What do you do with the seeds left over from planting in the spring? Do you just file them away in the closet, garage, or shed for next year? Do you discard them on the thought that they will be no good?
Well, first of all, tossing them is the wrong way to go. You should hold onto them for next year. Their viability, or their ability to grow, does not dramatically decrease from one year to another in seeds that have been cared for properly.
Proper care, what is that? It is not keeping them in temperatures that can fluctuate wildly based on what is going on outside. Proper care is taking care of the seeds so that you can use the left overs for next year. There are a couple things you should know…
- Humidity and warmth are a seed’s biggest enemy. Keeping seeds in an airtight container such as an airtight food storage bin or a food storage bag will help prolong their lives. Placing the seeds in the fridge will give you the most constant temperature, so long as the fridge is plugged in!
- Keep seeds in the container dry. You can use a silica gel packet to help with this. You can reuse the ones from shoe boxes to help out with this.
- If you are saving your own seed, be sure to label the seed with as much information as possible. Date, variety, and other important information.
- Just remember, sometimes seeds just won’t grow after a prolonged time no matter how careful you are. Don’t get discouraged, saving seed is a very cost effective venture for us home gardeners with out a huge plot of land.
There are many kits out there to store your seeds in, but I just keep them in the seed envelope, combined in a freezer bag stored in the fridge, until the next time I need them.
Just remember, each year you do not need to try a new variety. Keep going with the variety you have and learn from it!