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Storing Vegetable and Flower Seeds – 7.221 

by J.E. Ells, L.N. Bass and D. Whiting* (5/20)

Quick Facts…

  • Vegetable and flower seeds may be kept for one year without appreciable decrease in germination.
  • Storage may be extended to 10 or more years under proper conditions.
  • Seed moisture and storage temperature are the most important factors in determining how long seed can be stored.
  • The drier the seeds are, the longer they will store.

Pumpkin seeds
A garden’s success depends in part on the quality of seeds planted. Ensure good quality seed by planting fresh seed from a reputable seed company. Often, there is seed left over after a crop is planted. If there is enough for the next year, save it.

Storing Seed

In Colorado, all vegetable and flower seeds will store on a shelf at room temperature for at least one year without significant loss of germination. If there is enough seed for several years, then take further steps to ensure viability.

A 10-year storage life can be achieved by drying seed to less than 8 percent moisture. To do so, dry seed at 100 degrees F for six hours. Obtain this temperature by spreading the seed out in direct sunlight. However, because sunlight is harsh and easily can exceed this temperature, drying in the shade is better.

Never use a microwave oven. You may use a conventional oven if you keep the door open and the seed is not heated to more than 100 degrees. Package the seed in moisture-proof containers and store it in a refrigerator or deep freezer. A moisture-proof container is one that stores seed safely while submerged in water. Use sealed cans or jars, rather than plastic bags.

Go to this link for More of the Fact Sheet—> LINK

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SMB Regional Seed Library Information!

The SMB Regional Seed Library is restocked and at the Norwood and Naturita Libraries! 
>Click here Ag/Local Food Page for more information on seed library

>Click here for inventory, brochure, and membership form.