Whether you cultivate cannabis on a commercial or private basis, you know the important role that a nice collection of seeds plays in not only starting a garden, but also as a way to preserve your favorite strains for future use.
As a hobbyist gardener, I enjoy keeping an assortment of seeds on hand as a way to keep a variety of strains growing at all times. I typically run anywhere from five to eight different cannabis strains at any given time, thus giving me a diverse mixture of flavors and cannabinoid profiles to choose from.
Once I’ve popped new beans I keep them around via cloning until I’m ready for a change, and then I take it out of the lineup. But since I don’t have the extra required space to house a series of mother plants, I keep a collection of both feminized and regular seeds of my favorite strains at the ready and germinate as needed. But to ensure my collection of beans remain in good physical shape until I’m ready to propagate, it’s necessary to store them properly.
Storing your beans!
Although cannabis seeds may appear to be strong and self-contained, they’re actually designed by Mother Nature to respond to their surrounding environment, thus making the careful handling and conservancy of your prized beans crucial to their wellbeing.
The conditions required for successful seed germination (warmth and moisture) are the exact opposite of what you need for proper seed preservation. When enough moisture is removed and your seeds are kept in a cool, dark storage area, they stay dormant, waiting for the surrounding conditions to develop to their liking.
Some experts have confidence in the fact that a seed that’s held in reserve in dry enough conditions and at a regularly cool temperature can last a decade or sometimes much longer. And although preservation results can tend to vary for home growers, a respectable general rule is that high-quality seeds should last two to three years if stored with care. It’s also been shown that larger seeds will typically remain viable somewhat longer than that of the varieties of cannabis with smaller seeds.
Keeping it cool!
The two most imperative elements when storing your cannabis seeds for future use are temperature and humidity. The temperature segment of the calculation can be a fairly modest one by merely storing your seeds in a refrigerator if possible. Others may choose to store their seeds in a dry basement or root cellar where the temperature remains rather constant and the moisture level is reasonably low.
Oh, the humidity!
As far as the controlling the humidity goes, that can be the more difficult part of the equation to manage. When it comes to a pro operation, the ideal humidity level for seed storage typically hovers around less than 8%. But for the home cultivator not employing professional equipment, the moisture levels can be as high as 25% or more, all depending on the environment where you reside.
Keeping the humidity at a low level can be accomplished by choosing seed storage containers that seal well, combined with desiccants like silica gel or a pinch of dried rice that can absorb ambient moisture. It’s best to keep a layer of cotton or paper towel between your desiccant of choice and the seeds in order to preserve them safely.
Don’t forget to label!
Unless you possess eidetic memory capabilities, I highly suggest that you label your beans accordingly in order to avoid having to do a grow-them-out-and-see scenario. It may seem obvious, but you’d be surprised how many folks forget to write stuff down. “Was this a broad-leafed or narrow-leafed Indica?” Better safe than sorry!
Keep your magic beans stored safely and keep it green!