Bulk garden seeds, if stored properly, are a huge savings in cost, a time saver and excellent preparation for emergencies. I began to purchase bulk seeds a few years ago and am now convinced it's the way to go for every self-reliant homesteader. It saves money and is a great way to be prepared.
Buy one packet of pole bean seeds, and you’ll spend $8 for about 50 seeds or sixteen cents a seed.
On the other hand, you can purchase seeds in bulk by buying one fourth of a pound of seeds, with eight times as many seeds for $6.80 or a cost of less than a penny per seed. Buy five pounds of seeds for about $30 and you’ll have enough seeds to share with all your neighbors and last you for years.
Should a natural disaster strike, and you can't get to a seed store, or should there be an economic disaster, you'll have seeds on hand and will be able to grow your own food – security you can bank on.
All of those seeds are only a great deal if you store them properly.
When storing seeds, there are two crucial points to remember:
If they're kept too long at room temperature, the embryos in your seeds will start to consume their stored sugars. Then when the seed is planted, the embryo won't germinate or the seed will completely die. To keep the seeds' embryos in suspended animation, store your seeds in the refrigerator.
Seeds that are exposed to moist air are likely to mildew or grow mold. If you plan to use your seeds within a couple of weeks, then you'll be fine storing the seeds in place that is cool and dry. When you purchase bulk seeds, make sure your seeds have enough air circulation to keep them dry. But for the rest of the seeds, you'll need an extra step:
You finally have a great use for all those little packets that come with your new shoes and that you find in your vitamin bottles. Silica gel can absorb up to a third of its weight in water and will do a great job of keeping your bulk garden seeds dry.
If you're worried about all those warnings on the packets telling you to throw them away right now, don't be. If you were actually silly enough to eat some silica gel, you might become dehydrated or be exposed to whatever nasty fumes the gel picked up along the way. But you won't get hurt handling silica gel, and it won't hurt your seeds.