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InvisibleFurrowedBrowM
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*Discussion 3 - 08/14/2010 - Long-Term Seed Storage Techniques*
    #460101 - 08/14/10 04:00 PM (6 years, 3 months ago)

It's been a few months since we've done a discussion thread.  I have an issue right now.  I have thousands of dollars invested in my seed stock.  I've just been keeping them stored in the plastic they came in, just sitting in my kitchen cabinet.  I am not going to be able to grow them all any time soon so I need to package these things for long term storage.  I did a preliminary search of the Growery forum and didn't see much about this issue.  I do know of several methods for long term preservation but I am not sure which one is the best.

For those of you unfamiliar with these threads click here.  Feel free to post your own research - just make sure you include a link to any sources you have found.

This discussion is strictly about storing cannabis seeds that will be used for cultivation later on.  I am not sure how much discussion this topic will incite, but if nothing else, it is good information.

So, having said that I am going to use the rest of this post to show you my preliminary research on this issue:


From the grow bible by Jorge Cervantes:

Quote:

Store seeds in a cool, dark, dry place.  Make sure to label containers!  Some seeds will remain viable for five years or longer when stored properly.  When 50 percent of the stored seeds do not germinate, the average storage life is over.  But seeds a year old or older often take longer to sprout and have a lower rate of germination. 

Seed hormones - ABA, cytokinins, and gibberellins - are primed to respond to moisture, which is the first signal to germinate.  Prevent moisture from signaling seeds to germinate by keeping them dry.  Small amounts of moisture in the form of condensation can give seeds a false start on germination and cause them to expend all their stored energy.  Avoid moisture levels above 5% to ensure viable seed.  Moisture levels above five percent will cause germination levels to decrease rapidly.  Seal seed in an airtight container, and place silicon crystal packages in the container to absorb excess moisture. 

Dry seeds are temperature-sensitive; they can be disinfected with a short application of heat.  Low temperatures slow internal seed activity so are best for preserving seeds.  You can use super-cold liquid nitrogen and cryogenics to store seeds for a long time. 

Air, once it enters the outer seed shell, signals seeds to germinate.  Viable seeds are preserved longer when vacuum-packed to remove all oxygen. 

Seeds with a thin, outer protective shell never truly go dormant, because moisture and air are always present within.  The moisture and air cause hormone levels to slowly dissipate.  Such seeds do not store well for a long time.


 

From The Cannabis Breeder's Bible by Greg Green (page 19 in the 2005 edition):

Quote:


If you plan to use the seeds in more than two years' time, store them in an air-tight container and place this in a freezer.  If you plan to use the seeds within the next two years, storing them in a standard film canister or similar container will work well.  Keep this canister away from heat and direct light and do not let it get damp or you risk spoiling your seeds.  Containers placed in the freezer should not be opened until you are ready to use them.  Allow the seeds to thaw at room temperature for at least 12 hours before use.


 


From Marijuana Botany: Propagation and Breeding of Distintive Cannabis by Robert Connell Clarke:

Quote:

Seeds are allowed to dry completely and all vegetable debris is removed before storage.  This prevents spoilage caused by molds and other fungi...Seeds preserved for future germination are thoroughly air dried in paper envelopes or cloth sacks and stored in air-tight containers in a cool, dark, dry place.  Freezing may also dry out seeds and cause them to crack.  If seeds are carefully stored, they remain viable for a number of years.  As a batch of seeds ages, fewer and fewer of them will germinate, but even after 5 to6 years a small percentage of the seeds usually still germinate.  Old batches of seeds also tend to germinate slowly (up to 5 weeks).  This means that a batch of seeds for cultivation might be stored for a longer period of time if the initial sample is large enough to provide sufficient seeds for another generation.  If a strain is to be preserved, it is necessary to grow and reproduce it every three years, so that enough viable seeds are always available.






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Re: *Discussion 3 - 08/14/2010 - Seed Storage Techniques* (moved) [Re: FurrowedBrow]
    #460117 - 08/14/10 04:15 PM (6 years, 3 months ago)

This thread was moved from Strains, Breeders & Seed Banks.

