HOW TO STORE YOUR VEGGIES SEEDS; WHAT MOST SEED COMPANIES WOULD NOT TELL YOU

Seeds Storage

Do you know that seeds are living thing? In this case, they also possess all the attributes of living things: Mr. NIGER D (Movement, Respiration, Nutrition, Irritability, Growth, Excretion, Reproduction and Death). All these attributes however come into full functionality when seed germinates. Seeds can also be said to be seedlings in hibernation (sleeping mode). Improper storage or poor care of seeds often results to the seeds undergoing the last letter ‘D’ of the acronyms, “Death”. The cost of improved
seeds alone is one of the highest items on the overall cost of production. Therefore, allowing seeds wastage due to poor storage measures should be seriously dealt with. Even if it is a locally extracted seeds, improper storage though may not have a direct financial implication but would surely affect your plan in a way. For example, if you plant 3000 stands of melon and eventually only 500 germinated, you can make up for everything but not the wasted time and resources (such as labour cost).  Poor enough, many farmers can’t calculate the right quantity of seeds needed at a go per land size therefore, they end up purchasing more than needed and more often than not resort into storing the remaining for another time. 
You may watch: A video on how to identify, extract, prepare and preserve local seeds


Why storing seeds?
Storing seeds for another planting season is as old as farming. You may have a reason to store locally extracted seeds for another season. Perhaps, you may have purchased more than what is needed per time of commercially packaged seeds and in that case you have already opened the lid. What this means is that you would need to store the seeds till you would need it another time. 
Some of the benefits are:
  • Longer shelf life: As mentioned in the introduction, seeds are also living and at every given opportunity would want to express their inherent attributes. Moreover, seeds are living thing in seemingly hibernation state and would want to germinate if adequate combined condition of heat and moisture are present. In addition, if condition is favourable, seeds would continue to breathe at a faster rate and after sometimes may lose their viability and died.  A good storage would slow down this breathing process thereby increasing the shelf life. You may read: How to harvest, prepare and preserve local seeds

  • High germination percentage: All the seeds companies would often write on the seed package label, the germination percentage i.e. the total number of seeds that would germinate in every hundred seeds planted every other things being equal. As untrue as this figure represents for some seeds companies (due to poor packaging materials among other reasons), it is even more far from reality if the package is opened for some time (unspoken truth from the manufacturer). It is therefore better you used all the seeds in the seed package once opened or you properly store it if you need to use it another time. As for extracted or locally preserved seeds, it is good you put them in good condition to get high germination rate. Ideally, the stress of locally preserving/extracting seeds is enough to discourage wastage. Remember that you need certain techniques to identify, extract and preserve local seeds. Otherwise, you may as well be saving seeds with mixed and poor genetic strains which would surely have effect on your future farming outcomes such as yield, resistance to diseases/insect, market appeal , adaptability etc.
  •  Economic reason: Of cause, you may need to safe cost of buying another seeds if you already have a well stored seeds from previous purchase. This is particularly of significance to those that practice succession planting which requires planting a particular seed bit by bit per time and may not get the required quantity of seeds needed in commercial pack size. For example, a farmer may require planting; says 3.5g of seeds/month and the only commercial pack she/he can get is 5g of that crop in question. What happen to the remaining 1.5g?

How to store seeds
Storing seeds for later use does not come with any special technique. The simple logic behind it is: make sure the seeds do not breathe fast enough and are not exposed to two major conditions necessary for germination: moisture and heat combined.  
In the first place, commercial seeds are put in hermetic (airtight) package. The reason for this is to make sure that the seeds do not have the opportunities to express those aforementioned attributes of living things but rather remain in dormant state called hibernation. This is the singular reason to only purchase improved seeds in quality package (either Tin or UV resistant and aluminum foil inner lining sachet). 
Supplying this condition: airtight and moisture resistance storage material is essential if you need to store locally extracted seeds or remaining seeds from used commercial pack. As for locally extracted, you may need to treat with solvent like Tri-sodium phosphate, bleach or neem oil before storing or planting after storage. As for good improved commercial seeds, they have already been treated. 
The best material locally available that you can use to store seeds is glass bottle with non-plastic lid. It is important you note the following before storing seeds using this bottle:
- Never store moist or damp seeds. Store only well dried seeds (don’t ever directly sun dried seeds)
- Ensure the bottle has not traces of moisture or liquid i.e. it must be perfectly clean and dried. 
- Once the seeds are bottled, place in a cool place not dispose to heat, sunlight and water.
- Ensure that the lid is airtight before storage

Once these conditions are met, your seeds are as good as new whenever you need them. However, remember that seeds do not live forever even if properly stored as no living thing does. Depending on the crops, most veggies seeds have good viability within 2 to 3 years after extraction and good storage ensures that they live up to this time or slightly more. 
I hope you find this interesting enough. Please help share the article to as many farmers this can be of help. Cheers!






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HYBRID VEGGIES : HOW TO STORE YOUR VEGGIES SEEDS; WHAT MOST SEED COMPANIES WOULD NOT TELL YOU
HOW TO STORE YOUR VEGGIES SEEDS; WHAT MOST SEED COMPANIES WOULD NOT TELL YOU
Seeds Storage
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