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Old 08-08-2014, 11:28 PM
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azrancher azrancher is offline
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Originally Posted by RedHatcc View Post
If you don't get the moisture out of it, the freezing of the water/moisture inside the seeds can disrupt the DNA can't it?
Nobody would want disruptive DNA.

NO...

Seeds freeze in nature all the time.

Rancher
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Old 08-09-2014, 09:59 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RedHatcc View Post
If you don't get the moisture out of it, the freezing of the water/moisture inside the seeds can disrupt the DNA can't it?
You are putting too much thought into this.

The oldest seed to germinate was radiocarbon dated to 31,800 years old.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Oldest_viable_seed

There are numerous examples of seeds being hundreds, even thousands of years old germinating.
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Old 08-09-2014, 03:36 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kev View Post
You are putting too much thought into this.

The oldest seed to germinate was radiocarbon dated to 31,800 years old.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Oldest_viable_seed

There are numerous examples of seeds being hundreds, even thousands of years old germinating.
Haha wow... how epic would that be to find that seed and plant it.

Maybe I was, just trying to cross my T's and dot my I's. But the above two post are correct, makes sense, and last year I had volunteer plants that came up from a big freeze we had.
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Old 08-10-2014, 12:16 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RedHatcc View Post
If you don't get the moisture out of it, the freezing of the water/moisture inside the seeds can disrupt the DNA can't it?
The problem comes when they freeze/thaw and repeat...that's why it's suggested you keep your seeds in the bottom of a chest type freezer...the theory being that upright freezers lose temp as soon as you open the door, where a chest freezer doesn't..because cold air sinks...uprights automatically defrost themselves...so the theory is the seeds will defrost...I put mine in a double layer of ziplocks and then into a milk carton that I fill with water to freeze...even when the freezer defrosts, the ice water in the milk carton stays solid...I don't have a chest freezer and never have had a problem..I put them in the back and bottom of my upright, and they are fine..just remember to always let them come naturally to room temp before you open the packages to plant them. It also helps to seperate your seeds into what you will use next year and what will be long term storage, so you only thaw them once.
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Old 08-10-2014, 11:42 AM
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Hi, new to the forum, but I have some expertise on this topic. I am a vegetable farmer/amateur plant breeder/seed saver.

To store seed and maintain viability for as long as possible the key things are to get it as dry as possible, then keep the seeds as cold as possible. Another really beneficial thing is to exclude the seeds from Oxygen. As a seed saver, I have multiple varieties of different crops that I try and grow, but too many to grow out all of them every year and keep them from crossing together. So I keep and archive of all the stuff I have in my chest freezer.

Mainly I use half gallon canning jars, but mylar storage bags work also. First get your seed down below 12% moisture, I use a dehydrator to do this, or wait till mid winter with our woodstove and then I know everything in the house is all dried out with the humidity down below 5%. Then store your seeds in the canning jar or mylar bag with an appropriate sized O2 absorber. Socked away in a chest freezer any crop/vegetable seed will store with no change in viability for a human lifetime. At the National Seed Storage Laboratory they go one better and store the seed in cryo tanks suspended above liquid nitrogen. But that is not realistic for any normal person.

I think seed properly dried, hermetically sealed with an O2 absorber then buried fairly deep where the temp would stay fairly regular would also last for a very, very long time. But I haven't seen any studies that have tested that specifically. But it stands to reason from other research. Seed saving manuals like Seed to Seed by Suzanne Ashworth give some basic data on different longevities of various crop types at room temp.

It is a myth that crop seeds need oxygen. Oxygen and water is what kills them. You don't want them wet or breathing till it is time for them to wake up and germinate.

This is true for just about every crop/garden seed you would be likely to store, but many tropical seeds, wild rice, and tree seeds like acorns, avocados, mangos and many tree nuts are different. If they dry out they die. Maybe fine for food but they will not germinate. They are called "recalcitrant seeds".
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Old 08-10-2014, 11:52 AM
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This was a good read. Was wondering myselg
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Old 08-10-2014, 12:04 PM
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Happy birthday to the OP. We have had mixed luck with older seeds stored at room temp (60's-70 degrees). Some germinated well others not so much. I have mixed lettuce seeds that I have used for 4 years now. They have sprouted well.

It has been hit or miss for us, though I will confess I have not narrowed down which plants like acidic soil and which ones don't. I threw things in the ground and they grew. Now I believe we will need to put more thought into it, since nothing is doing really well this year.

We have frozen ft couple of seed vaults I meant to try planting this year, but had problems, so didn't get to it. Next year I will try and post results.
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Old 08-10-2014, 12:12 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by azrancher View Post
Seeds freeze in nature all the time.
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Originally Posted by donna13350 View Post
The problem comes when they freeze/thaw and repeat...that's why it's suggested you keep your seeds in the bottom of a chest type freezer...
Seems like in nature, seeds go through many freeze/thaw cycles.

Was there a scientific study that supports this?

Rancher
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Old 08-12-2014, 09:04 AM
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I don't save seeds for vegetables I don't eat or like! In that case, I try to rejuvenate my seeds regularly. Plant and save fresh seeds every couple years. If you freeze them, it seems to me you probably won't or don't plant them! Out of site, out of mind.
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Old 08-12-2014, 09:27 AM
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I don't save seeds for vegetables I don't eat or like! In that case, I try to rejuvenate my seeds regularly. Plant and save fresh seeds every couple years. If you freeze them, it seems to me you probably won't or don't plant them! Out of site, out of mind.
I agree two bits, but here's why I archive a bit of everything I can. Every year I have a total crop failure of something. Each growing season the weather or bugs/disease issues are different. If I have a variety I like, I save seed from it if possible. I put some of that saved seed in the archive. Then I put the rest of it in my active seed storage. I plant out of the active seed. But if I plant all my active seed, and then lose it to a crop failure, I can go back to the archive and start over. It is insurance. I also lately have been trading partial archives with other seed savers to have a backup to the backup in case my house burns down etc.

I do this with hybrid seed I like too. Some hybrids are just awesome. Sungold cherry tomato is a good example of this. Many seed savers/amateur plant breeders have tried to stabilize Sungold into an OP variety without success. There are many lines of OP cherry tomatoes descended from Sungold, but none of them are identical to it in color, size, flavor, etc. It is clear that whatever the parent varieties are of Sungold, they are combining to create a phenotype that is only possible as a heterozygous F1 hybrid. So when the TEOTWAKI happens, that means no more Sungold. Which is obviously not the worst thing in the world, but I like Sungold. If I buy a bunch of extra Sungold hybrid, I can keep growing it for years afterwards, no matter what happens to the global seed industry. A long term seed archive is great insurance against disaster, and against the vagaries of the seed industry, which is apt to drop whatever you like the best, or let it get contaminated with off-types etc, due to Murphy's Law.
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Old 08-12-2014, 02:01 PM
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Since I am an environmental engineer....I have volunteer tomatoes growing here and there. So, once in a great while , I will dig couple plants for the garden. Its a grab bag! This year, one was a cherry/tear drop shape, decent tasting. The other, well it must be OP. It has the biggest tomatoes. Large , round as a softball. I am planning to save a few seeds from it.
The best small cherry was in a tank, sweet, dark red, also tear shaped. My loss, failed to get seeds.
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