the Seed You Save

ducks4you

Garden Master
Joined
Sep 4, 2009
Messages
11,266
Reaction score
14,101
Points
417
Location
East Central IL, Was Zone 6, Now...maybe Zone 5
I'm NOT a freezer person. We will be filling all 3 family freezers this Spring with a whole black angus, but I prefer to bag up, put in containers and use More plastic ziplocks for my seeds, stored in the dark and cool.
Did you know that freezing some things keeps humidity next to them, like with coffee beans?
Just sayin' you might want to re-think this.
 

flowerbug

Garden Master
Joined
Oct 15, 2017
Messages
16,072
Reaction score
24,212
Points
417
Location
mid-Michigan, USoA
I'm NOT a freezer person. We will be filling all 3 family freezers this Spring with a whole black angus, but I prefer to bag up, put in containers and use More plastic ziplocks for my seeds, stored in the dark and cool.
Did you know that freezing some things keeps humidity next to them, like with coffee beans?
Just sayin' you might want to re-think this.

dry seeds in well sealed containers are fine in the freezer for extended periods of time. this is the basis of many seedbanks around the world.
 

Pulsegleaner

Garden Master
Joined
Apr 18, 2014
Messages
3,359
Reaction score
6,466
Points
306
Location
Lower Hudson Valley, New York
I ALWAYS have WAY more seed that I can plant due to many, many factors.

One, of course, is that I am a sucker for anything new or interesting, even if I don't actually have room for it (I think I worked out once that, if I restricted myself to only the amounts I could actually plant in a given year, and got a "normal" survival rate, then one pack of seeds would generally probably last me 10-20 YEARS!)

Another is that I am in constant battle with my environment. Leaving aside the never-ending attacks by critters, my soil is super rocky and super acidic (since most of our trees are oaks and hemlocks) and our sunlight, basically zero (with no legal way to get more). And we just don't have the money or time for the MAJOR overhauls it would take to even BEGIN to correct these problem (or why I laugh bitterly whenever people say "just dig out all your garden space to about 9-10 feet down every year, and fill it up with fresh topsoil"! So getting thing to grow is rare, getting them to grow WELL, almost unheard of. Therefore a lot of my buying is an unending attempt to find SOMETHING that will actually work.

And, of course there is the fact that a lot of my seed is "found" as opposed to ordered from a seed company. And one big catch about "finds" is that they DON'T happen on a set schedule. You have to take things as they come, and that often means being prepared to hold a LOT of seed when a large find comes along, since you'll probably only get one chance to take advantage of the opportunity.

The flipside of this is that I often forget that seed isn't immortal, and end up delaying planting it WAY longer than I should. Probably the apex of this was when I finally got around to planting out the contents of my "tomato cabinet" where I had been hoarding various tomato seeds going back to when I was in COLLEGE! 4-5 POUNDS of tomato seed went in, a grand total of ONE actually germinated and grew. Everything else was long since kaput (including quite a lot of seed I got through unusual sources, and hence had no way of ever replacing.

I SHOULD have a designated seed freezer, but we just don't have room for it in the house (and given how full both of them are, we generally don't have any room for any seeds in the EXISTING freezers either). So I sort of have to just keep them dry and hope for the best.
 

heirloomgal

Garden Addicted
Joined
Jan 17, 2021
Messages
3,668
Reaction score
11,804
Points
235
Location
Northern Ontario, Canada
I'm NOT a freezer person. We will be filling all 3 family freezers this Spring with a whole black angus, but I prefer to bag up, put in containers and use More plastic ziplocks for my seeds, stored in the dark and cool.
Did you know that freezing some things keeps humidity next to them, like with coffee beans?
Just sayin' you might want to re-think this.
When I first joined TEG I read somewhere in a thread that there is a significant difference between storing seeds in frost free freezers vs regular freezers. That spooked me because I think I have frost free freezers, which I think was the bad kind for seeds. I have so many seed varieties at this point I don't feel safe (read: paranoid) putting them in a freezer - just in case. So far my cooler, always dark basement has done pretty well for them. I do worry that basements can be quite humid though at certain times of the year. We do run a de-humidifier at those times. So much labour involved with all those seeds.
 

ducks4you

Garden Master
Joined
Sep 4, 2009
Messages
11,266
Reaction score
14,101
Points
417
Location
East Central IL, Was Zone 6, Now...maybe Zone 5
I ALWAYS have WAY more seed that I can plant due to many, many factors.

