Do you want great cannabis year after year? Do you have favorite varieties but struggle to get them in your area? Growing your own can give you full control over your crop and access to your favorite strains.
Once you have chosen your seeds and purchased them from a top seed bank, you need to know how to store them correctly. Careful storage will allow you to keep them until you are ready to get planting or save them for later.
If you store them in the right way, they can last for years and still provide you with great plants. Shoving them into a ziplock bag and keeping them in a cupboard won’t cut it when you’ve taken the time to personally select them.
Each one is precious and you want to increase the chance that it will become a plant weighed down with sticky buds.
What to Consider
Storing seeds depends on being able to prevent germination. This is when the seed is provided with the right conditions to release stored energy and begins to grow into a seedling.
The process will begin if the seed is exposed to warmth, moisture or light. Even if one of these occurs it will alter the internal structure of the seed and reduce the chance of successful germination later.
Cold- Keeping your seeds cold is key to making sure they stay dormant and don’t germinate. When you choose a method of storage, it is important to use a low temperature and take steps to ensure that it remains constant. Even small changes can cause the seed to alter its internal structure in preparation for germination. If this happens before you are ready to grow it will have an effect on plant quality.
Dry- Using an airtight container will prevent moisture from triggering germination in your seeds. Also, bacteria and rot will find it harder to damage those that are kept dry. The ideal humidity levels for storage are between 10% and 20%.
Purchasing a specialist dehumidifying container is one way of keeping them at this level but a much simpler method is to use silica packets. They will take any moisture out of the atmosphere and make sure your seeds don’t get damp. Try using a 1g silica packet per six seeds, in an airtight container.
Dark- Whatever you choose to store your seeds in, make sure it is opaque or wrapped in packing tape to keep all light out. There are specialist seed storage units available, but it is easy to create your own opaque container, saving your money to get the best seeds and growing equipment.
Fridge vs Freezer
Fridges and freezers are ideal for storing seeds and most of us already have them.
Some people claim that the colder the seeds are the longer they last. This is only true if you can guarantee that it is done entirely without moisture.
This would require the complicated process of drying out the seeds first to prevent any ice crystals developing in them during freezing.
Your freezer works at a temperature that will keep them safe in an opaque container with a few silica packets for up to six months. Any longer than this could cause them small amounts of damage and effect later yield.
Placing your seeds in a no frost fridge is much better for both the short and long term. The ideal temperature for seed storage is between 4ᵒC and 8ᵒC. A fridge will keep them at this temperature without having to professionally dry them.
This will give you better rates of germination than using a freezer and allow you to store them for much longer.
However, while these are great options, if you have lots of seeds you may want to invest in an individual fridge or even a purpose-built storage unit.
This is because most fridges and freezers are used daily. The door will be opened and closed which lets in moisture and light.
Also, when the door is opened it can cause a change in the seed temperature. While this may be O.K. every once in a while, if you have a habit of staring hungrily into the icebox you may need to make alternative arrangements.
How Long Will They Last?
When kept undisturbed in a fridge, seeds can be stored for up to three years with very little decline in quality or germination rates.
There have been reports of successful germination after more than a decade of storage, however, after three years the number that germinate successfully will decline.
Seeds kept at room temperature may keep for a year or more but have a much better chance in a fridge or freezer. An opaque, airtight container holding silica packets and seeds in a portable no frost fridge will give you great results.
Storing cannabis seeds is an easy way of saving your favorite strains for another year. It can be done simply and with a good chance of success for up to three years with items you may already have in your home.
You can invest in specialist equipment, if it is within your budget, but with a little creativity, you can preserve any excess seeds for many years to come.
Get storing your seeds now and you will never be short of a great crop.