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Timothy Gierschick
Used desiccant (silica gel) packs to keep saved seeds dry? Any advice?

Question details

Any other seed savers out there: have any of you ever used leftover desiccant (silica gel) packs (such as come in electronics, etc.) to keep your saved seeds dry? I have several, but wanted to inquire the larger community before I try this. I want to make sure it's not TOO dry. Any experience to share?

Hi Timothy. I posted this question on our facebook group and received the following three answers. 1) We use silica for our seeds. Equal weight silica gel to seed weight. Store in sealed jar, cool and dark. 2) It will work great, but the issue is the amount of moisture that the have encountered before you obtained them. They can be regenerated by heating them in an oven to remove the water they have absorbed. Typically in the laboratory we do this using a vacuum oven which allows us to use lower temps. If they are still in the tyvek package I would suggest a few of hours, say 3-4, at 200 F t regenerate them. The packaging can certainly handle that without issue. Let them cool in place, in the oven, to minimize moisture uptake as they cool. Again in the laboratory we would typically do this in under vacuum in a bell jar that has addition desiccant in it to prevent moisture uptake but the oven should be fine for your purposes. In case your curious, I am a chemist with a lot of experience using these materials. 3) Polished (dehusked) Rice grains, far simpler! Just don't plant them next spring...
Excellent! Thanks so much. We got new computers at work, and I now have a ridiculous amount of this stuff. I'll be throwing it in the oven soon.
I have see bad advice from a good source re putting seeds in *an air-tight jar.* Seeds are living & need to breathe. We once lost a mayonnaise jar full of Italian Parsley seed to mold. The seeds were collected after having stood outside on the stalks in hot sun & dry wind for weeks. Anything inert would have been dried out. Not seeds. Seeds need air.



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