Packaging seeds will come in useful when seeds are shared within network exchanges, made available through seed banks, or sold at farmers markets. Before doing so, it is important to run a germination test (see section on germination, vigor, and dormancy for more information) to ensure that the seeds you are selling or giving away are adequately viable. A germination rate of 60-70% is generally considered acceptable. Some varieties are known to be more difficult to germinate, and planting parameters will therefore need to be adapted accordingly. Note that once seeds are packaged, they must be stored in a dry and cool environment so their viability can be preserved. Most of the information used during the labeling process can be reused without being modified.
Seeds can be packaged in laminated, resealable envelopes or mylar zip packets (that won’t let light go through) using measuring spoons of different sizes for specific types of seeds. Plastic spoons that come with medicinal syrups are particularly handy and can easily be obtained for free. The following method can be used to calculate and determine the desired amount of seeds to package based on their weight. It is a simple, cost-effective, and time-saving solution, as packets are filled with specific spoons which – once initially weighted – can be used and exclusively reserved to a specific variety without having to weigh them again:
- Select, count, and weight a very small seed sample from the variety using a high-precision scale ;
- i.e., 15 Crimson Sweet watermelon seeds = 3 g
- Divide the total weight by the number of seeds to find the weight per seed ;
- 3/15 = 0.2 g
- Fill with seeds and weight a spoon (tared beforehand) ;
- 21 g
- Divide the weight of the seed-filled spoon by the weight per seed to find the number of seeds present in the spoon ;
- 21/0.2 = 105 seeds
- The spoon can now be kept and exclusively reserved to this specific type of seed for packaging ;
- 1 packet = 105 seeds
Experimenting with spoons of different sizes will allow you to better adjust the amount of seeds needed per packet depending on the situation and the entities involved.