Reason:
Oops, this is probably better suited for the cultivation forum. 


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Offlinekickin-two-hundo
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Re: *Discussion 3 - 08/14/2010 - Seed Storage Techniques* (moved) [Re: FurrowedBrow]
    #460219 - 08/14/10 07:57 PM (6 years, 3 months ago)

I have heard not to put them into the freezer because after a while it can actually damage the seed and cause slow germination, retarded growth, or no germination at all.:thumbdown:

And the best seed storage technique I've heard is to place the seeds in a zip lock bag, or even better a vacuum sealed bag, then you put that bag into another airtight bag (once again preferably the vacuum sealed) and you put it in a low traffic place in your refrigerator, such as the very back, or in the back of a vegetable drawer. If you want to be really safe about it you can place the second bag into an airtight tupperware container.

This method keeps seeds fresh for years. At least 5 i can't remember the exact number.


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Edited by kickin-two-hundo (08/14/10 07:58 PM)


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Re: *Discussion 3 - 08/14/2010 - Seed Storage Techniques* (moved) [Re: kickin-two-hundo]
    #460345 - 08/14/10 11:28 PM (6 years, 3 months ago)

yeah, i was thinking that freezing them wouldn't be the best.  but with keeping them in the fridge i worry about condensation.  But I guess if they are vacuum sealed there would be no air for any condensation to take place, huh.  I guess I will vacuum seal mine and store them in the back of my fridge.


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Re: *Discussion 3 - 08/14/2010 - Seed Storage Techniques* (moved) [Re: FurrowedBrow]
    #460448 - 08/15/10 12:53 AM (6 years, 3 months ago)

If you have a seed dedicated fridge with only vac sealed seeds then you can store them for about 10 years the fridge must not be opened and must not have anything in it and must be a fridge only not a freezer, you can open the fridge here and there but not on a daily basis or it will suck in moisture.


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Re: *Discussion 3 - 08/14/2010 - Seed Storage Techniques* (moved) [Re: FurrowedBrow]
    #460471 - 08/15/10 02:29 AM (6 years, 3 months ago)

I remember reading that freezing seed could hurt there cell walls.The problem with being a stoner is I can't remember were I read it.


I also add rice to my seed containers to keep them dry.


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Re: *Discussion 3 - 08/14/2010 - Seed Storage Techniques* (moved) [Re: KaptKid]
    #460721 - 08/15/10 03:46 PM (6 years, 3 months ago)

juke first of all why would i matter if other stuff is in the fridge? thats not going to affect anything, maybe after 10 years the seeds may pick up a food smell? idk.

and why would it matter if the fridge is opened? these make no sense to m;, if its sealed in a bag, in a bag, and then in a tupperware, i highly doublt any moisture is going to get in, unless some kind of h2o miracle happens. even if it were just vaccum sealed in one bag no moisture would get in.
i could go diving 60 feet underwater with that bag, and STILL no mosture is going to get in.


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Re: *Discussion 3 - 08/14/2010 - Seed Storage Techniques* (moved) [Re: kickin-two-hundo]
    #460727 - 08/15/10 04:06 PM (6 years, 3 months ago)

a plain paper bag should help with any excess moisture issues.  And if you wanted to get real anal about it, just use a few of those stick-on dehumidifiers they make for tool boxes

http://www.jakesmp.com/csd_silica_gel/CSD_Silica_001_C.html#info


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Re: *Discussion 3 - 08/14/2010 - Seed Storage Techniques* (moved) [Re: kickin-two-hundo]
    #461122 - 08/16/10 12:48 AM (6 years, 3 months ago)

Quote:

kickin-two-hundo said:
juke first of all why would i matter if other stuff is in the fridge? thats not going to affect anything, maybe after 10 years the seeds may pick up a food smell? idk.

and why would it matter if the fridge is opened? these make no sense to m;, if its sealed in a bag, in a bag, and then in a tupperware, i highly doublt any moisture is going to get in, unless some kind of h2o miracle happens. even if it were just vaccum sealed in one bag no moisture would get in.
i could go diving 60 feet underwater with that bag, and STILL no mosture is going to get in.





