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Re: Packets of Seeds

I'm thinking of stocking on packets of seeds too for apocalyptic scenario (Mad Max-like), in case we end up hooking up with a group....at least we'll have something to contribute.

I imagine they will be good for bartering too?

How do you properly store them?

Feedbacks and advice please.
 

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Makes sure they are dry, put them in a vacuum sealable bag with a desiccant and throw it in the freezer after removing all the air. They should last for years that way.
 

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Best advise I can give is use them. I know we are going into winter but when weather permits start trying to grow your own vegetables. It's the skill of producing food that is important along with the seeds.
This.

I bought seeds 2.5 years ago. I still have some originals, but when they produce, save some seeds.

I bought tomatoes from the organic section. I saved some seeds one year and replanted the next, and replanted again.

Seeds lose germination rates (supposedly) but I have seeds that are 6 years old that still have a 99% germination rate. It's how you store them. Cool dark place that doesn't have wild swings in temperature.

Other than that, garden away, and replenish your seed stock every few years to keep them fresh.
 

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I know next to nothing about seeds. My wife is the family farmer. She only buys heirloom seeds, from companies that specialize in them.
She does not just go down to the garden department at Ace Hardware and buy packs of seeds.
There must be a good reason for this.
 
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That's a good idea. Just use Heirlooms that you are able to recover seeds for, so you can continue to plant long after your original stash of seeds have been used up. But as mentioned previously in another post, use them! Having seeds is just a small part of the equation, you must develop the skill to use them to maximum effect. There is a lot more to gardening than just throwing some seeds in the dirt and watering it. Its a skill that will take some time to master, I would suggest you start mastering it now!!! Understand it takes a lot of seeds too, to grow what you need. One pack of tomato seeds might be pretty adequate but one pack of Corn seeds is hardly scratching the surface of what you would really need. So keep that in mind. I would also look at things that grow fast easily and with minimal amount of care. Example Corn while nice requires a lot of water and a lot of nutrients from the soil and will deplete a plot in a hurry of those nutrients. Look too at what you grow. Cucumbers can produce very heavily but have minimal nutritional value. So consider that aspect of it as well.
 

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If you're not willing/able to grow things yourself right now, I think seeds could be a good barter item. Given the fact that they do lose germination rate over time, you might consider rotating them out on a regular schedule by donating them to a community garden, food bank or whatever and replenishing with new stock. If I were buying them solely as barter, I would look for high yielding crops but focus only on heirloom varieties. Hybrids do not breed true to type because they're a mixture of two types, so they don't work in a seed saving scenario. Heirlooms are original strains, some of them from our pioneer ancestors (and even further back) that have been cultivated over the years for specific regions, uses, etc. They will breed true to type, so when you collect seeds from them, those seeds will grow into the same type of plant they were harvested from.

That being said, even if you live in an apartment, you can grow some of your own food on windowsills or out on the balcony. Look into Earthboxes, pallet herb gardens and window boxes for smaller plants. Earthboxes are amazing for getting crazy high yields with little space. You can find plans to make your own for a few dollars. They require a lot of water, but we had one tomato plant that grew indoors to the top of a 14' ceiling and started back down. Should have been trimmed back to produce more fruit, but they grow really nice small crops. I also saw a cool idea of using rain gutters nailed up along a south facing wall to grow small plants like lettuces.

Your seed contribution will be a hundred times more valuable to a group if you also bring the knowledge to cultivate those crops.
 

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Heirloom seeds are good, but you should trial them in your specific area. Trialing them can lead to cross pollination, and you will end up with hybrids that aren't that predictable. Here's how I overcome that....

1... Choose several varieties of heirloom seed of the plant you want, and plant about 1/4 to 1/3 of them. Mark the plantings so you know what seeds produced what plants.

2... Keep a grower's notebook and record planting date, weather info, pest problems, and anything else you think might be important. When you pick anything, weight it and record this info too.

3... At the end of the season, you should know what varieties worked best for you. DO NOT save seed from this first year's crop... they are probably hybrids created through cross pollination. You should have enough seeds left over from the first season to plant next year, and these will be true to type.

4... The next season, plant out the remaining seeds from whatever varieties did best, or trial some new ones in the same way. As long as you only have one variety of each heirloom plant, the seeds will reproduce true to type. If you have multiple varieties, they will probably cross pollinate.

As already mentioned, store seeds in a dark, cool, dry environment that has a fairly steady temperature. Some seeds need cold treatment in order to germinate, some don't. You have to look up the needs of each one to know for sure.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
I am, unfortunately, almost clueless when it comes to planting. That's hubby's forte! I understand that I have to learn that, too. There's a lot he has to teach me....I don't even know how to start the barbecue!!!! Thank you.
 

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I am, unfortunately, almost clueless when it comes to planting. That's hubby's forte! I understand that I have to learn that, too. There's a lot he has to teach me....I don't even know how to start the barbecue!!!! Thank you.
You could get a kitchen herb garden in your window to get started, it doesn't have to be complicated. Growing stuff from seed can be relaxing and rewarding. The important thing is to take the first step and get learning!

The easy way is to get something like this... Amazon: Window Sill Garden Kitchen Herbs
 
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I've been growing a modest garden for years now, I vacuum seal extra seeds keep them in a cool dry place. Not sure a freezer is a good idea or not. Lately, I have been giving some serious thought to cold weather crops. Turnips, snow peas ect. There are lots of things that might happen that would result in little or no summer, perhaps cold weather crops might be our only choice?
 

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I dry the seeds and then place them in paper envelopes. They are stored in the pantry or refrigerator.
The air here is never very humid and the pantry is at the center of the home - constant temperature is never a problem but for some seeds it is a bit warm.
 
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