Author Topic: Seed Stewardship  (Read 482 times)

William S.

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Seed Stewardship
« on: 2020-01-12, 12:58:17 PM »
Anyone else have an out of control seed collection and worried about keeping it alive? Let alone the stuff our mentors steward that could be lost? Just was talking about this on homegrown goodness.


Honestly varieties new and old are at risk. It's hard to know.

I try to seed save everything but really need to develop a deep freeze rotation.

« Last Edit: 2020-02-05, 09:41:07 PM by William S. »
Western Montana garden, glacial lake Missoula sediment lacustrian silty clay mollisoil sometimes with added sand in places. Zone 6A with 100 to 130 frost free days

Diane Whitehead

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Re: Seed Stewardship
« Reply #1 on: 2020-01-12, 04:41:28 PM »
I have a database where I keep track of the age of seeds, whether I bought them or saved them myself, and then I try to grow them again before they lose viability.  I don't do it as well as I could, though.

I haven't tried freezing seeds.

Diane Whitehead
Victoria, British Columbia, Canada
Victoria, British Columbia, Canada
cool mediterranean climate  warm dry summers, mild wet winters,  70 cm rain,   sandy soil

bill

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Re: Seed Stewardship
« Reply #2 on: 2020-01-12, 04:44:15 PM »
I put seeds in the freezer for long term storage, but I guess I figure if I am not growing them often enough to keep them fresh, they aren't that valuable anyway.

spacecase0

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Re: Seed Stewardship
« Reply #3 on: 2020-01-13, 10:22:21 AM »
I have a large deep freezer filled almost to the top.
everything goes in canning jars with almost no air and is set to about -10F
I likely should have nitrogen filled the jars, but a vacuum is a close second.

for the how and why of how to store seeds long term,
read it from someone that studies a lifetime to figure it all out.
https://web.archive.org/web/20120707235611/http://www.seedcontainers.net/a_guide_to_long-term_seed_preservation.html

to add to that, a seed dry freezing setup is not that hard to build for a few hundred dollars as long as you are not setting up to do a large amount of seeds. I did this and can help others if they want.
the seeds that get planted out of my storage method are a bit fragile (must put them in water fast when they get out), but they do appear to last a very long time in there.

things I grow every year are not in storage like that, large amount of corn seeds and things like that are also not in there.
I use it for backups. and for things I just don't have space to grow every year.
I also have things for hotter and colder climates in case that suddenly changes on me.
sometimes I don't grow something because everyone I know is allergic to some thing, but that changes through the years, never know what I will need later, or what someone else will want long after something is no longer popular.

reed

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Re: Seed Stewardship
« Reply #4 on: 2020-01-13, 11:01:54 AM »
I freeze treat some seeds to make sure there are no live bugs but I just storer them in plastic sip locks or bottles for the most part. I'v planted beans, corn and tomatoes seeds that were five or even more years old with little noticible reduction in germination. That's in most cases more than adequate for my purposes.

My container of choice for general storage is carbonated beverage bottles. They seem to reseal very tightly and are made to hold contents under pressure so figure maybe they are a little tougher than other plastics. I also use them for water bottles as they can be frozen solid and dropped on concrete without shattering, other plastics like Nalgene can't handle that. They are light weight, they don't break, they seal tight and I think they protect seeds for long enough to suite me. I just let seeds dry on their own. I may but not always wait until it has been cold enough for a fire in the wood stove before sealing them up. I don't put them near the stove, just expose them to the dry air in the room with it for a couple days.

Important archives of some seeds are in glass vials, some of those are in stainless steel canisters buried in the ground.

I don't worry about the excessive collection that has accumulated over the years even though I worked hard collecting it and would be extremely expensive and difficult to replace. I agree with the earlier comment, if it isn't important enough to me to grow regularly then, O'well.

 
« Last Edit: 2020-01-13, 11:13:52 AM by reed »

PhilaGardener

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Re: Seed Stewardship
« Reply #5 on: 2020-01-13, 07:50:38 PM »
I've been starting to archive things in a chest freezer but need to work on a better log of what's there and how to find it.  And freezer space seems to fill up fast!
Growing near Philadelphia, PA, USA

William S.

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Re: Seed Stewardship
« Reply #6 on: 2020-02-02, 07:59:40 PM »
I think I am moving closer to merging my plant breeding hobby with my botany / wildland seed collecting business. That helps justify the cost of a freezer and grow outs.
Western Montana garden, glacial lake Missoula sediment lacustrian silty clay mollisoil sometimes with added sand in places. Zone 6A with 100 to 130 frost free days

William S.

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Re: Seed Stewardship
« Reply #7 on: 2020-02-05, 09:13:05 PM »
We've been talking in other threads about MIA OSSI varieties. That's a lot of what I was worrying about when I started this thread. I do intend at some point to buy a seed freezer. Might be some obstacles between now and then. Garage where my seed stash is has an odd wiring problem. Plenty of plugood insurance but they stopped working. Need to get an electrician out there I guess.

However, we are part of a pretty big community. I bet some of the more established plant breeders and seed growers have already thought of this and collected a lot of varieties including OSSI varieties. I certainly intend to become systematic in my collection of OSSI varieties at some point.

 It just makes sense to have frozen backups of OSSI varieties and those from beloved independent breeders. I well remember day when Tim Peters closed Peters Seeds and Research. I was younger and poorer then and didn't buy as much seed back then. Would be neat to travel back in time and get his full catalogue and put it in a chest freezer, just saying...

Speaking of which, in another thread on 2020 tomato plans Joseph recently said he would offer some copies of his work. Kind of a good deal for a vegetable breeder.


I'm currently working on putting together 7 complete archive copies of my garden. I intend to include in them: everything I'm currently working on. Also many things that I have worked on and never released, or even wrote much about. Experimental things. Finished varieties. Botanical samples that can't be sold because of low germination, etc. I haven't decided on a price tag for them yet, perhaps around $300. I've distributed about 5 of those per year for the past 5 years, and some of those varieties are likely to find their way into seed catalogs over time.

« Last Edit: 2020-02-05, 09:18:48 PM by William S. »
Western Montana garden, glacial lake Missoula sediment lacustrian silty clay mollisoil sometimes with added sand in places. Zone 6A with 100 to 130 frost free days