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.
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.
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.
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.
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
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.
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.
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.
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?
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
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
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.
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.
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.
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...
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.
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.
Okay, for what it's worth... Put the excess seeds we had from last year in their paper packets in a Seal-A-Meal vaccum bag and then put that out in the deep freeze. Temperature was down to about 0*, and in the vacuum, I don't think they had much moisture that was able to get to them.
Had some Beefsteak and Brandywine that we planted in our garden beds 2 weeks ago. So far, so good with the plants are about 3" tall now and look pretty good. Also tried some in the Jiffy Tomato Greenhouse, had better than 80% germination, but I killed them after they sprouted. Used fertilizer and I think they got too cold when we had some low 40*'s a couple weeks ago.
The cukes and the okra are also looking good, as well as the squash and zucchini. With all the rain we've had this winter and spring, I am looking forward to gardening this year.