Freezing seeds

Discussion in 'Gardening & Plant Propagation' started by suelandress, Jul 11, 2005.

  1. suelandress

    suelandress Windy Island Acres Supporter

    Messages:
    4,588
    Joined:
    May 10, 2002
    Location:
    The Quiet Corner of CT
    Are there any seeds that cannot be stored in the freezer?
     
  2. Becky H.

    Becky H. Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    720
    Joined:
    Jun 30, 2004
    Location:
    Mississippi
    For eating any of them can go in the freezer. For medicinal I don't know. For germinating I was taught they should be stored in paper envelopes and then together in a container away from heat and moisture and this has done fine by me so far. The envelope starts fallign apart after a bit and the seeds fall out but they stay mostly in tact if handled infrequently. There are some seeds that are more delicate than others. I have an extensive list of info what seeds do you have and I'll tell you the viability in years of germination.
     

  3. suelandress

    suelandress Windy Island Acres Supporter

    Messages:
    4,588
    Joined:
    May 10, 2002
    Location:
    The Quiet Corner of CT
    I was thinking in terms of storafe for future germination. Since peppers and tomatoes and such are actually from the tropics, does freezing the seed kill them?
     
  4. suelandress

    suelandress Windy Island Acres Supporter

    Messages:
    4,588
    Joined:
    May 10, 2002
    Location:
    The Quiet Corner of CT
  5. festio

    festio Member

    Messages:
    9
    Joined:
    Jan 8, 2004
    I keep all my seeds in the freezer. I just planted watercress seed from l999 and every seed came up. I put the seed packets in small plastic bags according to kind and then put all the small bags in a larger bag or plastic container. Sure works for me and a big money saver! Rita in TN
     
  6. via media

    via media Tub-thumper

    Messages:
    1,588
    Joined:
    Jun 3, 2005
    I was growing gourds and had read that if you leave them exposed to winter temperatures, the seeds will freeze and cannot be used the following year. Maybe this is different than storing in a freezer (temperature fluctuations, etc, if kept outdoors)?

    I haven't tested this so I was wondering if you have any experience with freezing gourd seeds or leaving them outside to freeze?

    /VM
     
  7. Becky H.

    Becky H. Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    720
    Joined:
    Jun 30, 2004
    Location:
    Mississippi
    According to my Encyclopedia of Gardening by Norman Taylor, 1948 the viability of seeds for tomato is 3 years, pepper is for 4 years, and gourd is 6 years. They have extreme viability listed (if stored properly) to be at tomato 7 years, pepper 8 years and gourd is a whopping 20 years! Wowser. Now this is with storage by the paper envelope I mentioned.

    The most sensitive would be Angelica 1-3 years, corn it lists at 2-4 years, dandelion 2-5 years, hop at 2-4 years, parsnip 2-4, rue 2-3, salsify 2-8, tansy 2-4 with the higher number being the extreme and less common. Go by the lowest number to guarantee good germination rate.

    As far as freezing any subtropicals for year to year storage the seed viability isn't affected I would think. Like it's the nature of the plants? that they aren't living yet, just a seed and aren't bound by the temperature factor.

    I'm just guessing because I've looked and looked and it doesn't really address it with seeds in any of my books. Looked under frost (which only addresses live plants) and freezing (which discusses food storage and canning) and seeds storage.

    I think the danger in the freezing v envelope method is because of the moisture. Make sure the seeds are dry. That's why I think the gourds were not to be frozen during winter... because the gourd seeds need to be dry again before they can be planted. If they are still in teh gourd, they don't have a chance to dry out and rot. This book explains it "semi" in the fact that the seeds can't have any other organic with them. Fruit seeds need to be cleaned up before storage for fear of rot.

    I learned something new on this post :)
     
  8. via media

    via media Tub-thumper

    Messages:
    1,588
    Joined:
    Jun 3, 2005
    Hi Becky H., thanks for the information! I don't have a lot of room inside to store my seeds but it sounds like if I take care to do the prep work, I'll be able to safely store them outside.

    I appreciate you taking the time to check into that :)

    /VM
     
  9. Ravenlost

    Ravenlost Well-Known Member Supporter

    Messages:
    24,572
    Joined:
    Jul 20, 2004
    Location:
    MS
    My mom keeps all her seed in the freezer.
     
  10. Oxankle

    Oxankle Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    4,536
    Joined:
    Jun 20, 2003
    Location:
    Arkansas
    Never kept gourd, but I keep okra and squash in the freezer along with all my other seeds. Seed so stored will be as good as fresh seed, while seed stored in the house or barn will lose some viability each day stored. (Within reason; I have never kept any seed over 5 years.)
    Ox