Choosing and storing seeds

Packets and packets of seeds with so much potential in them!

Packets and packets of seeds with so much potential in them!

I love growing plants from seed. Just opening a packet of new seeds and pouring them out to take a look at them is like Christmas or a birthday to me! I’m just amazed to see them in all their different shapes, colours, textures and sizes, with each seed containing the potential to grow into a plant that can delight with flowers and provide sustenance through their fruits, stems, leaves and more.

Yes, I tend to go a little overboard whenever I’m in the vicinity of seeds, but over the years, I’ve managed to learn a little restraint. Instead of choosing things that catch my fancy, I’ve learned to consider the plant’s growing conditions to see if it has a chance of growing in our hot, humid climate in Singapore. There have been many disappointments in the past when I had no luck growing plants from cool, temperate climates – but that was just me being optimistic. I guess I’ve become a little more realistic now. If I’m making an order from, let’s say the US, I’ll now choose those that grow in the southern states where it’s hotter and more humid, and closer to the equator. Or I just choose seeds from countries closer to home, like Malaysia, Indonesia or Thailand. That leaves plenty of choices.

Having lots to choose from means I have quite the collection of seeds right now. Since we live in a hot climate, the best way to store your seeds is to keep them in the fridge. This prolongs their lifespan for much longer than is stated on the seed packs. I have some that have been in the fridge for more than four years that can still germinate. For those, I try to remember to save seeds from the newly grown fruits or flowers to store for the future. Saved seeds will be even better because they will be acclimatised to our garden, so I sometimes consider the first planting a sacrificial one because the plants need to get used to the new environment. As long as they produce fruits that I can save seeds from, I’m happy.

Do note that if you order seeds online to be responsible in what you get. Anything sent in will be checked by Customs, and you don’t want to get flagged or have to go and pay to collect your shipment, do you?

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