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Storing Seeds for Propagation

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Hi! We are beginning a new garden. We are novices, but have read and learned a lot. I realize that "book smarts" on a topic is very, very different than the real deal. But, knowledge is important and we want to give ourselves the best start possible.


One thing we are doing is investing in heirloom/open pollinated seeds. To start, we will be ordering from a company. But, in the future, we want to collect our own seeds for propagation for future use.


What's the best way and place to store seeds for longevity? We would use the first-in, first-out inventory method. We do have some fridge space and we have a cooler room in our basement free of sunlight. Also, we have the money to buy some plastic or glass containers and desiccant, if that's required.


We are making an investment and don't want to waste or lose our resources.


What do you all use? Any other seed storage/propagation tips?



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My wife has been using OUR own heirloom seeds for years. She collects them, places them in water to rinse off all vegetable matter(usually two or three days in a glass jar) then allows them to dry for several dayds, before storing them in ENVELOPES. They are kept in the basement pantry until they are needed. She has classifications, seedds for "trade/barter" with friends, seeds to trade online with, and seeds for OUR own personal use. Yeah, she stores the seeds in evelopes. It's that simple, keep them cool and dry and they last a LONG time. If you collect enough seeds we place them in mylar bagsd having written in Sharpie marker ON the mylar bag prior to sealing, the name of the vegetable. We do NOT throw in a dessicant bag as that usually dries out the seeds so much, they do not propagate.

Freezing seeds can also kill the propagation effort, I forget which seeds are most susceptible to freezer-death. Will ask her later this evening and get back.

There is nothing like fresh heirloom produce from YOUR OWN SEEDS. Delicious and I'm a hardcore carnivore!

Try the envelope method, it should work out for you IF, your climate if fairly dry, or use a non-sealed canning jar with a screw on lid if climate is more humid.

You'll have to experiment for the mini-climate where you are located. It's worth it though,. Oh, she also got herself a Victorio Food Mill to help get the seeds out of tomatoes and other similar fruits and veggies. Can't go wrong with a Victorio either.

Hope this helps.

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Heirloom seeds of course dried very well and I put them in paper bags then in a  tupperwear container as this keeps the seeds from being humid or in contact with humidtty so they do not get moldy.


if seeds are tiny like mustard  use a mesh and gently cover the seeds till they fall off on their own.


as far as other seeds I remove them from the innerds of tomatoes squash and allow them to air dry.

or pods like snow peas other peas and beans OR leave some on the vines untill they dry and then take them out.


Most seeds as long as you do not refridgerate them in the fruit or vegetable will be fine but that sometimes does not matter a certain percentage will not grow no matter what you do.


Some from the eyes like potatoes

some need to be grafted

others air layered a runner has a few leaves removed near the main vine threaded through a plastic pop bottle bottom removed the area w/ leaves removed are in the bottle I put a bit of cloth in the neck to hold the dirt fill it some leaves should be out of the bottle hang on the fence or wire by next spring you have a bunch of roots in the bottle cut from vine at bottom of bottle and plant.

and some vines can be buried partially center of a runner having 3 leaves under the dirt.

some like avacados are cultivated in loose soil or water.


I think that each person has a potential or luck for / with certain plants lean to your strengths and your region you can't fight nature very easily or cheap.

I recall an old man told me to plant when the moon was acending for anything that bears above ground and what bears below ground as the moon is decending.

when blood was involved like dehorning castration etc. not on a full moon in fact no moon is best, as blood flows better when gravity is at its highest most intense during the cycle of a full moon.


plants that run like pole beans cucumbers peas I found that a fence for them to climb made it easier

if your older a container graden is great a folding chair and you can weed sitting in a comfortable position as well being able to spot water or use pesticide in a minimalist way.


get 4 to 6 foot fencing and make your own wire cages the ones you buy in the store are total crap make them at least 16 inches wide I use Rebar or concrete reinforcement rod to stake them down and wire tie to the cage, or else the wind will blow them over.


I like to have plenty of liquid Sevin and a couple of types of fugucides as well as a balanced fertilizer or what meets the needs of the plants your growing, know wehn to use pesticide and when not to and the amount use the proper amount or you have to use more than needed in the end.

Organic sound cool but nature is way more viscous than you can imagine cut worms and moles below aphids and beatles above.


you local extension service is paid for with your tax dollars and they are a great source of information and 99% of the time great people.

Lots of luck your going to need it.

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