Should I freeze seeds before planting?

Written by danielle gream
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Should I freeze seeds before planting?
Freezing dried seeds maximises shelf life. (pumpkin seeds image by timur1970 from

Freezing seeds increases (often doubles or triples) their shelf life. Freezing also increases seed germination rate and destroys potential diseases the seeds may be carrying.

Moisture Causes Problems

Care must be taken when freezing seeds to ensure there is no moisture. It is important to thoroughly dry seeds prior to freezing. Glass or plastic containers with airtight seals are the best for keeping moisture out. Plastic storage bags also work. Include a silica gel dessicant in the container to absorb any existing moisture. Containers should thaw to room temperature before opening to avoid condensation.

Bottom Line

Freezing seeds is a highly-effective way to increase shelf life and germination rate and decrease risk of plant disease. Precautions must be taken, though, to avoid seed rot due to moisture.

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