● Our seed storage room is dark and maintains a temperature all year round of approximately 43°F and a relative humidity of 45 percent. In short, cold, dark, and dry!
● We do not store our seeds in plastic bags, freezer bags, plastic containers, or in open jars in a room with fluctuating
temperatures and alternating darkness and light. What we are trying to do is to hold the seed in what we call “slumber,” waiting to wake up when planted in soil at the right temperature with the necessary amount of water and light in which to germinate and grow.
Now to answer the question: You will need to adapt our method to your situation. Do you have a basement that is dry and stays cool all year round? If you do, make sure that your stored seeds are protected from insects and animals. If you do not have a cool dry place in the house, then probably the refrigerator will have to do. Check the temperature to see if it is around 43°F. We recommend that you keep the seeds in their original packets (if you have to use new bags or packets make sure they are labeled correctly), store them in a dry glass jar with a tight-fitting lid and a bit of desiccant such as silica packets.
Wherever you store your seeds, check them occasionally to make sure that they have not become moldy, or damaged by insects or rodents; this will avoid disappointment when sowing time comes around. The storage life of seeds varies tremendously; for example, tomato and pepper seed will be viable longer than lettuce seed. So try not to store seeds and forget about them, rather use them up from year to year.
We trust that with these simple guidelines you will find your own solutions to successfully store seeds in your home. May we emphasize that correct storage procedures apply to seeds wherever, whenever. For example, if you like to get your seed order in early winter, please make sure that your seeds are properly cared for until sowing time!
~ Ian Robb, Turtle Tree Biodynamic Seed Initiative. To find more articles about seed saving and gardening or learn more about Turtle Tree Biodynamic Seed Initiative, you may visit us on the web at www.turtletreeseed.org or
tour the seed shop at our home, Camphill Village, in Copake, NY, just over the western border of Massachusetts!