Drying, Storing and Planting Vegetable Seeds
Updated: Mar 27
Vegetable seeds and flower seeds can be kept for up to a year without any loss in their ability to germinate. You can even extend that to ten years under the most proper of conditions.
The moisture of the seeds and the containers they are stored in play an important role in whether the seeds will be storable for long time or not. If seeds are drier, they will store longer.
Sow new seeds from a respectable organization to ensure their quality. You can use any remaining seeds for the subsequent planting season if they are properly stored.
Generally vegetable and bloom seeds can be put away at room temperature for a year without losing their capacity to sprout in states like Colorado, Montana, and a few Midwestern states. If you bought enough seeds to last even two or three years, you should store them properly so you can use them when the time is right.
You can dry seeds by heating them to 100 degrees Fahrenheit for about six hours. You can utilize direct daylight to do this. The moisture content will drop to 8% as a result of this. However, if the direct sunlight is too harsh, you might want to dry the seeds in partial shade. You could also limit how much time they spend in the sun.
When drying seeds, do not use a microwave oven. The seeds can be cooked in a regular oven as long as the door is left open and the temperature is kept below 100 degrees. Vegetable seeds should be stored in containers that are resistant to moisture. They must be watertight and able to be submerged without soaking the seeds. Instead of using simple plastic bags, use sealed jars or cans.
It's interesting that the conditions needed to store seeds are different from the ones used to germinate them. When oxygen and water are both present and the temperature is right, germination occurs properly. When seeds are kept at a temperature of at least forty degrees and less than eight percent moisture, they are properly stored.
If you don't reduce the amount of water in the plant to less than 8%, you might accidentally produce "hard seed." Hard seed won't be able to take in enough water for a very high rate of germination. When good vegetable seeds are planted, they typically take in water before germinating and producing plants.
Seeds should be able to properly germinate when planted if they are stored without being over-dried. Before planting them, it will be beneficial to lay them in a humid area if they have been overdried.