How to Store Your Seeds

Proper storage is crucial for maintaining the viability of seeds over an extended period. Here are some effective methods to ensure the longevity of your seeds:

Storage Methods:

Sealed Mason Jar in Refrigerator:
Place seeds in a sealed mason jar and store it in the refrigerator.
Open the jar at least once a year to allow oxygen inside for better preservation.

Paper Bag or Box in Fridge (Not Freezer):
Store seeds in a paper bag or box in the refrigerator, avoiding freezing temperatures.

Sealed Mason Jar in a Cool Area:
Keep seeds in a sealed mason jar in a cool area of the house, maintaining a stable temperature.

Germination Test

What is the viability of your seeds? Conduct a simple germination test:
Damp Paper Towel Method:

  • Place a small portion (at least 20 seeds) in a damp paper towel inside a ziplock bag.
  • Put the bag in a warm place, like above the refrigerator.
  • Monitor and count germinated seeds. Note: Pepper and eggplant seeds might require higher temperatures for optimal germination.

Germination Rate

Germination rates are a personal preference. As a seed company, a rate above 80% is typically required for each crop. Home gardeners have the flexibility to choose seeds according to their preferences.

Seed Longevity:

Under suitable conditions, most seeds can last three years or more on average.
Onion seeds are an exception, maintaining good germination for about a year, even under optimal storage conditions.


Seed Storage Guide

Seed Crop Average Life in Storage (years)

Seed Crop Average Life (years)
Amaranth 4-5
Arugula 6
Basil 3-5
Beans 2-4
Beets 2-5
Broccoli 3-5
Cabbage 3-5
Calendula 4-6
Carrots 3-4
Chicory 4-5
Chinese Cabbage 3-5
Cilantro 1-4
Cosmos 3-5
Cucumber 3-6
Dill 1-4
Dry Corn 5-10
Eggplant 4-5
Fennel 3-4
Hairy Vetch 5
Kale 3-5
Leeks 2-3
Lettuce 1-6
Marigold 2-5
Melon 3-6
Mustard Greens 4
Nasturtium 3-7
Nigella 3-5
Okra 2-3
Onions 1-2
Parsley 1-4
Parsnip 1-3
Peas 2-4
Peppers 2-5
Poppy 2-4
Pumpkins 4-6
Radish 4-5
Rye 1-3
Spinach 1-5
Squash 3-6
Sunflowers 3-5
Swiss Chard 2-5
Sweet Corn 2-3
Tomato 3-7
Watermelon 4-5
Zinnia 2-5

Source: Seed storage data compiled from Johnny’s Seed Storage Guide.