How to Store Seeds from Your Garden
For the best yield of new plants in the spring, store your vegetable and flower garden seeds correctly. If they’re not stored properly, you will have fewer seeds that germinate and thus fewer plants for your garden.
Seeds are alive, but in a dormant or resting stage in the plant’s life cycle. At any time, if provided warmth and moisture, the seeds can "wake up" and start to grow.
Here's how nature would store her seeds: Your vegetable or flower seeds would have fallen from their parent plant to the ground. They’d then be covered by leaves and loose soil, and most likely frozen (or at least kept at a low temperature) for a period of several months in the garden. They wouldn't become warm again until the air and ground warm in the spring. Then, with the warm soil, and water, the new plants would begin to grow.
With this in mind, it is easy to see that storing seeds in warm, moist conditions is not what nature had in mind. Thus, such conditions will likely result in gardening seeds that have lost much of their growing power.
Instead, store your vegetable or flower garden seeds in a cool, dark, airy place. Pick a spot that has a consistent temperature and is not damp enough to cause molding.
Gardening Tip for How to Store Seeds:
Pick a place to store your seeds that maintains a cool and constant temperature. Extreme temperature fluctuations aren't good for the seeds.
Label your crop of seeds, not only with the type of vegetable or flower, but with the date as well. Many seeds can stay dormant for extended periods of time. However, with each passing year, the number of seeds that will germinate (grow) decreases significantly within each batch.
Come spring, you will want to use the oldest batch of seed first. I like to keep several years worth of seeds, just in case one batch goes bad.
Note: the advice and information contained herein is based upon our experience and study. As with any advice, please apply at your own discretion.