seed life

Asked August 6, 2018, 7:24 PM EDT

seed life of all th garden vegetables? does keeping seed in freezer prolong seed life"

Douglas County Oregon seeds seed saving horticulture

1 Response

Different species of seed have different storage lives. The storage life of seeds ranges from several hours (as in some tropical tree species, whose seed loses viability when dried) to several thousand years (as in the case of the Indian Lotus).

Typically, the storage life of crop seed ranges from 1 to 20 years under ideal storage conditions. For example, peanut seed has been stored in the laboratory under special refrigerated conditions for as long as 10 years, and in normal laboratory storage, it survives for two to three years. In contrast, peanuts stored under conventional commercial conditions survive for only five to seven months. Seeds that have high oil contents, such as peanuts and soybeans, are relatively short lived under conventional conditions. These species are not normally carried over from one planting season to the next. Other legumes, such as clover and alfalfa, and grasses, such as corn and wheat, can be carried over from one planting season to the next if stored in the proper environment. Most seeds must be stored in a cool dry place. Storing seeds in a refrigerator is an option. Keep seeds out of direct sunlight in a cool spot that maintains a fairly consistent temperature. Consider a cold closet, a basement, or a room on the north side of your home that remains cool year round. Freezing isn’t necessary for short-term storage, but you can refrigerate seeds, provided they are sufficiently dry. Moisture is an especially important factor if you are freezing or refrigerating your seeds. If seeds are too wet, they can rot in the refrigerator or suffer frost damage in the freezer. If you store seeds in the refrigerator or freezer, place the packets in an air-tight container and ensure the seeds are properly dried to begin with.

Here are some publications with tables showing seed longevity by species.

http://extensionpublications.unl.edu/assets/pdf/g2090.pdf

https://extension.psu.edu/seed-and-seedling-biology

Hope this helps!