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Discussion Starter · #1 ·


I have been curious for a while about these survival seed packages and seed collections that companies and organizations have been selling.

In the spirit of self-sufficency, I asked myself "WHY COULDN'T I MAKE MY OWN?"

After a little bit of research and knowing what seeds might withstand a year or two (e.g. parsnips, do not last more than a year), I tried to devise several approaches.

-Get fresh seeds- hybrid or hertiage (non-GM0) from suppliers.
-Store in a can or water proof container.
-Put in a freezer for long term storage.
-Label the seeds and container with contents, date of storage, etc.

Ok, folks, now I am asking you for input and thoughts.

-Do I need a fancy metal bag to store the seeds? Some have them, others do not.

-Do I need plastic bags to contain the pre-packaged seeds?

-If the seeds are good for 2010, then I understand that they may last as long as 4 to 5 years in deep cold storage. Any thoughts?

-YES, I know that the final proof of seed longevity will be test sprouting some of the seed with water and on a tissue paper when I finally need them.

-YES, I know I should favor heritage (non-hybrid, non-GMO) seed IF I wish to use some of the seeds from my first harvest to plan for NEXT year's harvest.

The point I also want to get out is that IF I can order the seeds now -via catalogs, online, or at stores-many seeds are at discount (40-50% off) and then I take the seed and store them for future needs-after the fall (or SHTF or whatever).

Furthermore, I would save money on purchasing what seeds I want rather than paying $50, $70, or even $150 for a seed canister (and I can use a clean coffee can or tupperware container just as well!).

Any thoughts?

I would appreciate any and all thoughts on the subject.

Thank you all in advance.

Best wishes.


Premium Member
2,064 Posts
Here is a thread concerning seed storage...
Most of us here are under the opinion the heirloom seeds are the best for storage, main reason they will be true season after season.
I keep my long term in the freezer in plastic ziploc bags.

By the way, introduce yourself here, give us a little background info if you don't mind...

WELCOME, :welcome:lroberge from a long time preparer. Look forward to your replies and further posts.


Liq Plumber on ur tin hat
41 Posts
IMO, this is another example of "use what you store, store what you use" I know I never use every single seed every year when I plant, just in case I need more seeds. Bug out, replanting after a bad harvest etc. Then when harvest is done, be sure to save some to harvest seeds from (so, I vote for heirloom)

I would not trust a seed that I just put in a can in the back of the freezer.

1,922 Posts
First thing first here.
NEVER USE RUBBERMAID TUBS FOR SEED STORAGE!!:eek: I found out the hard way that mice can chew a hole in Rubbermaid containers and I lost almost my whole heirloom collection a few years ago and lucky for me the folks at Idigmygarden forum let me do some good trading and build it right back up again.
Get a good book on seed saving, my favorite that I have already mentioned is Seed to Seed by Susan Ashworth, just borrow it from the library and check it out. You really want to learn to save seed from heirlooms correctly and not just dry it and bag it. And to be safe, learn it now not later.
Some seeds will have to be grown out almost every year or every other year, and then some can be saved for many years and still have great germination.
A couple of years ago I even got a tomato seed packet from a friend grew a couple of them out and the date was 1968! Of course this is before I knew how to save my seeds, so now it is gone.:(
I prefer mason jars for storage of my seeds, I have even put the seeds into baggies and then into glass. In fact my collection is now in about 6 of the glass gallon relish/olive jars from my BIL restaurant kitchen, metal tops and the mice, so far, have not been able to chew thru that! some restaurants will save them for you as long as you pick them up on time and are nice about it.
I fully second Kriket's way of growing and saving--I always keep enuf back from each planting to plant for next year just in case of crop failure. I started a few pole beans and I mean a few one year maybe only 10 or 12 and then this year I had enuf for half a row and I hope that next year I will have enuf for trading and sharing.

82 Posts
I've noticed that a lot of the survival seed sites (those that sell the survival seed packages) include onion seeds. I always thought onions were like parsnips and needed to be planted every year or 2, because they don't germinate well after that. So, how are they getting those onion seeds to store for 10+ years and still germinate? I'm skeptical, i guess. Do any of you have onion seed that stores for more than 1-2 years, and if so, what is your secret? TIA.
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