Strainly‘s goal is to foster the preservation of cannabis phenotypes, which indeed means, under the form of seeds (or “beans”). Seeds are essential to genetic preservation, and keeping your seeds safe and viable is material to preservation success. When it comes to making seeds travel, risks of destruction increase dramatically. In this article, we’ll give you basic guidance about storing and… shipping seeds so that they make it safe to destination
There surely are more methods available to you than the ones we’ll be covering in this article, and you may decide to combine different techniques to create your own methodology.
Keep your cannabis seeds dry
Damp or wet seeds will start to germinate. Even small amounts of humidity inside the container can cause rot and mould.
Keep your seeds in a fresh space
Warmth will encourage germination. High temperatures can damage your seeds (by kinda ‘cooking’ them like “a boiled egg”).
Make sure to keep your seeds in the dark
Ensure they can’t be squashed
This may seem silly, but not all seeds come in a hard case. The shells of your seeds should remain intact. The shell is a natural protection against outside elements, if cracked the germination rate drops dramatically. We’ll come back to this in the Shipping section.
Label your beans
Cannabis seeds usually look very similar, regardless of the strain. It’s best practice to avoid mixing them up while making sure they stay identifiable in the long run. A simple label on the container should do the trick.
Freezer or not?
Storing your seeds at -18C (0F) will allow you to keep your seeds for decades. However, average freezers rarely keep fully stable temperatures. These fluctuations will increase condensation, create frost and eventually reduce germination rate as a consequence. Putting your seeds in the freezer can be a risky approach if your seeds are not in a dry, fully hermetic container. Alternatively you can put your seeds in the door of a fridge. Keeping your seeds at fridge temperature (5C) is enough to preserve them for years. If you put them in the fridge though, make sure they don’t get wet and are packed in a sealed and dry container!
Keep them clean
It doesn’t mean you should clean them with windex or bleach! But generally, you should make sure your hands, working area and any equipment or container that will touch your seeds, are clean and dry. Mould and fungus can spread on seeds even when they are kept in a cold area. This also includes keeping them away from pest and rodents. Again, provided that your container is dry and sealed, your fridge is a good place to store them.
Some Strainly users prefer starting from seeds only, which, if you don’t breed your own, likely implies getting them shipped to you at some point. It goes without saying that dumping your seeds into a paper envelope, sticking a stamp and dropping it in the mailbox is… worst practice! Postage services use sorting machines that usually squash seeds before they reach their destination.
The safest option is to ship your seeds in a hard container (avoid glass if possible) that can resist shocks and squashes. If your seeds come in a sealed bag and you don’t have any hard container (e.g. DVD or CD case) handy, you should ship them using a padded envelope or a flat cardboard box.
You should now be able to safely store and ship seeds and contribute to the preservation of a strain you like. However, reading and acquiring more in-depth knowledge about germination and growing in general, will significantly increase your success rate.