Now that all our seeds have been planted and we have decided that we have way more starter plants than our tiny garden can support we are finally ready to put the seed to rest for awhile (or until we decide to go for a second round of some summer crops). I have looked into seed storage and wanted to share a few tip with everyone on how to store seeds. What I found was that there are no exact answers, seeds are living things, so eventually the will no longer be viable. There is no-drop dead point for the seeds, the percentage of them germinating just lessens with time.
There are three enemies of seeds; moisture, heat, and fluctuating temperatures. So to keep those seeds super dry place the packets into an air tight container, to keep the seeds away from heat and at a constant temperature stick the container in the refrigerator or a cool dark location that will not be impacted by fluctuating temperatures. Leaving your seeds in the shed is the worst place to store them simply because that allows moisture and temperature fluctuations to impact the tiny little guys.
After a bit of research these are the holding times that seem reasonable for seeds as long as they are properly stored in a dark and dry location that has a consistent temperature.
- 1 year - Sweet corn, onion, parsnip, okra, parsley
- 2 years - Beet, pepper, leek
- 3 years - Asparagus, bean, carrot, celery, lettuce, pea, spinach, tomato
- 4 years - Cabbage, cauliflower, Brussels sprouts, Swiss chard, kale, squash, pumpkin, radish, turnip, rutabaga
- 5 years - Cucumber, endive, watermelon