be planted fresh? is there a guide for this?

Calgary, AB(Zone 3a)

This is the guide I use http://tomclothier.hort.net/ Many guides will say 'sow fresh' or 'sow immediately' which is a heads up for me that it can't be stored. There's not too herbaceous plants that require fresh sowing. Mostly woodys I find.

North Richland Hills, TX(Zone 8a)

thanks!

Brownstown, IN(Zone 5b)

I know I read on here somewhere(maybe not this forum) that some put seed in the freezer. My DH puts all his veggie seed in there and I have put my flower seed in there also. I have been kind of antsy about it lately and am wondering if I should move them to the fridge. If they have been frozen though will it help. I even have some I ordered from T and M that I froze. Do you understand my anxiety and do you have any suggestions.

Gilmer, TX(Zone 8a)

I do understand cause I worry about it all the time. Would think I could find something else to worry about huh? I did read somewhere that Sunflowers do better in the freezer. wouldn't it be ok to put perennials in freezer?

Brownstown, IN(Zone 5b)

I would think that it would be any seed that reseeds or is perennial.
Let's see what happens come spring.vb

Gilmer, TX(Zone 8a)

I can see me now, looking at nothing , cause I ruined the seeds. lol

Brownstown, IN(Zone 5b)

I don't have much choice since most of mine are in the freezer(the ones I had left over) but think the new ones will just go in the fridge. If I can remember I will compare and see which do best( or even germinate) lol VB

Gilmer, TX(Zone 8a)

It would really be terrible if we went through all that and then nothing germinated! I'd just want to throw myself off a cliff! lol

Brownstown, IN(Zone 5b)

Ha Don't do that!!!! I think all or most will be fine. As I have said my DH puts his corn, bean. spinach, lettuce etc. in the freezer and they do germinate. Wish someone else would come on to console us.lol

Gilmer, TX(Zone 8a)

Me too. Help us, help us, please!!!! lol

Columbia, SC(Zone 8a)

I feel foolish asking something so basic...but should seeds be stored in paper or plastic? I have very small plastic bags for jewlery findings.
I've heard that the dessicant used to dry flowers (which is available at craft stores) can be used to keep seeds dry. Does anyone use this? Can you dry seeds too much?
Also, I'm new and not up to speed on how to put my location in the box on the left...I am in Columbia, SC; Zone 8.
Thanks!

Gilmer, TX(Zone 8a)

Those are my questions too!!! Come on guys, I'm dumb.

Brownstown, IN(Zone 5b)

Someone wrote that the plastic are fine for trading seeds but to keep them longer use paper. I know of some on DG that use the silica gel to keep the seed fresh. I am just going to plod along doing basically the same as I have always done. BTW my mother useds to save her bean seed in cloth bags that she sewed together. I think the idea is for them to get some air circulating and not retain moisture.

Calgary, AB(Zone 3a)

Ditto to Indynanny. I use paper coin envelops to be sure the seed is dry.

Gilmer, TX(Zone 8a)

What about Glassine envy's.? What if you kept the packet open inside a photo box or something?

Brownstown, IN(Zone 5b)

Don't know as I don't know anything about glassine envelopes.

Washington, IN(Zone 6a)

I gotta throw my 2 cents in. If you can winter sow you can use freezer to store in. winter sowing freezes the seed so what would be the difference?

Richmond, VA(Zone 7a)

I have successfully stored seeds in paper which was then put in plastic (whatever I had on hand) and in the fridge...... The reason for the two layers is I had learned that if they got wet at all, that was it (they mold, or begin to germinate and then die........) and things in the fridge will get moist from condensation, I guess, so they do need to be protected by a moisture barrier (the plastic.) Same has been said of coffee beans, BTW, that freezing is okay but refrigerating is a no-no due to moisture damage.

ciao,
Kyla

Washington, IN(Zone 6a)

Even if you have an air tight container to put things in you wouldn't be able to put in fridge?

