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saving my seeds in cold weather

 
Posts: 53
Location: Ely and Minneapolis, MN Zone 3
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Howdy! I'm looking for suggestions to keep my seeds up at my cabin through cold weather. (sometimes -40 below) I was thinking of taking the seeds and putting them in a cooler, and line the inside of the cooler w/ insulation to keep the seeds as warm as possible on a south facing side.

I'm looking for any suggestions or ideas. The seeds really need to stay up at my cabin vs. at my home in the cities.


toooooodle loo!
 
steward
Posts: 2719
Location: Maine (zone 5)
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hugelkultur goat dog forest garden trees rabbit chicken food preservation
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I know that lot of seeds don't mind being frozen at all. As a matter of fact most of the large seed banks keep their seeds frozen all the time. I'm not sure if -40 would kill them,I guess it depends on the type of seeds, but without some source of warmth, an insulated cooler would only hold the cold off for so long. Placing it in a warm location without attention might make things worse if the temp fluctuates greatly from day to day, as a cooler becomes an oven when sitting in the sun. The other concern I would have about a closed cooler is moisture buildup causing seeds to mold and rot in stagnant air.

I think your best bet would be to store them in air tight containers with moisture absorbers in an interior closet away from and outside wall. There the temp is likely to be more stable even if it's really cold.
 
pollinator
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Location: North Central Michigan
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seal them up in glass canning jars and bury them inside of a 5 gallon bucket?
 
Craig Dobbson
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Posts: 2719
Location: Maine (zone 5)
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Brenda Groth wrote:seal them up in glass canning jars and bury them inside of a 5 gallon bucket?



That's a clever Idea. The only thing is that you wouldn't want to bury anything that you need to start indoors before the ground thaws.

Maybe you could dig a hole big enough to bury a trash can then leave the top level with the ground surface. Put the seeds in containers, then in a bucket, then in the trash can. Cover the bucket with hay or straw and throw the lid on the trash can. Then cover the top of the trashcan with more hay/straw so that you can access it more easily.

Maybe that's more work than it's worth but just a thought. I know people without root cellars do that with root crops and they stay unfrozen and accessible through the winter.

 
pollinator
Posts: 1528
Location: zone 7
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What type of seeds are we talking about. And is it always -40 or just outside the cabin?
 
Don Splitter
Posts: 53
Location: Ely and Minneapolis, MN Zone 3
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Wow! Lots of good info! I'm glad I asked this question. I'll use jars, and try the bury idea. I have a good assortment of seeds. My permaculture seed ideology is based off a spartan approach. It's not always -40, but seeing it's zone 3. We get some nippy weather up in northern MN.

Again... thanks for the advice!
 
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