One, of course, is that I am a sucker for anything new or interesting, even if I don't actually have room for it (I think I worked out once that, if I restricted myself to only the amounts I could actually plant in a given year, and got a "normal" survival rate, then one pack of seeds would generally probably last me 10-20 YEARS!)

Another is that I am in constant battle with my environment. Leaving aside the never-ending attacks by critters, my soil is super rocky and super acidic (since most of our trees are oaks and hemlocks) and our sunlight, basically zero (with no legal way to get more). And we just don't have the money or time for the MAJOR overhauls it would take to even BEGIN to correct these problem (or why I laugh bitterly whenever people say "just dig out all your garden space to about 9-10 feet down every year, and fill it up with fresh topsoil"! So getting thing to grow is rare, getting them to grow WELL, almost unheard of. Therefore a lot of my buying is an unending attempt to find SOMETHING that will actually work.

And, of course there is the fact that a lot of my seed is "found" as opposed to ordered from a seed company. And one big catch about "finds" is that they DON'T happen on a set schedule. You have to take things as they come, and that often means being prepared to hold a LOT of seed when a large find comes along, since you'll probably only get one chance to take advantage of the opportunity.

The flipside of this is that I often forget that seed isn't immortal, and end up delaying planting it WAY longer than I should. Probably the apex of this was when I finally got around to planting out the contents of my "tomato cabinet" where I had been hoarding various tomato seeds going back to when I was in COLLEGE! 4-5 POUNDS of tomato seed went in, a grand total of ONE actually germinated and grew. Everything else was long since kaput (including quite a lot of seed I got through unusual sources, and hence had no way of ever replacing.

I SHOULD have a designated seed freezer, but we just don't have room for it in the house (and given how full both of them are, we generally don't have any room for any seeds in the EXISTING freezers either). So I sort of have to just keep them dry and hope for the best.
DD's will verbally slap my hands if I wander at the store to look are MORE seeds!! :lol:
 

flowerbug

Garden Master
Joined
Oct 15, 2017
Messages
16,072
Reaction score
24,212
Points
417
Location
mid-Michigan, USoA
i don't do much with wax or candlemaking but i was pondering seed saving, envelopes and what to try and wondered if anyone else had done something similar or thoughts...

pretty much what i was thinking was small fabric soaked in wax allowed to cool then foleded. put seeds in and then use a heat source to seal the edges. would it be airtight enough?

the other approach was to just get the wax melted and to let it cool enough until right before getting solid and putting the seeds right in the wax lump itself. mush it together into a lump. waterproof enough.

granted this would be extreme measures kind of preservation where you had no idea you'd ever see a plastic envelope or similar again and you were worried about things being water tight.

any other ideas? :)
 

Pulsegleaner

Garden Master
Joined
Apr 18, 2014
Messages
3,359
Reaction score
6,466
Points
306
Location
Lower Hudson Valley, New York
i don't do much with wax or candlemaking but i was pondering seed saving, envelopes and what to try and wondered if anyone else had done something similar or thoughts...

pretty much what i was thinking was small fabric soaked in wax allowed to cool then foleded. put seeds in and then use a heat source to seal the edges. would it be airtight enough?

the other approach was to just get the wax melted and to let it cool enough until right before getting solid and putting the seeds right in the wax lump itself. mush it together into a lump. waterproof enough.

granted this would be extreme measures kind of preservation where you had no idea you'd ever see a plastic envelope or similar again and you were worried about things being water tight.

any other ideas? :)
I think that putting the seeds directly in a lump of wax would probably be a bad idea. The wax might get into the pores of the seed coat, and either smother the seed or make it impossible for any water to get in and imbibe it.

Waxed cloth MIGHT work, but I am not sure.

When I was back in college, on occasion when I wanted to put seed away for a VERY long time, once I had put it in the glass vial (I used glass tissue vials for seed storage back then) I would cover the cap with sealing wax or parafilm, but I gave that up pretty soon (for one thing, it is quite hard to get parafilm OFF a plastic cap, and almost IMPOSSIBLE to get sealing wax off.)
 

Latest posts

Top