Storing and Saving Seeds

October 9, 2011 at 6:18 pm

To keep seeds is to prevent germination and at the same time to preserve the life of the seed.

Seeds should be thoroughly ripe and dry before they are stored. Those of pulpy fruits are removed and cleaned. If the seed-vessels are dry and hard, seeds may be left in them till sowing time, but usually they are removed.

Hard seeds, as of trees and nuts, may be buried. Most seeds, however, are stored dry in paper bags or boxes in a cool dry room. The receptacles should be tight to keep out weevils; if there are any signs of bug work, a little bisulfide of carbon may be poured in the receptacle, and the vapor of it will destroy animal life. This material is inflammable, and it should be kept away from flames.
If seeds at storing time are moist and the weather is damp, they may be lightly kiln-dried before put away for winter. Rarely are dry seeds injured by freezing. Seedsmen sometimes keep large and more or less fleshy seeds, as musas, in fine dry sawdust, chaff or other material that will insure equable conditions and prevent too great desiccation. -L.H. Bailey, The Nursery Manual, 1920
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