Richmond, VA(Zone 7a)

Oh I was unclear..... yes I did store in fridge and an airtight container should work also. I used paper inside of plastic ziplock bags -- a form of airtight container, no? My point was that in just paper they would get moist. Hmm. Now I think of it though, if the seeds were loose in a plastic tub, for instance, there might still be the opportunity for condensation to form.......



Washington, IN(Zone 6a)

Well I was going to store mine in air tight plastic bags and then put in air tihgt container in the fridge. would that be ok?

Richmond, VA(Zone 7a)

If it were me I would put them in paper inside the plastic, as the paper can wick away moisture. However, that is an intuitive response and possibly an unnecessary extra step.

You could try it both ways and see??

Paper is really not that hard to organize -- All I do sometimes is fold a piece of scrap paper into a loose envelope of whatever size needed, and seal that into the plastic.

If you are working with seeds already in commercial seed packets (paper) then.....all this is unnecessary too of course.

Washington, IN(Zone 6a)

It is mostly seed I have bought from different people and they are sent in little plastic bags. Putting a piece of paper in with them would be no problem got plenty of that LOL

Everett, WA(Zone 8a)

I just bought a pound of "Drierite" dessicant (anhydrous calcium sulfate) and I wonder if it may dry out the seeds too much. I've heard that 15% RH is a good way to store them (cool) so the seeds retain 8% moisture. A totally dry seed would die. I put some dessicant into each big jar in the fridge.

I like little 2"x3.5" plastic zip-lock bags because they are very small, I can see how much seed is left, and I can read my little double-side-fine-printed notes stuck inside.

Then I double-bag them, with 2-4 varieties inside one bigger zip-lock bag. Doing that alphbetically helps me find them, and if I open the jar to get out some "L" seeds, A-K and M-Z seeds are not exposed to condensation. And I let the jar warm to room temperature before opening it so humidity doesn't condense inside.

I think that thin plastic 'breaths' just a little, or else plastic-wrapped food in the freezer couldn't get freezer burn (drying out). And the "zip-lock" zippers are not exactly heremetic seals. The Drierite vendor says that "1-mil polyethylene will pass water vapor at the rate of 1.5 grams/sq. ft./ 24 hrs, ... at 75 F and 100% RH". One 2"x3.5" baggie is a lot less than a square foot, but 1.5 grams of water is a lot of water!

I figure the Drierite will keep the air in the jar bone-dry (they say "-100 F dew point") by grabbing any condensation that gets into the jar. The double-bagged seeds should stay at least as dry as they started, plus any residual mositure in the seeds might very slowly leach out of the bags, if the Drierite is as strong as I suspect. It certainly holds the relative humidity below 10%, becuase I have an indicating card for 10% RH.

I just hope that if the Drierite _is_ pulling the RH down to 0.0%, the double-bagged plastic will still keep the seeds from dieing for a few years. I may reduce the amount in each jar.

Now for the confession: this is the first year I've done it this way, so it may be a formula for killing seeds that would otherwise last for years! Next spring, I should know. And I'll test-sprout a few in a few months.

I went crazy at a year-end seed sale, and had to do 'something' to preserve them. And just maybe I like fiddling with gadgets and have too-fond memories of my high-school chemistry lab.
:-)

Rick Corey


Everett, WA(Zone 8a)

I've heard of many people who save seeds in a shoebox, others always use the fridge or vegetable crisper. I think the most importan t thing is to get them really dry BEFORE storage, if you're going to seal them with plastic.

Then, avoid big swings of temperature and condensation.

I found that I was always pulling my jars in and out of the fridge and opening them, so I may stick with storing them in a closet instead (with Drierite in the jars). I find that the humidity is around 10% that way. I also found that when I packed the jar with many paper envelopes that had been in the humid hosue for months, they carried so much humidity into the jar that it has gone up to 30% humidity, just from all the paper! I'll be adding more dessicant to that jar!

BTW: the vegetable crisper keeps lettuce MORE humid, not less. The air in the frdige is drier than in the "crisper" bin. If you can drill holes into the top of your vege drawer compartment, it will tend to pull humidity out of the bin.

I guess if nothing damp ever goes INTO the bin, it may be as dry as the rest of the fridge.

Corey


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