Storing seeds

by balconydresser

storingseeds_1Fall is not only the season for harvesting crops, but also for gathering seeds, which then need to be stored until the beginning of next season (or even longer sometimes). When it comes to storing seeds, you want to make sure they stay dry and germinable as long as possible. If you have ample space and a garden shed, this task might be more easily accomplished than in a big-city apartment. Still, as an apartment dweller myself, I can confirm that the following way works out fine and is neither cost-intensive nor time-consuming. So here’s the how-to.


In a first step, of course, you either collect the seeds or pick them out of the fruit that you want to grow next time. You try to get rid of the fruit flesh as well as possible and then let the seeds dry on a paper towel (or any other tissue you may find). Clockwise pictured on the sheet above are basil seeds, field salad seeds and chili pepper seeds that I have dried throughout this summer.


While the seeds are still drying remember to keep some of the envelopes coming in the snail mail. These will essentially be the storage bag for the seeds. I usually cut them in half given the small amounts of seeds I normally deal with.


I then fold the side that you have cut open twice and staple it. I label the now bag indicating the plant name and the year of the harvest, before I close it with a paper clip.

storingseeds_5The seed bags themselves are then best kept in a tin box.

I have been using this storage way for about ten years now and I have never had any problems with moisture or rotting seeds. Yet given that my experience is but one single opinion, I was glad to see that BBC’s Gardeners’ World gives similar recommendations.