A fridge doesn't work how you think it does cause if it did you would understand what I said and not made a fool of your self, a fridge runs dry, creates a vacuum and does not work properly if opened and creates changes in temp therefore creating moisture and bacteria, if there are food items in a fridge they will pull moisture and anything else small enough then release it into the fridge, fast temperature changes such as opening and closing a fridge can damage seeds do to the huge temp changes and pressure so it's best kept in a cool dark place if that cant be achieved as the temps will be more steady...


--------------------

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Edited by FurrowedBrow (08/16/10 03:05 PM)


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Re: *Discussion 3 - 08/14/2010 - Seed Storage Techniques* (moved) [Re: juke adro]
    #461338 - 08/16/10 03:09 PM (6 years, 3 months ago)

That's news to me.  Anyone else got a comment?  I dont have the time to research that now.  I've got an extra fridge i could use just for the seeds, just not sure all that would be necessary, but you say it would be.  I would have thought that opening the fridge door would only effect the seeds if you left the door open all day, enough for it to heat up substantially.  But if you vacuum seal the package, there's no air for any condensation or moisture to build up, no? 

also, I'm not going to be lenient on off topic discussion in these threads.


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Offlinekyuzo
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Re: *Discussion 3 - 08/14/2010 - Seed Storage Techniques* (moved) [Re: FurrowedBrow]
    #461346 - 08/16/10 03:20 PM (6 years, 3 months ago)

Quote:

FurrowedBrow said:But if you vacuum seal the package, there's no air for any condensation or moisture to build up, no?





I think the problem would be that the vacuum sealed package would still contain a bit of moisture when sealed, and that constant cold and humidity pretty much guarantee condensation.  Just look at any Tupperware container you put in the fridge: the majority will have condensation that forms on the top of the lid, despite being in an airtight container.

However, I do agree that his recommendation seem a bit excessive and would say the issue could be handled by more localized means: silica, paper bag, or even a napkin


Edited by kyuzo (08/16/10 03:22 PM)


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Re: *Discussion 3 - 08/14/2010 - Seed Storage Techniques* (moved) [Re: kyuzo] * 1
    #461436 - 08/16/10 04:41 PM (6 years, 3 months ago)

Quote:

kyuzo said:
Quote:

FurrowedBrow said:But if you vacuum seal the package, there's no air for any condensation or moisture to build up, no?





I think the problem would be that the vacuum sealed package would still contain a bit of moisture when sealed, and that constant cold and humidity pretty much guarantee condensation.  Just look at any Tupperware container you put in the fridge: the majority will have condensation that forms on the top of the lid, despite being in an airtight container.

However, I do agree that his recommendation seem a bit excessive and would say the issue could be handled by more localized means: silica, paper bag, or even a napkin




You don't understand what a vacuum sealer is.  it vacuums the air out of a bag and seals it, so there is not really any air/moisture.


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Re: *Discussion 3 - 08/14/2010 - Seed Storage Techniques* (moved) [Re: SmOakland]
    #461449 - 08/16/10 04:54 PM (6 years, 3 months ago)

Quote:

SmOakland said:
Quote:

kyuzo said:
Quote:

FurrowedBrow said:But if you vacuum seal the package, there's no air for any condensation or moisture to build up, no?





I think the problem would be that the vacuum sealed package would still contain a bit of moisture when sealed, and that constant cold and humidity pretty much guarantee condensation.  Just look at any Tupperware container you put in the fridge: the majority will have condensation that forms on the top of the lid, despite being in an airtight container.

However, I do agree that his recommendation seem a bit excessive and would say the issue could be handled by more localized means: silica, paper bag, or even a napkin




You don't understand what a vacuum sealer is.  it vacuums the air out of a bag and seals it, so there is not really any air/moisture.





You're totally right: complete brain fart on my end


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Re: *Discussion 3 - 08/14/2010 - Seed Storage Techniques* (moved) [Re: kyuzo]
    #461672 - 08/16/10 09:29 PM (6 years, 3 months ago)

I don't think you had a brain fart.

