Storing seeds is an important part of gardening! It’s especially important if you’ve bought them from some of the best online places that sell seeds for gardens!
When you think about it, seeds are remarkable. They are unformed plants enclosed in a protective outer covering. For the most part, plant life majorly emerges from seeds, so their quality matters.
Read on to find out the various ways in which you can store seeds to maintain their quality.
Why You Need to Store Seeds
Whether you purchase your seeds or obtain them from a harvest, the key to a successful garden and crop production is proper conservation. Seed storage serves many purposes, such as protecting them from insects, pests, or disease and keeping them in good physical condition. If stored correctly they’ll stay good from the time they are purchased or harvested, until they are planted. Proper storage can increase the crop yield or success of plants in your garden, as well as their health and vigor. Good storage has the following characteristics:
- Is dry and cool
- Has proper sanitation
- Should have effective pest control
Additionally, the quality of the seed you store matters, just as much as the storage conditions. Always store high-quality seeds that are clean, treated, and have reached physiological maturity. Keep your local climate in mind and stay informed about any particular storage needs for certain seeds.
9 Ways to Store Seeds
1. Seed Envelopes
This storage option is for loose seeds, a remedy for broken seed packets, or if you’d like uniformity among your seed packaging. These seed envelopes are made of paper, however, you can also use cardboard. A few simple folds can give you this fun and portable mode of storage, which you can customize. Seed envelopes can be kept long-term as long as they are kept in a dry and cool place.
These envelopes are also a great way to gift or trade seeds with other gardeners. Here’s a fantastic tutorial to help you learn how to make your seed envelopes. If you don’t have the time to make these envelopes, you can find the perfect solution on Amazon.
2. Tic-Tac Boxes
Tic Tac boxes have a versatile design which makes them perfect for the storage and dispensing of seeds. Gather all your empty Tic Tac boxes and fill them with clean seeds three-quarters full. Finally, label the boxes to keep them organized. You can sort them by plant type or seed size. Ensure that your seeds are dry to prevent fungal activity from developing in their tight space. If you don’t have Tic Tac boxes but love the idea, you can view them on Amazon.
3. Pill Containers
Pillboxes or containers are ubiquitous, and much like Tic Tac boxes, they make for great seed storage. Store your seeds in cleaned and dried pill containers so that the residue left from their previous contents does not affect them. Commonly prescribed medications such as ibuprofen and diclofenac have a significant effect on plant growth, even at low concentrations.
Storing seeds in pill containers is a great way to recycle but is also not ideal for long-term storage, especially for wet seeds such as peas, beans, and pumpkin. If you’d rather play it safe and prefer to buy new pill bottles that have never been used, you can find them on Amazon.
4. Photo Cases
Photo cases have become a popular way to store seeds because of their manageable size. This method of storage works best with seeds in packets by acting as a protective barrier and organizer. They are usually see-through, which allows you to arrange your seeds by category, and they come with a slot so you can label your seeds. Photo cases also come in a portable size suitable for most seed packets, measuring 1.5-inches by four inches by six inches.
Some things to note about photo cases are their plastic latches, which tend to be incredibly stiff making them hard to open. Over time, the latches can break, rendering the case useless, so it doesn’t guarantee long-term storage. Due to their narrow width, larger seeds such as beans and sunflower seeds may have trouble fitting in the case. This type of storage is ideal for small seeds. If you don’t have empty photo cases to spare, you can check them out on Amazon.
5. Mason Jars
Mason jars have been a popular storage option because of their air-tight and heat-resistant characteristics. You truly can’t go wrong with these jars. They come in many sizes, which have the same bottleneck width, meaning the lids are one-size-fits-all. Glass is the optimum storage material because it is inert and non-porous. Unlike most materials, there isn’t any chemical layer applied to glass, meaning, your seeds won’t be tainted over time and will remain fresh. This makes glass ideal for long-term storage.
While you can store seeds in mason jars out of their packet, ensure that the jar is clean, dry, and sealed tight. Otherwise, you can store multiple seed packets in larger mason jars by category to further organize your seeds. If you don’t have empty mason jars, your best bet is to find the perfect ones online.
6. Seed Catalog
For neat and handy seed storage, consider making a seed catalog. All you need is a ring binder and some plastic sleeves. Depending on the number of packets, you may have to craft a few more catalogs. Seed catalogs are ideal for storing seed packets as the plastic sleeves remain open, which could affect exposed seeds. It’s great for organizing because you can label each sleeve and have separate binders for different types of plants or crops.
7. DIY Cardbox Organizer
This storage option is a creative way to repurpose cardboard boxes. You can use cereal boxes, shoe boxes, or packaging cardboard for this seed organizer. The design is up to you, so you can adjust the size or add as many dividers as you see fit. This type of storage is best for seed packets, not for loose seeds.
8. Filing Case
Just as you would file important documents, you can now file the most integral part of your garden. Organizing your seeds this way keeps them all in one place. You can use a box, filing cabinet, an old nightstand, or trays from a tiered trolley for this filing case. Next, you can use pieces of cardboard for dividers or put the seed packets in cardboard folders. Thereafter, you can label them and add information about the seeds and the type of plant. Along with seed packets, you could add loose seeds in ziplock bags and put them in the folder, increasing the filing case’s utility.
9. Photo Album
Look through your seeds with ease by using a photo album as storage. Photo albums are a more compact method of storage, and you can also use them to keep track of what’s growing in your garden. All you’ll need is a photo album with durable plastic sleeves for your seed packets. After slipping them in, you can include notes about the seeds and what conditions the plants typically grow in.
Additionally, you can dedicate different photo albums to certain plants you are growing by including pictures of that plant’s progress. Thereafter, you can refer to your album in your next growing season.
Storing seeds is an important part of gardening. After all, it affects the quality of your yield. While there are options for storing seed packets and a few for loose seeds, there’s probably more benefit in mixing and matching storage methods. This can ensure that all seeds, both packaged and loose, are conserved properly.
We hope this article has inspired you to start storing seeds the right way!