Storing seeds in containers allows you to keep seeds safely organized until you’re ready to plant them in spring. The key to storing seeds is to ensure conditions are cool and dry. Selecting the best containers for seed saving can make the difference between failure and success.
Seed Storage Containers
Chances are you already have plenty of containers in your kitchen, bathroom, or garage; most are easily turned into containers for seed saving. The following are some tips to help:
Paper containers for seeds
Paper is great for storing seeds, especially if you aren’t sure your seeds are completely dry. Paper is beneficial because it provides ample air circulation and is easy to label. You can store paper seed containers in larger containers such as plastic storage bins, wicker baskets, large glass jars, filing boxes, or recipe boxes.
Keep in mind that paper containers for seed saving are best for short-term storage because moisture in the air can eventually ruin the seeds. Ideas include:
- Regular paper mailing envelopes
- Paper coin envelopes
- Paper sandwich bags
- Manilla envelopes
- Newspaper, folded and taped into envelopes
Plastic containers for seeds
Airtight plastic containers are convenient for seed storage, but only if the seeds are completely dry. Moisture is the enemy when it comes to storing seeds in containers, as the seeds are likely to mold and rot.
If you aren’t sure the seeds are dry, spread them out on a or tray, cookie sheet, or paper plate and let them dry for a few days in a cool, protected area where they won’t be exposed to any breezes. Plastic containers for seeds may include:
- Plastic film canisters
- Pill bottles
- Medicine storage containers
- Resealable plastic bags
- Condiment containers that come with take-out food
Glass containers for seeds
Storing seeds in containers made of glass works well because you can easily see the seeds stored inside. Just like plastic storage containers though, the seeds must be completely dry. Ideas for glass seed storage containers include:
- Baby food containers
- Canning jars
- Spice jars
- Mayonnaise jars
Silica gel or other types of drying agents can help keep seeds dry in paper, plastic, or glass seed storage containers. Purchase fresh desiccants, or if you don’t need a large amount, just save the small packets that often come with new products such as vitamins or new shoes.
If you don’t have access to a desiccant, you can create something similar by placing a small amount of white rice on a paper napkin. Form the napkin into a packet and secure it with a rubber band. The rice will absorb moisture in the container.
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A Credentialed Garden Writer, Mary H. Dyer was with Gardening Know How in the very beginning, publishing articles as early as 2007.