How to Save Seeds for Future Planting

Overview

Growing vegetables and flowers from seed is an inexpensive way to plant the garden, but purchasing fresh seed each year adds up. Most seed packets contain more seeds than possible to plant in the home garden. Instead of tossing the extra seeds after planting, save them for next year's garden and save the money you would otherwise spend on fresh seed. Many seed varieties can be stored for three or more years, if saved and stored under the proper conditions.

Step 1

Place a desiccate inside a glass jar. Use silica gel, available from floral shops, or place 1/4 cup powdered milk or dry rice in a small cloth bag and place this in the bottom of the jar to absorb moisture.

Step 2

Place the seed packet into the jar and screw the jar's lid on tightly. Store more than one packet per jar, if desired.

Step 3

Place the jar in a cool, dark room. Storage around 50 degrees Fahrenheit is preferred. Place the seeds in an unheated basement, garage or the refrigerator.

Step 4

Remove the seeds from the jar if moisture droplets form inside the glass. Spread the seeds out on a paper towel in a warm room to dry for three or four days, then place them back in the jar with fresh desiccate.

Tips and Warnings

  • Seeds with less natural oils tend to last the least amount of time in storage. For example, parsnip, spinach and onion seeds rarely last more than one year.

Things You'll Need

  • Jar
  • Desiccate
  • Cloth bag
  • Paper towel

References

  • Oregon State University: Go Through Leftover Garden Seed
Keywords: saving leftover seed, garden seed storage, growing plants

About this Author

Jenny Harrington has been a freelance writer since 2006. Her published articles have appeared in various print and online publications, including the "Dollar Stretcher." Previously, she owned her own business, selling handmade items online, wholesale and at crafts fairs. Harrington's specialties include small business information, crafting, decorating and gardening.