Seeds are an incredibly important part of the food chain. They are also at the forefront of a revolution in farming, as they can be used to grow plants without soil or sunlight. The seeds themselves come in many different forms, all with unique needs for storage and care before being planted.
Keeping your seeds safe is just as important as planting them into their new home! Here’s all you need to know about seeds;
What are seeds and what do they do for plants
Seeds are what you need to start growing plants. Most seeds are made up of three basic parts that include(1) the seed coat, (2) the embryo, and (3)the endosperm which provides food to the growing embryo before it breaks free from the seed. The embryos are already equipped with everything they need to germinate into a plant after they have been exposed to sufficient water and warmth.
Easily obtainable anywhere, seeds are one of nature’s best methods for getting plants started. Whatever your reason is for wanting/needing plants, whether it be making beautiful flowers bloom or fruitful fruits grow on trees, there will surely be a way for you to obtain good quality seeds that can help you achieve that goal.
Seeds are more than just a starting point for new plants, though. Seeds are also collected by plant enthusiasts all over the world to help build their plant collections. Some of these collectors will simply grow out their favorite seeds until they determine whether or not it’s something they want to keep and add to their collection. Other collectors prefer to dry and press their collected seeds to share with other like-minded individuals who may be interested in adding them into their collections. Whatever your reason is for wanting/needing seeds, whether it be growing your flowers or fruits or collecting particular types of flowering plants (or trees) there will surely be a way for you to obtain good quality seed(s) that can help you achieve that goal.
How to store your seeds properly so that they will be ready when you need them
Once you have access to seeds, whether they’re fresh from your garden or someone you know, there are a few things to consider before you can begin planting them. The first thing I would recommend is to make sure the seeds haven’t passed their expiration date by keeping track of when they were harvested from your plant(s). Normally, most seeds can remain viable for as much as six months if stored properly. Keeping your seeds in an opaque container that’s been kept in a cool, dry place will help extend their shelf-life to over a year.
Another factor that plays into storing seeds is the type of seed itself. Some seeds have more natural protection against environmental factors than others do and therefore don’t need quite as much care when being stored until it’s time to be planted again. Many types of seeds can be stored for several years if stored properly. The reason for this is because the natural oils of many seeds keep them hydrated and moist enough to prevent them from becoming too dry (and thus unable to cause new plants to grow after they’ve been planted).
The hard shell-like coating of most seeds helps prevent water loss while remaining porous enough to allow oxygen to get through, which helps keep the embryo alive inside until it’s time for them to germinate again. Just remember that different types of seeds require different levels of moisture to stay healthy until you’re ready to plant them again so do your research in advance before storing away anything in storage in hopes that it’ll remain viable when you go back to planting things next spring.
The different types of seeds and their storage conditions
Now that you know how to keep your seeds fresh for as long as possible, let’s look at three specific types of seeds along with ways in which they can be stored. Keep in mind that depending on the type of seed(s) you want to plant or collect it will determine how much care needs to go into keeping them fresh up until the point where you’re ready to plant again next year.
1. Flower Seeds:
Most flower seeds can remain viable for about a month if properly cared for during storage but some more delicate seeds may need to be wet down occasionally during storage so that their shells don’t become too dry and crack open prematurely once it’s time to be planted again.
2. Tree Seeds:
Since most tree seeds don’t have as much shelf-life as flowers or vegetables do, you must plant them shortly after opening the package containing the seeds themselves. This is because most seeds will start to lose their long-term viability once they’re removed from their protective shells so it’s best to plant them just as soon as you can without allowing too much time to pass by between planting and harvesting next year.
3. Vegetable Seeds:
Like with many other types of plants, most vegetable seeds are at their peak for being harvested around this time of year but if kept in storage until springtime these same seed packets are capable of storing seeds for up to a year in advance. Again, like with most other types of seeds, it’s best to store them within an opaque container that’s been kept in a cool and dry place until they’re ready to be planted again next spring.
Other Ways to Store Seeds
Just because I’ve suggested storing your seeds inside something opaque such as a jar or plastic bag doesn’t necessarily mean that the only way you can keep them fresh for longer is by keeping them somewhere dark and cool. Some people prefer to keep their seeds stored away inside zip-lock bags so that they can see what they have on hand at any given time then just transfer whatever packets may need plant food into a larger storage vessel once planting season begins anew. For instance, gardeners who grow their onions often keep these fresh until next year by storing them in the crisper drawer of their refrigerator. It’s important to note that some packets may begin to lose their viability after being stored away inside the fridge so it’s best to avoid this for certain types of seeds.
How Seeds are Stored at Seed Banks
Seed banks store large amounts of seeds for up to hundreds (if not thousands) of years for humanity to be able to continue planting crops even if another major disaster were ever to occur on Earth (or our plant). These seed vaults are typically made out of titanium and buried deep underground where they’re safe from any natural disasters or man-made catastrophes which could otherwise wipe out most forms of human civilization. Scientists who work at these seed banks often rotate seeds in and out of storage every five years or so to give them a chance to be used while also preserving the remainder of humanity’s genetic history which is stored away on their behalf.
Most gardeners love to grow their plants from seed. Growing seeds can be an incredibly rewarding and inexpensive way to create new plants. But if you store your saved seed incorrectly, it will not germinate and grow as expected.
A proper storage system will keep moisture away from the seed and preserve its viability for several years. A simple storage place can be a sealed jar or plastic container in a cool, dry, and dark location. There are several other methods to store your seed that work just as well:
Put the seeds into an airtight glass container and add silica gels. They will absorb any moisture while protecting against humidity. It is important not to overfill the jar.
Place your seeds in a canning jar and add dry milk to absorb all moisture and prevent germination. Replace the milk every few months.
Add sand or sawdust, make sure they are mixed well with the seed; then store it in an airtight container such as plastic freezer bags.
In conclusion, there are many different types of seeds on planet Earth but only three specific types that will matter for our purpose here today. In terms of how long they can stay fresh up until you’re ready to plant them again, it depends on what type of seed(s) you have and how much moisture must be added to keep them from cracking open prematurely before next Spring rolls around. Some people prefer storing their packets inside zip-lock bags so that they can see what they have on hand at any given time then just transfer whatever packets may need plant food into a larger storage vessel once planting season begins anew. Lastly, most Seeds of all kinds are stored away inside Seed Banks whose job it is to preserve humanity’s genetic history for our future generations’ sake.