LADeWilde said:I assume that most of the ideas in this podcast are for large seeds. I deal mostly with gesneriad seeds which are almost as fine as dust particles. I store my seeds in white tissue paper, multifolded to produce a small 'pocket'. I gather my seeds on a white piece of white typing paper where I clean the seeds of chaff and debris. I then fold the piece of paper and pour the seed in the pocket and fold it close. The pocket is then placed in a 1-3/4" x 2-7/8" glassine enveloped like those used for stamps collections. The glassine envelope is then placed in a #3 coin envelope and labeled with the seed's name. The coin envelopes are then place in an air tight plastic container with a dessicant pack and stored in the bottom drawer of my fridge. Some of my seeds are over 14 years old and still as viable as the day I collected them. I do agree the seeds should be very dry before storing. Lucky, with gesneriads, they usually dry thoroughly in the pod before they're even harvested.
Hi Lacey! Welcome to ATP.
I don't have any good method for 'dust-like seeds". Sometimes I put them into a bit of hand-folded and taped glasssine, or into a 1.5"x1.5" Ziploc. Then I put those inside a 2x3" Ziploc so there's room for a big label.
I applaud your system of wrapping seeds in paper
(& glassine that is probably not sealed airtight), then placed with desiccant into a tightly sealed container
. Your way, the seeds are well exposed to the desiccant, but the desiccant is sealed well against the humid external atmosphere.
That's better than my system where the seeds are divided into small samples (1/16th tsp to 1 TBLSPN) in sealed 2x3" Ziplocs. The only way humidity is sucked out of them is through the zipper
and right through the 2 mil polyethylene film. In other words, very slowly. But that's OK with me: the only humidity that needs to be removed is water released slowly from seed metabolism, which is SLOW when the seed is dry (and cool, ideally).
And my small plastic Ziplocs prevent the air touching the seeds from zooming right to 50% when I open my plastic tubs.
And, when I open the tubs, there is not very much exposed paper to absorb humidity from the atmosphere and then release it into the silica gel after I reseal the lid.
I also like to think that my small Ziplocs protect the seeds from short periods of time (a few days) when fresh silica gel might briefly pull the RH below 15%. By the time enough humidity diffuses through the ZipLoc zipper to make the seeds reach 15% eRH, the silica gel has lost enough power that it no longer pulls the tub air below 15% RH.
(I like to think that, anyway.
I rely on humidity-indicating cards to tell me when I'm getting some tub TOO dry, then I open the lid every few days until the silica gel gets "tired". Or I swap the "strong" silica gel pkt into a tub with lots of big seeds, and put "tired" silica gel into the tub that was getting too dry.)
Lacey, do you use any humidity-indicating gadget? Would you like a few humidity-indicating cards?
I think I may start offering these cards in seed swaps.
I guess the crisper drawer in a fridge maintains a steady, cool temperature when the fridge door opens and closes, and that is good. "Steady, cool temperature" is probably the second-most-important variable after keeping them steadily DRY.
As long as your plastic container is TIGHTLY sealed, the fact that the crisper drawer is the MOST humid part of a fridge would not matter.
Do you do anything beyond the coin envelope to protect them from light? I think "keep dark" is the third-most-important variable for long life. I don;t worry about light except to store them inside big cardboard boxes that block light well until I open the box. Then all bets are off.