What's the best way to store seeds?

Hi,
Last summer I grew some Chinese Hot Peppers that were simply the best peppers I've ever tasted. I kept a bunch of the seeds and would like to store them for future use - 4-5 years from now. What's the best way to store them?
TIA, NRJ
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Navin R. Johnson wrote:

In a closed glass jar in the refrigerator. Bill
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In a ziploc (or other airtight container) in the freezer. I have five year old seeds in there and this year, for example, I bought none. One of the door shelves is all seeds all the time.
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I keep my seeds in a test tube sealed with a cork, in the freezer.
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I keep my seeds in separate paper sacks, a little bit smaller than a lunch sack and leave them on the shelf in the garage. They freeze in the winter and get very warm in the summer. They have always germinated the following year. I've used my dill seed for the past 3yrs. Sue in Mi. (zone 5)
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On 04 Jan 2004 23:35:36 GMT, snipped-for-privacy@aol.com (SAS567) wrote:

Thanks Sue
FYI, I've had 10-year-old dill seeds germinate without fail. A couple of years ago I found an old plastic bag full of dill seeds that had fallen behind a chest in the garage. They were dated 11-90! I thought, what the hell, and planted them - thickly. To my surprise at least half of them came up.
When I do plant peppers, I usually only put in a few plants so a pack of pepper seeds could theoretically last me for the rest of my life. Only problem is I've had fairly poor results germinating pepper seeds that are only a couple of years old. The Chinese seeds I have now are basically irreplaceable - the friend who originally gave me the seeds has moved to another state and we've lost contact. I want to put away a whole bunch for the next time I grow a large amount of plants - maybe four or five years from now. Thanx again.
NRJ
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We've kept seed in original pkts, glassine envelopes, or medicine bottles sealed in a small Tupperware container in the refrig for many years with excellent results. We get some of the dessicants (usually silica) in pkts or capsules that you frequently find packages with electronics and other equipment from the local pharmacist (usually for free) and throw them in the container to reduce the humidity. Do not freeze. While this may not harm many hardy seeds, it will shorten the lives of others unless done in a laboratory. Peppers generally do not like to freeze. After all, they are tropical. All of our seed is in an extra frig in the shop used for extra purchases and produce. Gary

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On Sun, 04 Jan 2004 11:26:17 -0500, Navin R. Johnson

Just curious. Why 4-5 years? While many chile seeds will grow after long storage, germination rates *do* drop off in time. As for storing, your greatest enemy is moisture. Whether at room temperature, in the 'fridge, or in the freezer, making sure they're thoroughly dry and storing in a sealed container (jar or ziplock plastic) is recommended. Stored in the dark is better, too.
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wrote:

I don't know about Navin, but personally I don't have access to ginormous acreages and I'd be hard pressed to go through a packet of pepper seeds in 10 years, let alone 5. Besides what are you going to do when NEPND or ROSSNS comes around and everybody goes Kookoo for cocoa puffs?
Personally I just stuck mine in a pickle jar with some computer weenie dessicant in a cool, dark corner of the garage.
*NEPND = not enough phone number digits, ROSSNS = ran out of social security numbers
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First, thanx for all the responses. I'm thinkin' that I'll probably vacuum pack them along with a dessicant and keep them in the fridge in a brown paper bag to keep out the light. That ought to do it.
The reason I want to keep them for five or so years - I have a small garden and usually grow lots of herbs and a few cherry tomatoes. Last year one of my gardening buddies gave me some 'special' Chinese Hot Pepper seeds to try out. She actually got them from an old guy while she was in China and then had to 'smuggle' them out. I didn't have much room so only planted a couple of plants. Those two plants were prolific and the peppers were fantastic so I kept a lot of the seeds and then planted 30 more plants this past summer. I ended up with a ton of peppers and after drying now have at least a four or five year supply - and that's after giving lots to my friends and family. I won't need any more peppers for awhile and just wanted to be sure that I have at least a few live seeds for the next time. Thanks again for all the info.
NRJ
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wrote:

in that case, the best way to save them is to stick them in the ground and when they come back up, share them with your friends
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On Mon, 05 Jan 2004 19:22:05 -0500, Navin R. Johnson

If possible, I would keep growing a couple of plants each year as insurance. There's nothing like planting a bunch of older seeds and having *none* germinate! Been there; done that. No fun.
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