Happy Earth Day, everyone! Today marks the annual event where we get together to support our beautiful planet. This holiday is acknowledged in 193 countries. It began in 1970 by peace activist John McConnell as an effort to encourage others to coordinate environmental protection events. What a better way to save Earth than by starting a Seed Bank.
Why A Seed Bank Is Important
A Seed Bank is a collection of seeds that can be used to grow a large, diverse garden during tough times. It is usually a variety of plants, design to help you and your family get all the nutrients they need to survive. The seed bank also serves as an insurance policy for plants. Due to our ever-changing climate, crops often go extinct just as fast as animals. If you saved the seeds of an extinct plant, you hold the power to bring it back to life.
Start with What You Know
A good starting point will be to pick plants you are familiar with. It’s important to know what grows and what doesn’t in your area. A vegetable popular in your area may wither away in the state next door. You’ll also want to focus on plants you’ve grown personally in the past. This is because you are already familiar with them and their growth patterns. If you are new to gardening visit your local gardening store for helpful tips.
Know The Different Types
There are different variations out there for all types of plants. There are 7,500 types of tomatoes, five types of peas, and fifteen types of beans just to name a few. Once you settle on a variety you want, you’ll need to pick a type. There is an heirloom, open-pollinated, non-hybrid, GMO, non-GMO. Each variety and each type has there pros and cons, so do your research.
Keep Things Chilled
The best way to store your seed bank is in the deep freeze, or freezer. When frozen, seeds can live for five years, twenty years for more durable plants. Freezers are also dark, dry places. Both of these factors play in your seeds favor. Don’t forget to make sure the packets are clearly labeled and not damaged. A damaged packet is a good indicator that the seeds are no good.
Not Everyone Is A Winner
There is a 20% chance a seed packet is D.O.A. (Dead On Arrival). Every year a seed packet is in storage it runs a risk of losing its fertility. The more fragile the plant is, the shorter it’s storage life is. Seeds should be rotated out every five years to ensure you have a good crop. For the best results, you should dry your own every year when you harvest in the fall.