How Do I Store Seeds?

Storing seeds

  • Seeds should be very dry before they’re stored. Bang a bean with a hammer. If it shatters, it’s dry. Or, bite the seed. If you leave tooth-marks, they’re not dry enough.
  • Store seeds in glass jars with tight fitting lids in a dry, cold, dark place – safe from insects and rodents.
  • Label with the name of the seed variety and the year harvested. You may also add notes about the growing season, or keep a diary for your garden.
  • The more carefully the humidity, temperature, and light are controlled in their environment, the longer they last. Humidity is more significant than temperature.
  • In a typical home, they may last as follows:
    • 1 year: onion, parsley and parsnip
    • 2 years: sweet corn, leek, pepper
    • 3 years: beans, carrot, Chinese cabbage, pea, spinach
    • 4 years: beets, Brussels sprouts, cabbage, cauliflower, eggplant, fennel, kale, pumpkin, rutabaga, squash, Swiss chard, tomato, turnip, watermelon
    • 5 years: lettuce, muskmelon, radish