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Last year I saved some of those plastic tubs with lids that washing machine gel tabs come in and have used them to store my seeds in (opened and unopened packets). We have had a very mixed year re germination rates, much worse than usual, and I am now wondering if it's something to do with the plastic boxes? Am afraid to say that I didn't bother washing them out and am now wondering if there were chemicals lingering from the tabs which has effected the seed? Do you think they would be ok to use if I have then a good soak? I don't why I didn't anyway, only occurred to me when I opened one of them the other day and noticed that the washing tab smell is still quite strong.
I wouldnt have thought it would be that bad through the foil of the seed packet, maybe it affected temp or humidity tho?
Ive used those tubs as propogators, i did was them first but i could still smell the detergent, and the plants seemed fine

Depends on the seed and what you do with it. If you stored the seed in paper packets semi sealed then put them in an air tight or near enough container they should be fine, keep the container in a cool dark place.

You do need know what you are sowing as all seeds need different conditions, not all seeds germinate as I found when buying expensive seed to find only half germinated. Some need heat and lots of it others cool conditions even now I will get my books out and turn to the well thumbed pages on setting seed. Many people will give them all the same conditions then wonder why some came others did not, with others it is the seed bed that is wrong, the soil too rich not free draining enough or too damp, some need cover others not, as I said you need to know what you are sowing. We at times are too impatient. some seed will be up in hours but others take weeks or even months, gardening? who needs it?


It can be frustrating can't it. I seem to have had a very bad year for seed germination - partly weather, partly old seed and partly me I guess
The seeds in opened foil packets will start to deteriorate as soon as they are opened, even if you fold the packets carefully.

Some seeds will not keep from year to year anyway.

Some seeds are viable for years and years. Eg tomatoes and lettuce to give just two.

I don't think your choice of container made any difference; but the temperature will. Keep seeds cool, in the fridge if possible.

Some of the most well-known companies have the poorest germination rates in my experience. Beware of catalogues with highly-coloured pictures!



Mine go in a big plastic box in the dark under the stairs, the box helps stop the cold draught from the outside air vent

I think they might have being too warm

I could do with an outside vent too, KEF : )

chrissie you can share mine, blinking cold in winter  Send me list of your seeds and I'll see what I have room for

I saw someone on the tv store their seeds in those little plastic things you used to get camera film in, then put them in the fridge, not sure im that dedicated!

I spose you could use the plastic things out of kinder eggs, would have fun eating the choc tho!

they might have been affected by humidity in a sealed plastic box, i dry my seed for a couple of weeks in a sealed box with some rice and then  I keep mine in paper bags in an old ice cream tub (with no lid) in my fridge.

Had to go out today and buy 3 more new packs of Runner beans and French beans as the previous batches failed to germinate and they aint cheap eg £3 a pack..  Must have sown 60 or so got 4 weedlings..  Have replanted today, its looking cheapernot to grow ones own at this rate..


BLT, what runner beans did you have?

I have had total failure of Runner Bean White Lady. I have resowed with moonlight. I have complained to the supplier.

French bean cobra and sweet corn swift came up in identical conditions and compost.

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