Storing valuable seeds to maintain best germination
It’s not uncommon to take seeds out of storage after 3 years and get over 90% germination. In fact we expect this will be the case after 7 years.
Seeds in correct storage must first be dry.
Most seeds which come from dry seed heads will be dry after a few days in a warm sunny position.
However seeds from fleshy fruits take much longer than people realise. Seeds of pumpkin, melons and cucumbers may feel dry to touch after a week of drying though when sealed in a container if there is too much moisture these seeds will go mouldy. These seeds must be dried for twice as long as you think. Remember to store them safe inside at night because nights can have much dew as evidenced by a damp lawn in the morning and seed eaters are out at night.
Temperatures must not change too much during the 24 hour day-time period. Early morning to mid-afternoon can be a big temperature change every day. Keep seeds inside in a cool place as high temperatures reduce viability and vigour.
An ideal place therefore is the crisper in a fridge. However only after being dry enough to seal in an air (water) tight container. Once dry enough seeds can be frozen without damage, but if too moist they will be killed.
Three things which destroy seeds are:-
- Changes in Temperature
- Humidity (too much moisture)
Grow well – Alf Finch