The Walden Effect: Farming, simple living, permaculture, and invention.

Maintaining saved seeds

Even without setting foot in the garden, you can save money by taking better care of those half full seed packets you bought in the spring.  Nearly all vegetable seeds will last at least two years, and many are viable for much longer.  The chart to the right shows the storage life of many types of vegetable seeds under optimal conditions.

The trick to giving your seeds as much longevity as possible is to keep water, heat, and light at bay.

Seed-saving box

An air-tight box with cardboard dividers will keep your seeds safe and organized, especially if you throw in a few packets of desiccant to soak up excess moisture.  To maximize shelf life, store your box in the freezer, garage, basement, or in another cool, dark place.

Once you optimize your seed storage tactics, you might be able to save yet more money by buying the larger, value packs of many seed varieties, counting on the seeds lasting for two or three growing seasons.

Excerpted from the Seed Saving chapter of Weekend Homesteader: September.

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About us: Anna Hess and Mark Hamilton spent over a decade living self-sufficiently in the mountains of Virginia before moving north to start over from scratch in the foothills of Ohio. They've experimented with permaculture, no-till gardening, trailersteading, home-based microbusinesses and much more, writing about their adventures in both blogs and books.

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