Giving Seeds What They Need In Storage

 


Article by: Fred Davis

On a recent visit to the home , Wedding Flowers of dear friends--a family blend of professionals, gardeners, homemaker, outdoorsman, and delightful youngsters--we brought along a package of choice vegetable seeds , Compost: Food for the Soil that I knew would be accepted with appreciation, and probably shared with several of their friends as well. My heart sank as our host retrieved a Tupperware container from a cabinet above the stove. In it were small, labeled paper envelopes containing an assortment of their cherished seeds , Super Foods from Home Vegetable Gardens carefully saved from the previous season. , Outdoor Furniture Cushion Replacement- Redesign Your Outdoor Space

Temperatures in this cupboard that Thanksgiving Day had to have been better than 100 degrees and, in all likelihood, it must frequently have soared to well in excess of 120 as large dinners cooked and scrumptious desserts baked. Humidity levels must almost certainly have wildly fluctuated between a parched zero and a sloshy 100% as torrents of steam bathed those cabinets as well. Hot , How To Divide Bulbs For Bigger Gardens and crackling dry one day; hot , How to Grow Bananas and tropic-wet the next!

As you might have already guessed, those are not the ideal seed , Kirengeshoma palmata storage conditions. So, how and where should they be kept to maintain vigor and viability?

First, consider that only drying-tolerant seeds , Viburnum Dilatatum 'Cardinal Candy' (those that can handle drying out; see note, below) will enter into the following discussion--nearly all common flowers, , Outdoor Furniture: Exploring the Benefits of Teak herbs, , Cannibals on the Porch vegetables, , Landscaping Tips: 6 Basic Steps To Building A Garden Pond shrubs, , Weeds - We Need 'Em and a great many trees. , Viburnum Dilatatum 'Cardinal Candy' Drying-intolerant types like aquatics, some large-seeded plants, , Understanding Soil Nutrients and the nut-like seeds , Landscaping Tips: 6 Basic Steps To Building A Garden Pond of a number of trees--oak, chestnut, ginkgo and buckeye, for example--are normally planted fresh, and are usually not long-term storable. In their natural , Wedding Flowers setting, drying-intolerant seeds fall , Easy Hypertufa Planters to the ground and then immediately germinate.

Nature--whose methods are age-old, tested and proven steadfastly effective--almost always gradually matures and dries seeds , How to Grow Bananas on the plant. , Painted Adirondack Chairs-The Perfect Addition to Any Home or Garden Nature , Herb Farming Is A Profitable Business has learned that, as seeds , Robotic Lawn Mowers Keep Burglars Away undergo this drying and transition from active growth to full dormancy, important physiological changes , Garden Swing for Heart and Soul occur as food , How to Grow Bananas reserves convert from vulnerable sugars to more stable (storable) fats and starches. In this more stable condition, a broad range of seed , Vegetable Gardening types can be stored for sometimes years. . .assuming optimum storage conditions are maintained. What are those ideal conditions?

Humidity levels within the storage environment , Soil Erosion Control should, as a general rule, be maintained in the range of 25-35%. The average home , Controlling Aphids during a typical northern-tier winter , Robotic Lawn Mowers Keep Burglars Away is exceptionally dry, often dipping into the low teens. Lower-than-optimal humidity draws moisture , Do It Yourself Landscape Design - Where To Begin from delicate seed , Spring Flowers structures and exerts a negative impact on vigor and germination rate. Drying seeds , Delavay's Blueberry (Vaccinium delavayi) to zero moisture , Southwestern Landscape Art - An Investment? will, of course, destroy them. The rule: once seeds , How To Divide Bulbs For Bigger Gardens have dried (cured) to the correct moisture , Delavay's Blueberry (Vaccinium delavayi) level (by weight), store them in sealed, air-tight containers such as glass , Cannibals on the Porch jars or doubled zippered plastic , Controlling Aphids bags. In the highly variable home , Outdoor Furniture Cushion Replacement- Redesign Your Outdoor Space or small farm environment, , Landscaping Tips: 6 Basic Steps To Building A Garden Pond paper envelopes, cloth bags, or cardboard boxes allow for exchange of far too much (or too little) moisture , Weeds - We Need 'Em for long-term storage.

