Saving Leftover Seeds
As you pack away the garden hose, tools and other supplies dont forget about the left over seeds. Proper storage can extend their life - and that means you need to buy fewer next season.
Leave the seeds in their original packet that contains all the information you need to make planting easier next season. Place them in an air tight container like this plastic one. Or maybe a recycled jar it will work just fine. Seal it up and place the container in the refrigerator not freezer. The consistently cool temperature will increase storage success.
The longevity of a seed depends not only on proper storage but the type of seed. Eggplant, muskmelon and Brussels sprouts will last five years or more. But use up those onions and parsnips quickly as they only last about a year.
Once your seeds are packed away you can get back to your other fall chores.
Vegetable Seed Longevity
- 1 Year Onions, parsley, parsnips and salsify
- 2 Years Corn, okra and pepper
- 3 Years Beans and peas
- 4 Years Beets, fennel, rutabagas, squash, chard, tomatoes, turnips, watermelon
- 5 years Brussels sprouts, cabbage, cauliflower, eggplant, muskmelon, radishes, spinach
A bit more information: Many gardeners like to collect seeds from their garden plants to save over winter and use in next years garden. Offspring of hybrid and wind or insect pollinated plants do not always grow and look exactly like their parents. The flower or fruit color may vary, the plants may be shorter or taller or leaf color may differ from the parent plant. Some gardeners like the surprises that the collected seeds yield. If you dont like surprises, then limit your seed saving to purchased seeds or those collected from self pollinating heirloom species.
If all this sounds too complicated, get creative and use poor germinating or left over seeds to create works of art. Yours doesnt have to be as large or intricate as this seed art on the wall outside a church in Mexico. Just gather the family, seeds, glue and cardboard and have some fun.