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I was wondering if anyone could help me with the best way to save seeds?

I know that they will last long past the dates printed on the packages, as I save leftover seeds year to year from our gardening. But lately I've wondered how many years seeds could actually last since I want to buy some ahead as part of my prep.

If anyone has successfully saved seeds, I'd love to hear how the plants fared, as well.
 

Trapper

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We grow a big garden every year. I have never really used heirloom seeds. We are purposely trying to buy them for this planting season, if it ever comes....(its snowing as I type this!).
Regular seeds I kept from previous years only have at best half the seeds germinate, especially hill plants (squash, etc). If your going to buy seeds get heirlooms as that is what they are for. They are not genetically engineered. I still am not sure how long they will last versus non-heirloom seeds.
 
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Thanks for the information - I'll definitely look into the heirloom seeds!

I know that sometimes with an older seed, we've had to germinate them before planting, just to be sure. In fact, last year was a bad year, we ended up planting and re-planting our green beans 5 times!! The seed kept rotting in the soil, the weather was terribly rainy and cool.
 

old_anorak

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I have been told by seed companies that the heirlooms will go dormant and stay viable up to 10 years if keep below freezing. Not every seed will sprout, but you will get a yield. You can also keep them for a few years in the coldest part of your refrigerator.
 
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I have been told by seed companies that the heirlooms will go dormant and stay viable up to 10 years if keep below freezing. Not every seed will sprout, but you will get a yield. You can also keep them for a few years in the coldest part of your refrigerator.
I know that in years past when using old seeds, it really helped to put them between two sheets of newpaper (paper towels, etc) that are kept moist. They sprout, then when planted seem to have a much better start.
 

old_anorak

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We give ours a little soak before planting to give them a head start. Now the seeds I started in the house, I kid you not, I planted them on a Sunday afternoon and by Tuesday morning, they were up. We've got really rich, black dirt too, so that helps.
 

jimLE

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anorak and mainely both made good points.first..put the seeds into paper towels where the seeds arent touching.then bag um put um into the freezer.preferably a frost free freezer..they should last longer that way...
 
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We give ours a little soak before planting to give them a head start. Now the seeds I started in the house, I kid you not, I planted them on a Sunday afternoon and by Tuesday morning, they were up. We've got really rich, black dirt too, so that helps.
Wow - good for you! BTW, which growing season/hardiness zone are you all in? We're in #4 and usually our last frost is towards the end of May (altho I've seen it in June before).

We started some seeds on Sunday and there is nothing today... I was soooo disappointed! We planted some tomato, watermelon and peppers. I forgot to pick up the cucumber seeds. We have such a short growing season here, that most everything that can be, is started inside.
 
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anorak and mainely both made good points.first..put the seeds into paper towels where the seeds arent touching.then bag um put um into the freezer.preferably a frost free freezer..they should last longer that way...
You mean you can freeze them that way, too? o_O
 

old_anorak

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We are in zone 5b. When I put my seeds in the freezer, put them in a plastic bag and pull as much oxygen out as possible. The paper towel thing is what I do with tiny seeds like tomato and the like instead of soaking them in water. I'll dampen a paper towel and sprinkle the seeds over it in little sets of 4-5 seeds per square inch, then I dampen another paper towel and press it down on top of the seeds for 12-24 hours. When I'm ready to plant, I just cut the seed blotches into their own little packet and drop it into the dirt.
 

jontte

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looks like spring is finally coming,shops have once again seeds,bought a bundle of them, they where cheap,so glad we don't have any GM-seeds here,now it's time for paper and pen,trying to make a somewhat sensible gardenplan,I would love to plant so much but don't have that space for my dreams.
 

Gazrok

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Freezer, as was mentioned. Heirloom, as was mentioned. Around 3-5 years without much change in yield. Still plantable after 10, but less will germinate.
 

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