Temperature, of course, must be maintained within a relatively narrow range. I've heard it said that the home , Controlling Aphids freezer is the ideal place. , Wood Sheds Personally, I question the advisability of freezing temperatures , Wedding Flowers during one- to two-season storage. While it is true that many seeds , Why Gardening is Better will store almost indefinitely if deep-frozen, experts in the seed , Wood Sheds industry have done the research and recommend short-term home , Easy Hypertufa Planters storage between just above freezing, to about 40- or 45-degrees. I've found an ideal location--once properly sealed after drying--to be near the cellar floor , Tool Sheds in a corner furthest away from heat , Herb Farming Is A Profitable Business sources such as furnaces, water , Soil Erosion Control heaters, or warm-air ducting. Our new "root cellar"--an enclosed, insulated crawl space beneath a recently reconstructed attached solarium--has proven to be perfect for our seed , Outdoor Furniture: Exploring the Benefits of Teak storage needs at a comfortable 25% (+/-) humidity and 42-degrees (F) nearly constant temperature. , Easy Hypertufa Planters

Darkness is a third equally important requirement. Bear in mind that certain conditions (moisture, temperature , Vegetable Gardening and light--most often in combination) stimulate and support the process of germination"┬Žsprouting. Just as many foods, , The Truth About Geraniums pharmaceuticals and chemicals rapidly deteriorate when exposed to light, , Uninvited Houseguests so also is seed , Hydroponics Gardening - An Introduction to Hydroponics Gardening for Beginners (part 16) Temperature viability and vigor impacted by being exposed to illumination during storage. That cool corner of the cellar or root/vegetable storage area should also be very dark. Worse possible scenario: sudden changes , Viburnum Dilatatum 'Cardinal Candy' to warmth, humidity, and light , Hydroponics Gardening - An Introduction To Hydroponics Gardening For Beginners (Part 15) Ozone during winter , Hydroponics Gardening - An Introduction to Hydroponics Gardening for Beginners (part 16) Temperature storage. . .followed by chilling, drying and return to darkness. Kiss those goodbye!

Seed storage problems:

Mildew or Mold. Seeds , Wedding Flowers not dried to the correct moisture , Painted Adirondack Chairs-The Perfect Addition to Any Home or Garden level before being sealed in glass , Uninvited Houseguests or plastic, , Hydroponics Gardening - An Introduction to Hydroponics Gardening for Beginners (part 16) Temperature will surely rot. A simple test: After "drying" and placing in closed glass , Wedding Flowers jars or plastic , Uninvited Houseguests bags, the appearance of condensation on the inside , Blowers of those containers within a few hours indicates the need for further drying. Stay right on this one because damp seeds , Watering Your Garden - How to Make Each Drop Count will decay (and die) very quickly!

Insects. Weevils, borers and small beetles that may have escaped notice during harvesting and drying will wreak havoc on stored seeds. , Spring Flowers A few pinches of diatomaceous earth , Outdoor Furniture Cushion Replacement- Redesign Your Outdoor Space (DE) is a safe, , Outdoor Furniture: Exploring the Benefits of Teak inexpensive, prudent, and non-toxic bit of insurance against most insect damage. DE is available at Johnny's, organic gardening , A Quick Overview of Outdoor Hot Tubs stores, and most garden , Soil Erosion Control centers. It doesn't take much; just be sure to lightly coat all seeds , Outdoor Furniture Cushion Replacement- Redesign Your Outdoor Space before final sealing and storage. A light , Cannibals on the Porch dusting of Rotenone is also effective. Avoid the use of powerful--oftentimes highly toxic--commercial pesticides.

Rodents. Seeds , Outdoor Furniture Cushion Replacement- Redesign Your Outdoor Space in storage, unless precautions are put in place, , How To Divide Bulbs For Bigger Gardens can provide a virtual banquet for mice or other small vermin. Prevent damage by placing labeled seed , Hydroponics Gardening - An Introduction to Hydroponics Gardening for Beginners (part 16) Temperature containers in either metal , Watering Your Garden - How to Make Each Drop Count or plastic , Compost: Food for the Soil storage containers, or enclose them in an unused picnic or camp cooler. Please don't use tanglefoot traps to capture, terrorize, and torture mice.

Following these easy "rules" will insure longevity and viability of the seeds , Outdoor Accessories: Fashion that Goes Beyond Furniture of a new generation of flowers, , Viburnum Dilatatum 'Cardinal Candy' herbs, , Flower Meanings fruits, , Perfume Your Garden and Home with Gardenias and vegetables. , Flower Meanings Have a warm, safe , Wedding Flowers and pleasant winter , Understanding Soil Nutrients and holiday!
An extensive list of flower , Super Foods from Home Vegetable Gardens and vegetable seeds, , Outdoor Furniture: Exploring the Benefits of Teak and how long they'll last in ideal storage conditions, is available at: http://www.hillgardens.com/seed_longevity.htm.

Fred Davis is a Master Gardener, Master Composter, , How to Create a Beautiful Landscape Painting lecturer, and long-time nurseryman. He and his wife, Linda, own and operate a popular perennial , Do It Yourself Landscape Design - Where To Begin nursery in Palermo, Maine, and maintain a no-frills gardening , Easy Hypertufa Planters information website at: http://www.HillGardens.com/.

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