How do I store seeds collected from my garden?


How do I store seeds collected from my garden?


Once seeds are collected and properly cleaned, they need to be stored.  Proper storage conditions for seeds are essential to maintain viability and good germination at planting time. photo of a variety of seeds with jar

Store Seeds Cool and Dry

Seeds should be kept dry and cool.  Ensuring the seed is dry after cleaning and processing is the most important step to successfully storing seed. 

Dry Seeds to Allow for Good Storage

Place seed in labeled envelopes.  In a separate envelope, place an equal amount of silica gel.  Place both envelopes into a clean glass jar and seal shut.  After one to two weeks, the seed should be sufficiently dry for storage.  Remove the silica gel and return the envelope of seeds to the glass jar.  Some seed may dry sufficiently utilizing a fan in a seed drying cabinet.  Avoid the use of a food dehydrator to dry seed as they usually get too warm and damage the seed.  

Store in Glass Jars

A sealed glass jar can keep excess moisture out and protect seeds from pests like mice or insects.  Store jars in a cool, dry location such as a cool closet, root cellar, or a refrigerator.  Test the germination rate on the seeds about one month prior to planting. 

Answered by
  • Specialist
  • Consumer Horticulture Extension
Last updated on
March 19, 2024