Should you vacuum seal seeds?

Answered by John Hunt

Vacuum sealing seeds is a highly recommended practice for anyone looking to preserve the viability of their seeds for an extended period of time. There are two main reasons why vacuum sealing is so effective in this regard.

Firstly, vacuum sealing creates a barrier that keeps humidity out of the storage container. Humidity can be detrimental to seed viability as it can cause the seeds to absorb moisture, leading to mold, rot, or germination. By removing the air and creating a vacuum, the chances of moisture entering the container are significantly reduced. This is particularly important in areas where humidity levels are high, such as during the rainy season or in tropical climates.

I have personally experienced the negative effects of humidity on stored seeds. Living in a region with a hot and humid climate, I once stored some seeds in a regular plastic bag without any protection. Unfortunately, after a few months, I discovered that the seeds had become moldy and were no longer viable. This incident taught me the importance of proper seed storage techniques, such as vacuum sealing.

Secondly, vacuum sealing also helps to protect the seeds from exposure to oxygen. Oxygen can contribute to seed deterioration over time due to oxidation processes. When seeds are exposed to oxygen, it can lead to the breakdown of important compounds within the seed, ultimately reducing its viability.

By removing the air and creating a vacuum, oxygen is effectively eliminated from the storage environment. This helps to slow down the oxidation processes and prolong the life of the seeds. As a result, vacuum-sealed seeds have a higher chance of remaining viable for a longer period compared to seeds stored in regular containers.

In addition to these benefits, vacuum sealing also provides a physical barrier against pests and insects. The airtight seal prevents any external contaminants from entering the storage container and damaging the seeds. This is particularly advantageous for long-term storage, where the seeds may be vulnerable to infestation.

To summarize the advantages of vacuum sealing seeds:

1. Protection against humidity: Vacuum sealing keeps moisture out, reducing the risk of mold, rot, and germination caused by high humidity levels.

2. Prevention of oxidation: By removing oxygen from the storage environment, vacuum sealing helps to slow down the deterioration of seeds over time.

3. Barrier against pests and insects: The airtight seal created by vacuum sealing acts as a physical barrier, preventing external contaminants from damaging the seeds.

Vacuum sealing seeds is a highly effective method for preserving their viability. It helps to maintain the optimal conditions for seed storage by keeping humidity, oxygen, and pests at bay. Whether you are a home gardener or a professional seed collector, investing in vacuum sealing equipment can greatly extend the lifespan of your seeds and ensure successful germination in the future.