Long-term non-gmo vegetable seed storage

Asked January 6, 2014, 5:44 PM EST

What is the best way to store non-gmo vegetable and watermelon seeds for long-term storage? Specifically, squash, tomatoes, Kentucky beans, snow peas, sugar peas, string beans, corn, cabbage, and leaks?

Leon County Florida seed storage

1 Response

Colorado State University Extension has the following advice:

"A 10-year storage life can be achieved by drying seed to less than 8 percent moisture. To do so, dry seed at 100 degrees F for six hours. Obtain this temperature by spreading the seed out in direct sunlight. However, because sunlight is harsh and easily can exceed this temperature, drying in the shade is better." -- "Storing Vegetable and Flower Seeds" http://www.ext.colostate.edu/pubs/garden/07221.html

Some other useful fact sheets:

Storing Leftover Garden Seed (Purdue Extension)
http://www.hort.purdue.edu/ext/storingseed09.html

Saving Seed from the Garden (U of Illinois, Home Hort Hints)
http://urbanext.illinois.edu/hortihints/0008c.html

An Introduction to Seed Saving for the Home Gardener
http://umaine.edu/publications/2750e/

If you are looking for longer term storage, there is some more involved advice here from the Lyon Arboretum at the U of Hawaii. There are some links to additional seed savers sites and organizations

Guidelines for Seed Storage | Lyon Arboretum - University of Hawaii
http://www.hawaii.edu/lyonarboretum/horticulture/seedstorage