Homegrown Heirloom Seeds from Our Permaculture Homestead

How to Store Your Seeds and Expected Longevity

The following is a quick reference guide to the general longevity of different plant seeds when stored under ideal conditions. These figures are minimum amounts and the reality is most seeds will last much longer, however the germination rates will diminish.

The ideal seed storage conditions are cool and dry out of direct sunlight and with protection from vermin. It is important that seeds are fully dried on the plant, in open trays or in paper bags before placing in any airtight container otherwise there is a risk of mould. Mould risk is further reduced by including a desiccant (save up those silica packets you find in products such as medicine bottles or make a small cloth bag of rice).

By far the best location for long term seed storage is in a fridge in an airtight container with a desiccant to remove moisture (which is critical if you are using a fridge). Most people do not have sufficient space for this however, and therefore storage in a cool dark location in your home (rather than a hot shed or greenhouse) is a second best. Glass jars or plastic boxes will provide protection from most vermin.

Variety Expected Viability (Years)
Artichoke 4
Basil 5
Beans 3
Beetroot 4
Borage 4
Broad Beans 3
Broccoli 3 to 5
Cabbage 4 to 5
Calendula 5 to 6
Capsicum/Chillies 2 to 4
Carrot 3
Cauliflower 4 to 5
Celery 5
Chives 1 to 2
Corn 2
Coriander 5
Cucumber 5
Eggplant 4 to 5
kohlrabi 3 to 5
Leek 1
Lettuce 5 to 6
Melons 5
Mint 4
Nasturtiums 5 to 7
Onion 1
Oregano 1
Parsley 3
Parsnip 1
Peas 3
Poppy 2 to 4
Pumpkin 4
Raddish 5
Rocket 6
Sunflower 5
Tomato 4
True Spinach 3 to 5
Turnip 5
Zucchini/Squash 4 to 5