Tips on storing seeds
Whether they're seeds for your garden or for feeding the birds, proper care must be taken to ensure your seeds stay fresh. A few simple tips can help with seed storage at home.
Garden Seed Storage
Vegetable and flower seeds can generally be kept for up to a year at room temperature. In areas with low humidity, seeds may last several years without any special treatment. With a little extra care, they can last up to 10 years or more and still germinate. The most important factors in long-term seed storage are seed moisture and storage temperature.
To ensure your seeds are dry enough for storage, place them in the oven at 100 degrees Fahrenheit for 6 hours, keeping the oven door open and making sure the temperature never rises above this level. They can also be spread out to dry in the sun, but this method is less reliable, as direct sunlight can easily exceed 100 F.
Once the seeds are dried (the ideal is 8 percent moisture), package them in air-tight and water-tight containers. Store the seeds in the refrigerator or freezer, at a temperature below 40 degrees Fahrenheit.
Bird Seed Storage
Proper bird seed storage is something that you need to be aware of if you feed the birds on your property. Failing to keep bird seed stored in an appropriate container can lead to insect infestation, bacterial or fungal growth and even bird and animal raids of the seeds. Fortunately there are a lot of great seed storage bins that will keep your seed dry, clean and safe, and that will also make dispensing your seed much easier to do.
It is important to look for a seed storage bin that will meet your specific needs. For example, if you have arthritis, you might look for a bird seed storage option that has an easily removable lid to aid in easy dispensing of the seed. On the other hand, if you live in an area that has a high humidity level, then you should select a storage bin that has an airtight seal.
Here's one last tip: Try tossing in a few bay leaves into your seed storage bin as you fill it up with bird seed. Then place a few bay leaves on top of the seed before closing the lid. Bay leaves will help to prevent insect infestation. For some reason, bugs, especially moths, do not like the bay leaves and will leave your stored seed alone.
Written by Eisla Sebastian