You've finished planting your vegetables, fruit and flowers, but now you're left with extra seeds and are not quite sure what to do with them. Do you just throw the seeds away, or can you use them next year? If you store the seeds properly, they should remain viable for at least one year; some seeds remain usable even longer. Follow these tips when storing leftover seeds to ensure they produce healthy plants next spring.
Label Envelopes with the Date and Seed Type
It's best to group seed packets that expire at the same time together. Label envelopes with the current date, each seed type and how many years the seeds will remain viable. Then place your groups of seed packets into each envelope.
Place Envelopes in Glass Jars with Tight Lids
Once you have all of your seed packets grouped together, placed in envelopes and labeled, place the envelopes inside Mason jars (or any type of glass jar that has a tight-fitting lid) and seal the lids.
Keep the Seeds Dry Using a Silica Gel Packet or Raw Rice
It's essential that the seeds remain dry while being stored. To soak up any moisture, place a silica gel packet in your glass jar and replace it every six months. You can also keep seeds dry using rice kernels.
Store Seeds in a Cool and Dry Location, Like the Refrigerator
Seeds should never be frozen, but they do need to be cool. Oftentimes, the best place to store seeds and keep the packets away from humidity is in the refrigerator.
When you're left with extra seeds after planting, don't throw them away. Follow these tips to keep your seeds safely stored for next year's gardening season.