Seed is a susceptible commodity which can be damaged by any kind of microbes and also mould during its storage. Harvesting is not the end of the process, it must be followed by paying attention to good storage so that the seed quality remains the same.
Knowing how to store seed will give a good seed protection that will avoid the loss from the damage of the microbes growth. Following these steps below will help you to maintain your seed quality from being damaged.
You can give your seed protection from the beginning of the harvesting process. When you harvest the seeds, it is better to separate other stuff that are not seed material such as pulp or meat.x
Those non-seed materials usually have high water content that will trigger microbes’ growth during the seed storage. Therefore, you should make sure that the already harvested seed is in a dry condition as well. You can dry the seeds by using a paper towel.
Here are some tips that you can use to give a good seed protection during the storage time.
Seed quality is the most influencing factor in the end when you want to maintain its quality during the storage. If the seed quality has already been downgraded from the start, then it will not support any other efforts to give it good seed protection.
So, make sure that the seed quality you will store is the good ones so that it will not be a boomerang for you.
Choosing a good seed quality is a little bit tricky for some people with a little knowledge. Gardener usually chooses seeds with pods that are mature and dry enough before its first crack.
Drying seeds will give a good seed protection as well because it will control the seeds water content in a stable state. Too much water content will lead seeds to spoilage due to the microbes’ and mould growth.
Gardeners should dry their seeds thoroughly before packing them. Seeds that are dry enough will have a longer lifetime because of the minimum water content.
Water content that is recommended to give a good seed protection is below 8% which is an unsupportive condition for the microbes and mould growth.
Drying process for the seed can be done by using tools such as oven as well instead of using a paper towel only on a large amount of seeds.
Good container will help to give a good seed protection as well. Containers with a closed or sealed design will protect the seed from becoming humid, which will lead to damage by microbes and mould growth.
It is better to choose a container with a strong structure or a gas proof design that will limit the gas to enter the container. You can also keep the container inside the fridge to keep the seed for a longer time.
Time storage will also determine an effective seed protection due to its different viability. Every seed has a different lifetime based on their characteristics. There are some seeds which can last for up to more than a year (around 3-4 years) such as asparagus, beans, broccoli, carrots, spinach and others can stay for even a longer time such as cucumber, lettuce, tomato, eggplant, and beets.
While other seeds only can stay no longer than the rest before such as corn, onion, parsley, parsnip, and pepper. So, it is better to pay attention to each kind of seed which has a different viability.
Light is also a key factor that determines the success of seed protection. Storing seeds in a black or minimum light contact, will avoid it from the germination process that will trigger spoilage.
You can store seeds in a minimum light contact by wrapping them in a dark container or placing them in a dark room.
Low temperature also plays an important role in maintaining seed protection. Keeping your seeds at a low temperature will protect it from growing a sprout which can lead into a spoilage later on.
Storing seeds in a cool temperature will keep seeds in a dormant condition, so that there will be no organism activities that can trigger a spoilage.
Moisture content also gives an impact on seed protection. Seeds with a high moisture content tend to sprout easily that will lead to spoilage conditions later on because water helps them to grow quicker.
So, it is important to always keep your seeds in a dry condition. You can store seeds in an airtight container that limits water migration tightly so that the seeds will be protected from gaining more water content.
Also, you can add desiccant such as silica gel which can absorb an excess of water or moisture around the seeds. You can keep the container with desiccant in the fridge as well to save it for a longer time.
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