How to Store Seeds (Outside of Norway)

Anyone with a garden knows that you don’t always use all the seeds in a particular packet.  You also know about the free seeds with online plant orders and stocking up on clearanced seeds for the next year.  With all these seeds not in the ground, you might be wondering the best way to store them.

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There’s a seed vault in Norway, the Svalbard Global Seed Vault, where scientists have stored as many different varieties of seeds as they can.  Why in Norway?  Because if the vault ever looses power, the seeds will still be cold.  Seeds need cold to stay dormant and survive until you plant them in the ground.  It is estimated that some of the seeds in the Svalbard Global Seed Vault could stay viable for thousands of years.  These seeds are supposed to help secure the future of agriculture and plant diversity on our planet.  If, say, a particular variety of zinnia falls out of favor with the public and companies and individuals stop growing it completely, the hope is that that particular variety of zinnia is stored in the seed vault so when people realize they want that particular variety of zinnia back, they still have it.  The seeds in the vault could also be used if a disease or catastrophic event wipes out all of a particular plant in the world.  I just hope they’re better at sprouting seeds than I am.

The best way for you to store seeds, outside of moving to Norway, is in a glass container in your refrigerator.  The fridge will obviously keep the seeds cold, and the glass jar will keep them dry.  That part is important because humidity can be a problem in refrigerators.  I save glass food jars for my growing collection of seeds.  I was even able to grow some watermelons this past year that were from seeds my dad had saved from the year I was born.  They were delicious! Moral of the story- save your seeds carefully and they will be there for you for years.

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