Seed Care

Cool, Dark and Dry

Most seeds will last around two years somewhere dark like a wooden box or a paper bag in the pantry – anywhere that’s cool, dark and dry. We don’t recommend leaving your seeds in the shed or anywhere similar where insects or rodents might raid them (many of them can quite easily chew through bags, boxes and plastic containers!) or they could get too hot.

If you won’t be planting your seeds within a month or two keep them in the ziplock bags fully closed – less oxygen means a longer shelf life. Then store them somewhere dry, dark and cool like the kitchen pantry.

Remove That Moisture!

You could also add a clay based moisture remover like Esorb which is a great moisture protector for your seeds. In fact you can buy some right here. Esorb clay based desiccant can extend the life of your seeds by many months and even years! It’s more environmentally friendly than silica gel-based desiccants and can even be disposed of safely in the regular garbage.

Moisture is the enemy of seed storers and low moisture means a longer shelf life for your seeds!

Seeds store best in low oxygen, low humidity, and low-temperature environments. These moisture absorbers help remove water from the container for a year, possibly longer. You can regenerate them by leaving them in a dehumidifier or in the very hot sun for a day which dries them out again. Use one packet per jar or if storing in a larger container, one packet per litre in size.

Advantages with Esorb Mineral Desiccants

  • Superior performance; at 25°C each sachet can absorb more than 50% of its weight, which is about two times more than products based on silica gel
  • Environmentally friendly
  • Non-toxic material: it can be disposed of with regular waste
  • Does not contain DMF

Pop your seeds in, throw in the packet and seal it up!

Longer Term Storage

Although our seeds are fresh, you’ll get better germination rates if you plant them within six to 12 months. As they age, germination rates will go down and even though some seed varieties last years (the Sacred Lotus is one), some varieties – especially those with high oil content – can have limited lives.

If you plan to store your seeds for longer than six months just put the sealed ziplock bags in an airtight plastic container and onto a shelf in the fridge – they can last up to seven years like that! When you remove your box from the fridge, put it aside until it’s cooled down to room temperature. That’ll avoid condensation, which will be really hard to remove from the box when you want to put it back in the fridge! If your seeds need special storage conditions we’ll give you all the advice you need in the product description, and our Facebook page is still a great place to talk about storage, planting and everything else.

We do not recommend using metal containers to store seeds, they usually have a poor seal that lets the air in. Neither do we recommend screw lidded jars, those with a lock tight mechanism or an inner seal are usually more effective.

The zip lock bags we supply with the seeds inside and then the whole lot inside a sealed container is generally a great method to keep moisture out!

It’s also a good idea to have a box for each planting season so you don’t have to keep opening them.

Make sure your container is light and vermin proof, completely sealed and left alone until you’re ready to plant. Maybe write a note on the top; SEEDS – KEEP OUT!

To Freeze Or Not To Freeze

For most of us, keeping the freezer temperature between minus 15 and minus 20 just isn’t possible. Most domestic freezers aren’t made to go that low and even if they were, the temperature fluctuates too much when we open it, there’s a power cut or someone accidentally pulls out the plug. Leave freezing to the experts in the big instant-freeze seed depositories.

Overall we don’t recommend freezing your seeds. You need to have the right equipment and be spot on with the conditions. Imagine the horror or losing all your seeds in one go!

Basic Planting Instructions

These are very basic instructions – we urge you to go to Google to look up the specific instructions for each of your seeds for your locality!

Our seeds are generally rare or hard to obtain and due to that fact we grab seeds when we can get them – sometimes they will not be sold “in season” and you will need to store your seeds before you plant them to ensure planting at the right time. To look up planting instructions on google make sure you select a site that is in Australia.

Plant your seeds in the right season/climate for them to grow – usually under shade for a start.

Use a clean pot, if yours has been used before dunk it in a bucket that has a squirt of bleach in it and air dry. Wet your good quality soil thoroughly. Squeeze excess water out by covering your hand in a plastic bag and pushing down firmly. Drop your seeds on top of the soil. The next step you need to do depends on the size of the seed. We recommend using a well-draining soil that has added nutrients.

For small seeds, scatter on the soil, pat down. Cover extremely lightly with fine grain sand or mix. For medium seeds, put seeds on the top, press down lightly, cover with a fine grain mixture, no more than 3 times the width of the seed. For large seeds, press your finger into the soil and drop them in, cover with mix. Not deeper than 3 times the width of the seed. Some seeds will not need covering with soil and will need light to germinate– please check before planting.

Spray with a spray bottle of water. You can also add a very weak solution of Seasol, but it is not necessary as long as your soil is a good one. You can wrap in cling wrap to keep moist and warm. Right away and once you see any green on the seeds that shows you growth is happening spray with a fungicide.

This is very important. We have a fungus in WA called dampening or browning off fungus, it gets into your seed when it opens and kills it. You can get fungus spray from supermarkets and gardening centres, Bunnings, etc. Hint: Look for Rose spray as black spot killer will also prevent dampening off. Some people recommend a diluted spray of chamomile (use tea bags or grow chamomile from our seeds!) which is a natural alternative but have found it less successful than the commercial spray.

Grow your seeds on, once they are touching the cling wrap slowly remove it bit by bit. Give them some watered down Seasol or other liquid fertiliser. Once your seeds are ok to transplant, you will know by their rapid growth, lots of green and healthy leaves, you can use a pop stick to wedge the seedling from the soil.

Grasp the seedling by the leaves not the root. Plant in a bigger pot or into the garden where they are to grow. Gradually move plants that are going to be in the sun bit by bit until they are sun hardened.

SOME SEEDS NEED SPECIAL PLANTING INSTRUCTIONS OR THEY WILL FAIL SO WE URGE YOU TO LOOK ALL YOUR SEEDS UP ON GOOGLE!

Click here to download this page as a PDF to print out and carry around the garden.