So, you’ve collected your sweet pea seeds from the absolute best of your crop and now you’re wondering where to store them until next season. Generally speaking, optimum seed storage requires a consistently cool, dark, and dry space.
This may sound simple enough to achieve but can be tricky business without the right know-how, so read on for some great tips and tricks to help you keep your seeds as fresh as possible and prime for planting next season.
The drier the better
Before you decide exactly where you are going to store them, make sure the seeds themselves are completely dry.
A common trick is to pop the pods in a paper bag, shaking the bag every day or so until the seeds come out and then leaving the seeds to dry out fully on a sheet of newspaper.
Your number one enemy when storing seeds is moisture! Damp conditions and even humidity can compromise them. Protect your seeds by popping them first in a sealed envelope.
Not only will this protect them from the elements, but you will be able to label and date them, avoiding a seed lucky dip come planting season! Then store this envelope in a sealed, air-tight container.
A nifty trick is to save any silica gel packets you get from your next online delivery or new pair of shoes, throw these in your container to guard against any moisture that does get in.
A mason jar, or similar, is a great way to block out the outside world and keep your seeds snug in a dry home until next season.
Keep it dark and cool
When you’re ready to plant, sunlight is your friend, but until then keep those precious seeds tucked away from those rays. Not only are they sensitive to light, but heat can also be a cause of seed degeneration during storage.
The key is to maintain a stable temperature, so avoiding anywhere such as a sunny windowsill or near to a radiator is key. You want the conditions to be as constant as possible, without fluctuations in light, temperature, or humidity.
The right environment
With all of the above in mind, there are several common places in the home that are generally great places to store your sweet pea seeds. A cool, dark cellar is absolutely ideal if you have one. If not, a cupboard, pantry or even under the bed can be excellent alternatives.
While mass produced seeds are usually frozen, for home storage this is best avoided as conditions in a home freezer are much too humid. Some people suggest the fridge, but as temperatures can be inconsistent, a cupboard is better.
Every house and garden are different, but as long as you stick to the essentials and keep you seeds cool, dark, and dry, figure out a system that works best for you. Smart seed storage is every gardener’s dream, enabling you to keep your favourite sweet pea varieties coming back year on year and saving you money in the process.