Seed – Saving and Drying

Q: I am saving seed for next year. I know that moisture is a big enemy to these seeds and I’ve seen desiccant packs for sale in seed catalogs. I’m wondering if I can simply use those little desiccant packs that come with new shoes.

A: The shoe desiccant packs will work fine as long as they are “dry” to begin with. Silica gel is the usual chemical contained in the packs. A pack can be dried by heating in a 200 degree oven for fifteen minutes. You can also make your own desiccant packs from the silica gel crystals used for flower drying.

Another way to dry the air in a seed storage jar is to wrap two tablespoons of dry milk in tissue paper and drop the package into the jar before you seal it. Be sure to keep your seeds in a cool spot during storage as well.