Ready to start your own personal seed bank? Or simply looking for ways to pay yourself forward, save money and grow a better garden?
Honestly, there’s no real trick to collecting and saving seeds except to recall the ideal conditions for germinating seeds: typically a warm, moist environment that often includes sun or varying amounts of sun and contact with air. Keeping this in mind, successful seed saving requires the opposite — air tight, dry, dark, cool conditions.
Seed Storing 101:
- Keep seeds clear of light, water, air and heat.
- Warmth and humidity shorten seed life.
- Use mason jars, zip locks, film canisters or other air tight containers for storing seeds and packets.
- Organize seeds by variety and date. They don’t live forever (there’s a baby plant in each one waiting for the right conditions to grow).
- Keep your most precious seeds in the refrigerator.
- Utilize cool, dark corners or closets for overflow.
- A homemade packet of dehydrated milk will act as a moisture vacuum. Make one by wrapping 2 Tbsp dehydrated milk in facial tissues. I use dental floss to tie together but anything similar works. Add the packet to your ziplock, Seed Keeper or other storage container. *Once removed from fridge, be sure to let your seeds come to room temperature before removing from air tight containers to reduce the affect of condensation.
The benefits of seed saving range from thrifty living to crafting a garden that, over time, is increasingly adapted to a particular microclimate — for the basic reason that when seeds are harvested from healthy, successful plants the chance of growing similar, successive plants is greater. You’re essentially taking an active hand in natural selection by choosing high performing plants for your particular climate.
What is mentioned less often but implied with passion is the sheer joy that seeds bring. They’re 100% infatuating. So much so that you could quickly become what some would call a hoarder.
Which brings me to organization. It’s easy for a growing seed collection to look something like this (above). Bags, boxes, zip locks and envelopes randomly stashed away awaiting the next planting.
Avoid seed storing madness with a simple, straight forward system. A Seed Keeper for instance (below). Alphabetize, group by month (optimal planting season) and squirrel away notes and other important seed related items in one place. Use Grow What You Love seed packets for hand picked seeds.
Enjoy the process from beginning to end. Find what you’re looking for when you need it and know that when it’s time to plant you’ll soon have a heathy, prosperous garden — and grow it basically for free.
Read these for more seed tips:
6 Things to Remember When Planting Seeds
Seeds 101: Seed Selection & Terminology
How to Collect & Save Tomato Seeds
Making Paper Pots for Starting Seeds
Find the Seed Keeper Company here: https://www.seedkeepercompany.com/
Grow What You Love.
I saw a fantastic seed saving tip recently – if you spot a particularly beautiful flower or productive plant in the garden, tie a ribbon on it to mark it for saving seed later.
I’ve heard of this one too! A perfect idea. Love it. Thanks for sharing. 😀
I love these ideas!!!! Thank you for sharing them.