Some moisture still be in there. At least were I live. Always 60 to 80% humidity.

But might be avoided by putting some rice in the bag or treating the air with a dehumidifier before sealing.

What do I know, I only got 4 grows under my belt.


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Re: *Discussion 3 - 08/14/2010 - Seed Storage Techniques* (moved) [Re: KaptKid]
    #461934 - 08/17/10 06:09 AM (6 years, 3 months ago)

I actually took a Seed Physiology and Mechanics course a few semesters ago, and figured I'd contribute some useful, accurate information with the aid of my old notes, tests, and textbook.  We spent a good amount of time talking about how to properly store seeds (among many other things).  I hope that's considered expertise enough.


General information about orthodox seeds:

-Orthodox seeds are those that can be almost completely dried and stored, then imbibed, like cannabis and most others you'd plant in the garden (as opposed to recalcitrant seeds, which must stay moist to stay alive)
-When a seed is "dried," it actually has around 4-6% H2O (that is, ~5% of the water that it originally had in it while it was still connected to the mother plant)
      --This water is ionically bound, meaning that there is not enough for metabolic activity and, perhaps more importantly, is non-freezable, and not removable with a desiccant.
-To maximize seed longevity, dried seeds should be stored in a dry and cold place, preferably away from light (though cold & dry are much more important)

Therefore, the ideal way to store cannabis seeds for the long term is in an air-tight container (mason jars are great) in the refrigerator or freezer, with a bit of desiccant if you like (note: rice is itself an orthodox seed!).  The fridge is honestly just fine, the freezer isn't really necessary.  But if your seeds are dry, the tiny bit of ionic water will not freeze, and thus will not "form crystals and damage the cell walls," etc. like I've read online.

A quick note on moisture in the fridge, etc.:
there should be less moisture in the air in your fridge than in the air outside you fridge, but there's still plenty, which is why a paper bag is useless.  A ziplock bag is also relatively useless, as it is not actually air- or water-tight (they're good for organizing inside of the main container, though).
A mason jar, however, is air-tight, which means water definitely can't get in, so, with a bit of desiccant, condensation is not a concern.  The only water that can condense inside the mason jar is the water that is already in the air that is trapped in the jar when the lid is screwed down, which the desiccant should take care of.

With this method, you can use your normal fridge, and open and close it all you want, though the less light, the better.

All of that said, don't expect many orthodox seeds to store for longer than 5-10 years, with viability dropping as time goes on.  It is alive the whole time it is being stored, and it can only stay dormant for so long before it needs to either grow or die.


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Re: *Discussion 3 - 08/14/2010 - Seed Storage Techniques* (moved) [Re: God]
    #461953 - 08/17/10 10:08 AM (6 years, 3 months ago)

<<<A quick note on moisture in the fridge, etc.:
there should be less moisture in the air in your fridge than in the air outside you fridge, but there's still plenty, which is why a paper bag is useless.  A ziplock bag is also relatively useless, as it is not actually air- or water-tight (they're good for organizing inside of the main container, though).
A mason jar, however, is air-tight, which means water definitely can't get in, so, with a bit of desiccant, condensation is not a concern.  The only water that can condense inside the mason jar is the water that is already in the air that is trapped in the jar when the lid is screwed down, which the desiccant should take care of.>>>

The purpose of the paper bag isn't to replace the airtight container, but the desiccant. 

Surely not the best option, but works better than nothing


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Re: *Discussion 3 - 08/14/2010 - Seed Storage Techniques* (moved) [Re: kyuzo]
    #462308 - 08/17/10 05:15 PM (6 years, 3 months ago)

Ok I didn't read 1/2 of the responses, but as for the freezing concerns...

It gets to -30 f. here every year, and ditch weed is very prevalent in my area, I would really have to side with mother nature on this one and say it's probably a very safe way to store them.  I mean the warming and moisture of spring signals its time to germinate so I would have to think it's the same thing.  You take them out ONLY when needed and use your preferred germination method.


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